Solo 401k RMD vs IRA RMD: Comparison Chart

This chart lists the general RMD rules that apply to IRAs and solo 401k plans.

Required Minimum Distributions for Account Owners

IRAs including SEP, SIMPLE and SARSEP IRAs

Solo 401k Plans

When do I take my first RMD (the required beginning date)?You must take your first RMD by April 1 of the year following the year in which you turn 70½, regardless of whether you are still employed.Same as IRA rule
When do I reach age 70½?You reach age 70½ on the date that is 6 calendar months after the date of your 70th birthday.

Example: Your 70th birthday was June 30, 2010. You reached age 70½ on December 30, 2010. You must take your first RMD (for 2010) by April 1, 2011.

Example: Your 70th birthday was July 1, 2010. You reached age 70½ on January 1, 2011. You do not have an RMD for 2010. You must take your first RMD (for 2011) by April 1, 2012.

Same as IRA rule
What is the deadline for taking subsequent RMDs after the first RMD?After the first RMD, you must take subsequent RMDs by December 31 of each year beginning with the calendar year containing your required beginning date.

Example: You turn 70½ on July 15, 2010. You must take your first RMD, for 2010, by April 1, 2011. You must take your second RMD, for 2011, by December 31, 2011, and your third RMD, for 2012, by December 31, 2012.

Same as IRA rule
How do I calculate my RMD?Your RMD is generally determined by dividing the adjusted market value of your IRAs as of December 31 of the preceding year by the distribution period that corresponds with your age in the Uniform Lifetime Table (Table III in IRS Publication 590-B, Distributions Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)).

If your spouse is your sole beneficiary and is more than 10 years younger than you, you will use the Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy Table (Table II in IRS Publication 590-B).

Required Minimum Distribution Worksheets

Same as IRA rule

Your solo 401k provider should assist you in calculating the RMD.

How should I take my RMDs if I have multiple accounts?If you have more than one IRA, you must calculate the RMD for each IRA separately each year. However, you may aggregate your RMD amounts for all of your IRAs and withdraw the total from one IRA or a portion from each of your IRAs. You do not have to take a separate RMD from each IRA.If you have more than one defined contribution plan, you must calculate and satisfy your RMDs separately for each plan and withdraw that amount from that plan. For example, if you contribute to your day-time job 401k, you would take an RMD from that 401k; and if you have a solo 401k plan, you would take an additional RMD from the solo 401k plan.


May I withdraw more than the RMD?Yes, an IRA owner can always withdraw more than the RMD. You cannot apply excess withdrawals toward future years’ RMDs.Same as IRA rule
May I take more than one withdrawal in a year to meet my RMD?You may withdraw your annual RMD in any number of distributions throughout the year, as long as you withdraw the total annual minimum amount by December 31 (or April 1 if it is for your first RMD).Same as IRA rule
What happens if I do not take the RMD?If the distributions to you in any year are less than the RMD for that year, you are subject to an additional tax equal to 50% of the undistributed RMD.Same as IRA rule

Note:  There are no RMD requirements for a Roth IRA while the owner is alive. However, designated Roth Solo 401k accounts are subject to the RMD rules; for this reason, solo 401k owners will often transfer their Roth Solo 401k to a Roth IRA.

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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