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All FAQs about Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)

Generally, federal tax rules require that you begin to withdraw money annually from your employer-sponsored retirement plans by April 1 after the year you turn 70½ or the year you retire, whichever comes later. For an IRA (except Roth IRAs), you must begin taking withdrawals by April 1 following the year you turn age 70½, regardless of your employment status. You should think about how a RMD fits into your overall retirement income plan. TIAA offers you a wide range of flexible income options for you to consider.
Generally, federal tax rules require that you begin to withdraw money annually from your employer-sponsored retirement plans by April 1 after the year you turn 70½ or the year you retire, whichever comes later. For an IRA (except Roth IRAs), you must begin taking withdrawals by April 1 following the year you turn age 70½, regardless of your employment status.

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The amount is based on your age and account balance at the end of last year. Your RMD will change every year based on those two numbers. Please note, if you're participating in a 403(b) retirement plan, any contributions and earnings credited before 1987 are not subject to the federal minimum distribution rules until the year you turn age 75. Keep in mind that any withdrawals you take before you are subject to the minimum distribution requirements, or withdrawals for more than the required amounts, will reduce your pre-1987 balance first.

You can call TIAA at 800-842-2252 for more information about the amount you need to take this year.

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You generally have to take a distribution each year from employer-sponsored plans when you’re 70 ½ or retire, whichever is later. If you turn age 70½ or retire (and you’re already age 70½ or over) in 2017, you have two choices. You can take your first withdrawal (the amount required for 2017) in 2017. Or, you can wait and take it in 2018, as long as it is paid by April 1. However, if you wait until 2018 to take your first withdrawal, you’ll have to take two withdrawals in that year—one for the amount required for 2017 and one for 2018—which may increase your tax liability in 2018.

If you turned age 70½ before 2017, you need to take your minimum distribution by December 31, 2017.

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If it’s not a Roth IRA, you’re required to take an annual distribution once you turn 70 ½, and you have until April 1 of the following year to take your first withdrawal (e.g., if you turn age 70½ in 2017, you must begin taking distributions by April 1, 2018).

If it is a Roth IRA, minimum distribution rules don’t apply during the owner’s lifetime. They do apply to the beneficiary who inherits it.
 

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You can review your required minimum distributions by logging in to your account from the My Account tab. If your plan allows it, you can withdraw money online. If an online withdrawal is not an option, call us at 800-842-2252. Please be sure to contact us two to three months before you must receive your withdrawal to ensure you receive funds by the required deadline.

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If you don’t take the amount required, the IRS could assess a 50% excise tax on the amount not withdrawn.

If you are concerned with prior RMDs, please contact a tax advisor.

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If you turned 70½ or retired this year: You can take your first withdrawal from employer-sponsored plans before April 1 of next year.

If you wait until the next year to take your first withdrawal, you’ll need to take a second withdrawal at some point in the same year. That could increase your tax liability next year.

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For your current employer’s plan: You can wait until April 1 after the year you retire.

For other tax-deferred retirement accounts: You’re required to withdraw a certain amount each year regardless of your retirement status. It can get complicated, so we suggest discussing the specifics of your situation with a tax advisor. We can help answer any questions about TIAA retirement accounts from prior employers by calling 800-842-2252.

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Any withdrawal paid to you will count toward the required minimum for the plan. For a 403(b) retirement plan the RMD is calculated separately, but may be withdrawn from any of your 403(b) plan assets. The same rule applies to your IRAs. Money withdrawn from an IRA will not count towards your 403(b) plan RMD and vice versa.  Money withdrawn from other types of retirement plans will only count towards RMD for that plan and no amounts withdrawn from elsewhere will count towards that plan's RMD.  If you are not sure whether the withdrawal you received is enough to cover your RMD requirement, call us at 800-842-2252.

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This doesn’t count toward your RMD total. Taking a distribution from the account that received the rollover or transfer doesn’t satisfy the IRS rules, either. However, a cash payment from a TPA does apply toward your RMD.

If you have any questions or want to learn about other ways to satisfy the IRS Required Minimum Distribution rules from your TPA, please call us at 800-842-2252. We're here on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (ET) and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET).

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You generally have three options for your RMD withdrawal:
1) We can mail a check to your address.
2) You can receive the money in your bank account electronically.
3) You can withdraw the money and put it toward after-tax accounts. After-tax accounts include brokerage accounts, mutual fund accounts, after-tax annuities and college savings funds.

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When evaluating your required minimum distribution strategy, you may want to consider lifetime income options that provide you with guaranteed income that cannot be outlived. Keep in mind if you have been a long-term contributor to TIAA Traditional, you may receive additional amounts of income by creating a stream of guaranteed income.

In some cases, creating a guaranteed income stream may provide higher amounts of income in retirement while satisfying your required minimum distribution requirements. Our retirement specialists are available to discuss our range of flexible income options and choices. For additional information, please call us at 800-842-2252, weekdays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET). Any guarantees under annuities issued by TIAA are subject to TIAA's claims-paying ability.

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This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or investment advice in connection with a distribution, transfer or rollover, a purchase or sale of securities or other investment property, or the management of securities or other investments, including the development of an investment strategy or retention of an investment manager or advisor. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made in consultation with an investor’s personal advisor based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.
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