Skip to main content
Important: We are in the process of making updates to underlying assumptions of this tool as a result of the SECURE Act. Please note the following important changes which may apply to you and may limit the results of the analysis shown.

If you were age 70 1/2 or older as of 12/31/2019, you would be required to take a required minimum distribution ("RMD") for 2019. Effective 1/1/2020, in accordance with new legislation, the required beginning date for RMDs for individuals who turn age 70 1/2 on or after 1/1/20 is age 72. You may defer your first RMD until April 1 in the year after you turn age 70 1/2 or 72, as applicable, but then you’d be required to take two distributions in that year.

If you were age 70 1/2 or older in 2019, you would not be able to make a traditional IRA contribution for 2019. Effective January 1, 2020, in accordance with new legislation, anyone may make a traditional IRA contribution for 2020 if they have earned income regardless of their age. Note that a spouse can also contribute on behalf of a spouse who has no earned income, provided the contributing spouse has enough earned income to cover the contributions.

What are required minimum distributions?

Once you reach age 70½, the IRS requires you to withdraw a minimum amount each year from certain IRAs. These withdrawals are called required minimum distributions or RMDs.
To get an idea of how much you must withdraw, use our RMD Calculator.

What you need to know

You must withdraw your RMD each year by December 31. However, if you're taking your RMD for the first time, you have until April 1 the year after you turn 70½ to make your withdrawal.1 Rules governing RMDs can be complex, so be sure to discuss your distribution with a tax advisor.

Setting up transfers

You can now set up, edit or cancel your RMDs online. Use the Transfers & Withdrawals page to set up one-time or recurring transfers from your IRAs. You can have distributions transferred to a Merrill Edge Cash Management Account, a Bank of America checking or savings account, or an externally linked account. You also can use the Transfers & Withdrawals page to arrange to receive your distribution by check.

Let us help

Our convenient RMD service allows you to authorize Merrill Lynch to automatically calculate and distribute your annual RMD from your IRAs to a Merrill Edge® or Bank of America account, or to an account at another financial institution, based on your instructions.
  • We will automatically calculate your distribution to help ensure your RMD is taken each year, avoiding potential additional taxes.
  • The service also helps ensure that you do not over- or under-distribute in a given year.

1 If you elect to take your first distribution by April 1 of the following year, you will be required to take another distribution during that year as well.

If you have other assets, income, and investments that are not included in this analysis, they will not factor into any of the analysis or results. In applying this information to your individual situation, you should consider all of your assets, income, and investments, including those that are not taken into account in this analysis.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.


Need help?
To learn more about RMDs and our RMD Service, contact us at
888.MER.EDGE (888.637.3343)