There are a lot of retirements plans to choose from.  They can be a defined benefit/401k plan or pension plan, defined contribution plans such as IRA's,401ks, profit planning plans, employee stock option plans (ESOP's), employee sharing plans (ESP's). 

The IRS has rules specific to the type of retirement account you have. For example, you cant keep retirement funds in your account forever. You will have to start taking withdrawls from your IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA or retirement plan account when you turn 70 1/2. However, Roth IRA's don't require withdrawls until after the death of the owner.Your withdrawls are called 'required minimum distributions' otherwise called RMD's. You can withdraw more than the minimum required amount. Also, your RMD's will be included in your taxable income except for any part that was taxed before or that can be received tax free. To determine what your RMD is for the year, you can use the worksheet the IRS provides: RMD worksheet.  To determine when your first RMD is required, you will follow these IRS guidelines:

1. IRAS (including SEP and SIMPLE IRAS):April 1 of the year following the calendar year you reach age 70 1/2.

2. 401(k), profit sharing, 403(b) or other defined benefit contribution plan: Generally, April 1 following the later of the calendar year you reach age 70 1/2 or retire.

Additionally, for each year following the year after your RMD beginning date, you must withdraw your RMD by December 31st.

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