Solo 401k Plan: Answers to your Year-End Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Questions

Solo 401k RMD FAQs

Q. Which table do I use to calculate my Solo 401k Plan RMD?

A: For lifetime distributions to Solo 401k Plan participant, you have two tables to choose from:

Uniform Lifetime Table–this table is usually used if the Solo 401k participant is not married; or

IRS Joint Life Tables–used if the Solo 401k participant’s spouse is more than ten (10) years younger than him or her and is the sole beneficiary the entire year.

Q: I don’t have enough liquid cash in my Solo 401k | Self-Directed 401k to take my RMD because all of my Solo 401k funds are invested in real estate. What should I do?

A: The IRS still requires that you take you RMD. Therefore, you will need to re-register part of the real estate by deeding it to your personal name to satisfy RMD, and report it on form 1099-R. Alternatively, you have option to sell part of the real estate and then distribute the proceeds to satisfy the RMD.

Q: I’m over 72 years old but still self-employed. Do I still have to take required minimum distribution RMD from my Solo 401k | Self-Directed 401k?

A:  If you reached age 72 in 2020, you are required to take your first RMD by April 1, 2021 if you did not already take it in 2020. The IRS requires the self-employed who have a Solo 401k to take RMDs.

Recent legislation, commonly known as the Secure Act, raises the age for required minimum distributions to 72 beginning in 2020. However, if you turned 70 1/2 in 2019, 2018 or prior years, you still have to continue taking RMDs even if you have not yet reached age 72.

IMPORTANT:  Required Minimum Distributions are waived for 2020 under The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

  •  The  CARES Act legislation waives the requirement for any RMD from a solo 401k plan that is required to be paid in 2020. This includes 2019 RMDs having a required beginning date of April 1, 2020. For more information on the CARES Act, VISIT HERE.

Confusion exists with respect to those who own less than 5% of the company not having to begin making distributions until April 1st following the year you retire, but, again, this exception does not apply to the self-employed because you typically own more than 5% of the company.

More RMD Information

The required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations require a Solo 401k participant to begin distribution no later than his required beginning date (RBD) and to continue such distributions over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the participant and a designated beneficiary.

If the solo 401k participants fails to take the RMD, she would be subject to an excess accumulation penalty equivalent to 50 percent of the amount that should have been distributed but was not.

The RMD is typically calculated by dividing the account balance by the applicable distribution period. The account balance is generally the balance as of the last valuation date in the calendar year immediately preceding a year for which an RMD is due.

Calculating my Solo 401k RMD

For existing and prospective clients, we will calculate your RMD and prepare form 1099-R, the form used for reporting distributions including RMDs from Solo 401ks at no extra cost. Please e-mail us at [email protected] if you would like us to calculate your RMD.

Contribute to Solo 401k While Taking RMDs QUESTION:

Even though I am required to take required minimum distributions from my solo 401k plan since I am over age 72, can I still make annual contributions to to the solo 401k plan?

Good question, and yes you can still contribute to the solo 401k plan and the contributions would be tax-deductible if made to the pretax solo 401k account. In other words, you can still make solo 401k contributions based on your net self-employment income even though you are also required to take RMDs. This contribution exception is not afforded to IRAs once you are required to take RMDs.

Lastly, visit our following blogs for more information on RMDs, and Form 1099-R reporting.

Delay Taking Solo 401k RMDs QUESTION:

If my wife and I wish to continue to work after 70.5 years of age, can we defer the RMD?

Good question, and no you cannot delay taking RMDs from solo 401k plans. Reason being, solo 401k plans are for owner-only businesses so RMDs cannot be delayed until you stop working like you can when you work for a full-time employer that sponsors/offers the the 401k plan where you are not  a 5% owner. This rule is addressed in the following IRS page:

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About Mark Nolan

Each day I speak with energetic entrepreneurs looking to take the plunge into a new venture and small business owners eager to take control of their retirement savings. I am passionate about helping others find their financial independence. Having worked for over 20 years with some of the top retirement account custodian and insurance companies I have a deep and extensive knowledge of the complexities of self-directed 401ks and IRAs as well as retirement plan regulations. Learn more about Mark Nolan and My Solo 401k Financial >>

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