[Skip to Content]

Beneficiary Required Minimum Distributions

When you are the beneficiary of a retirement plan, specific IRS rules regulate the minimum withdrawals you must take. If you want to simply take your inherited money right now and pay taxes, you can. But if you want to defer taxes as long as possible, there are certain distribution requirements with which you must comply. Use this calculator to determine your Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) as a beneficiary of a retirement account.

These calculators only apply to the first generation beneficiary not a second generation beneficiary. In the event of the first beneficiaries death, the second beneficiary should contact their own tax advisor for information on the appropriate RMD calculation.

Beneficiary Required Minimum Distributions Definitions

Calculation notes
This calculator follows the latest IRS rules and life expectancy tables which were finalized on April 16th, 2002. These new IRS regulations were optional in 2002 but became mandatory as of January 1st, 2003. If you have questions, please consult with your own tax advisor regarding your specific situation.
Life expectancy calculations
Life expectancy is usually determined using the Single Life Expectancy table and the beneficiary's age on 12/31 of the year following the owner's death. However, if this is not the first year of distribution for the beneficiary, there is an additional step. First, we find the original life expectancy using the Single Life Expectancy table and the beneficiary's age on 12/31 of the year following the owner's death. Then, the current life expectancy is calculated by subtracting one for each year that has passed, from the original life expectancy. Likewise, in all future years, the remaining life expectancy is calculated by subtracting one for each additional year that has passed. It is not allowed to lookup or 'recalculate' a new starting life expectancy after distributions have begun.

If the account owner was younger than the beneficiary, and it was past the required begin date for distributions when the account owner died, the beneficiary can choose to use the account owner's life expectancy to calculate Required Minimum Distributions (RMD). In this special case, the result will always produce a lower RMD. If this situation occurs, this calculator will use the account owner's age when calculating RMDs. Other than using the account owner's age at death, the calculation is identical to the one stated above.

Beneficiary's name
Please enter the account beneficiary's name.
Name of account
Please enter the name of the account for this analysis.
Beneficiary's birthdate
Please enter the account beneficiary's birthdate.
Hypothetical Interest rate
This is the expected rate of return on your account. This is only used to help project your future account balances (which of course will impact your required minimum distribution). The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500® (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending December 31st 2017, had an annual compounded rate of return of 8.3%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1, 1970 to December 31st 2017, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500®, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.6% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that investment funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Amount Subject to RMD
Mutual fund accounts and Thrivent fixed annuity contracts use the previous year-end value. Variable annuity contracts use the actuarial year-end contract value, which may include living and death benefits, when determining the RMD amount. For Thrivent products, contact the Customer Interaction Department at 888-422-5737 and say 'variable annuity' to obtain the actuarial value on variable annuities. For non-Thrivent variable annuity contracts, contact the issuing company for this information.
Date of the original account owner's death
Please enter the date of the original account owner's death.
Plan type
Please enter the plan type. The plan type can affect distributions if the account owner is younger than the beneficiary and RMDs have already begun.
Original account owner's birth date
Please enter the original account owner's birth date.