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Required Minimum Distributions for IRA Beneficiaries

  Designated Beneficiary
 
Spouse only Non-spouse No designated beneficiary
(including an estate, charity, or some trusts)
IRA owner dies on or after required beginning date

Spouse may treat as his/her own, 

or
 

Distribute over spouse’s life using Table I* 

  • Use spouse’s current age each year,


or
 

Distribute based on owner’s age using Table I 

  • Use owner’s age as of birthday in year of death 
  • Reduce beginning life expectancy by 1 for each subsequent year
  • Can take owner’s RMD for year of death

Distribute using Table I

  • Use younger of 1) beneficiary’s age or 2) owner’s age at birthday in year of death
  • Determine beneficiary’s age at year-end following year of owner’s death
  • Use oldest age of multiple beneficiaries
  • Reduce beginning life expectancy by 1 for each subsequent year
  • Can take owner’s RMD for year of death

Table I

  • Use owner’s age as of birthday in year of death
  • Reduce beginning life expectancy by 1 for each subsequent year
  • Can take owner’s RMD for year of death
IRA owner dies before required beginning date

Spouse may treat as her/his own; 

or
 

Take entire balance by end of 5th year following year of death, 

or
 

Distribute based on Table I 

  • Use spouse’s current age each year
  • Distributions do not have to begin until owner would have turned 70 1/2

Take entire balance by end of 5th year following year of death, 

or
 

Distribute based on Table I 

  • Use beneficiary’s age at year-end following year of owner’s death 
  • Reduce beginning life expectancy by 1 for each subsequent year
Take entire balance by end of 5th year following year of death

* Table 1 - Single Life Expectancy, Appendix C, Publication 590

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 24-Apr-2014