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Required Minimum Distributions

What is a required minimum distribution?

For certain types of retirement accounts, the IRS mandates that you begin to withdraw a set amount of money annually at age 70½. These withdrawals are called required minimum distributions (RMDs). 

RMDs apply to accounts including traditional IRAs, traditional and Roth 401(k)s, 403(b)s, SEP-IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs. You are not required to take RMDs from Roth IRAs.

Timing of distributions

RMD payments must begin in the year you reach age 70½. You have until April 1 of the next year to take your first distribution, and each annual distribution must be taken by December 31 in the following years.

After making your first RMD, you may withdraw your annual RMD in one distribution or make withdrawals periodically throughout the year, but the total annual minimum amount must be withdrawn by December 31. 

Calculating your RMD

RMDs are calculated using the year-end balance for all of your individual IRAs as of the prior year, divided by a life expectancy factor published by the IRS.

You may not use withdrawals from Roth IRAs to satisfy RMD requirements.

Withdrawal options with multiple IRAs

RMDs must be calculated for each individual IRA you own, but you may add these amounts together and take your distribution from a single account. You can always withdraw more than the required amount in a given year, but any excess amount cannot be credited toward future distributions.


Distributions from IRAs are included in your gross income and are taxed at your normal tax rate. You may elect to have taxes withheld from your distribution.


If you don't take a minimum distribution or don't take the entire required amount, there may be an excess accumulation penalty of 50% on the amount not distributed. You will be expected to withdraw the required amount from your IRA in addition to paying the penalty.

Investment companies report all distributions on client accounts to the IRS annually.

Due to the technical nature of RMD calculations and the potential penalties for miscalculation, you may want to consult a tax advisor for guidance.

Do you need help with your Wells Fargo Funds RMD? If so, please contact us.

  • Call 1-800-359-3379. We can help you calculate your RMD amount, and if your account options allow for it, you may transact over the phone.
  • Complete and mail an IRA Distribution Request form in order to:
    • Request a one-time distribution be mailed to you, deposited into your bank account, or transferred to another account.
    • Request a periodic distribution for your RMD that will be taken automatically each year.

Any tax or legal information on this website is merely a summary of our understanding and interpretations of some of the current income tax regulations and is not exhaustive. Investors should consult their tax advisor or legal counsel for advice and information concerning their particular situation. Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC; Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC; or any of their representatives may not give legal or tax advice.