How is the amount of the RMD calculated?

January 26th, 2011

Generally, a RMD is calculated for each account by dividing the prior December 31st balance of that IRA or retirement plan account by a life expectancy factor that IRS publishes in Tables in Publication 590Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). There are three separate tables:

  • The Joint and Last Survivor Table is used by an account owner whose sole beneficiary of the account is his or her spouse and is more than 10 years younger than the account owner;
  • The Uniform Lifetime Table is used by account owners whose spouse is not the sole beneficiary or whose spouse is not more than 10 years younger; and
  • The Single Life Expectancy Table  is used by a beneficiary of an account.