Retirement brochure  


Required Minimum Distributions

Questions and answers


What is a required minimum distribution?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to start withdrawing money from your before-tax and Roth 403(b) account at the later of age 72 (age 70½ if reached prior to January 1, 2020) or the calendar year you retire from an employer through which you contributed. These withdrawals are called required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Your minimum distribution is a function of your account balance and your life expectancy.

Rolling over your Roth 403(b) to a Roth IRA any time prior to the year in which you turn age 72 will eliminate the need to take an RMD on this portion of your 403(b). If you rollover after age 72, your current year RMD must be taken prior to rollover.

How is my RMD calculated?

WEA Member Benefits will assist you in calculating your RMD. Each year we will notify you of the requirement to withdraw. Here’s how to calculate your RMD:

Take the prior year-end account balance and divide by your life expectancy factor for the year of distribution. For most individuals, you are able to use the Uniform Life Expectancy Table (below) to obtain the life expectancy factor. However, if your beneficiary is your spouse and he/she is more than 10 years younger than you, the IRS allows us to apply a more liberal life expectancy factor. You can call us to obtain this joint life expectancy factor. You can also get it from the IRS by referencing Appendix C, Table III, of Publication 590.
Uniform Life Expectancy Table*  
AgeLife Expectancy FactorAgeLife Expectancy Factor
*Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Traditional IRA

Like the 403(b), a Traditional IRA also requires RMDs to start at age 72 (age 70½ if reached prior to January 1, 2020). However, unlike the 403(b), you cannot delay the RMD past age 72, even if you continue to work. The calculation is obtained by taking the prior year-end balance divided by your life expectancy factor. As is with the 403(b) RMD, you may also use the Joint Life Expectancy Factor if your primary beneficiary is your spouse and he or she is 10 or more years younger than you.

What should I do when I need to take my first RMD?

In the year you reach age 72 (age 70½ if reached prior to January 1, 2020), WEA Member Benefits will send you an RMD notice. Please contact WEA Member Benefits to assist you in setting up your RMD schedule. This will establish ongoing RMD instructions to process your RMD. After your initial setup, Member Benefits will send you a notice annually reminding you of the RMD. If you wish to change the initial setup instructions, you will need to complete a new 403(b) or Traditional IRA Required Minimum Distributions Setup Instructions form.

You will face an IRS 50% penalty on any undistributed RMDs.

How we do business

Our vision at WEA Member Benefits, “Every Member Financially Secure”, is more than words. It represents the fundamental reason for our existence—to serve Wisconsin public school employees. It also reflects our commitment to helping you achieve your financial dreams.

TSA 2620-280-0120(W)

Effective January 2020. Policies and programs described are subject to change at any time.