Can I Skip RMDs at 77 While Still Working? Exploring RMD Exceptions for Seniors

If you’re 77 and still working, do you need to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your 401(k)? Certified financial planner Brandon Renfro explains the rules for RMDs and the requirements surrounding them.

Bea wants to know whether she is required to take an RMD from her 401(k) even though she is still employed. Brandon Renfro confirms that it’s an IRS rule – if you are still working, you don’t have to take an RMD from your current 401(k), as long as your employer doesn’t require it.

The government mandates RMDs to ensure that you don’t keep your retirement savings in tax-deferred accounts forever. The amount you’re required to withdraw depends on your age and your account type, and recently, the rules have seen changes, such as an increase in the RMD age to 72 under the SECURE Act of 2019.

Under certain circumstances, individuals are exempt from taking RMDs depending on their employment status and the type of retirement accounts they own. For example, if you have a 401(k) from a former employer, you still need to take RMDs from that account unless you roll the funds over into your current plan.

Overall, as long as you are employed, you are not required to take an RMD from your current employer’s retirement plan. However, RMDs are still applicable to Roth accounts and retirement accounts from former employers.

To assist with retirement planning, especially RMDs, consider consulting with a financial advisor. SmartAsset’s free tool can help you find vetted financial advisors who can provide guidance on your financial goals. Brandon Renfro, a SmartAsset financial planning columnist, can help answer personal finance and tax-related questions – you can email your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have it answered in a future column.


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