Personal Finance

Two Accounts, Same Amounts, but Different RMDs for Surviving Spouse

Natalie Choate

Question: Husband "Mike" died in 2015 at age 81, owning an IRA and a 403(b) account. Each account was worth $100,000 on Dec. 31, 2015.

Mike had already taken his 2015 required minimum distributions (RMDs) from both accounts prior to his death. Wife "Betsy" (who survived him and is still living) was named as sole beneficiary of both accounts. She turns 80 this year (2016). Betsy wants to roll or transfer both of these inherited accounts into her own IRA. She understands that, beginning in 2017, she will be taking RMDs from her IRA that are based on the new larger balance due to these rollovers.