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Can I Defer my RMD Until I Retire

Last Updated October 8, 2015


I am 75 years old and still working. I make enough to cover my living and other expenses, and do not need (or want) to make withdrawals from my 401(k) accounts and pension savings, all of which are held with former employers.  I was told that I could put off starting my required minimum distributions for all of these accounts until I retire. Is that true?



No. The option to defer starting your required minimum distribution (RMD) past age 70 ½ until you retire only applies to the amounts that are held with the company that you currently work for.

For the amounts that are held with companies for which you are no longer an employee, your RMD amounts must be taken every year.  If your current employer’s plans you to defer starting your RMDs until you retire and it allows rollovers from other plans, you can rollover your balances from those plans from your former employers into the plan held with your current employer. This would allow you to defer your starting your RMDs until you retire. Caution: If you are rolling over amounts from amounts held with your former employers, you must take the RMD due for the year before completing the rollover.

Note: The Option to defer RMDs past age 70 ½ does not apply to IRAs, including SEP and SIMPLE IRAs


 Answer provided by Denise Appleby,CISP, CRC, CRPS, CRSP, APA