What is the deadline for taking RMDs?

You must withdraw your RMD amount from your IRA, 401(k), etc., by December 31st of each year.

The one exception to this December 31st deadline is your very first RMD. Your first RMD can be taken as late as April 1st in the year following the year in which you turn either 70 ½ or 72, depending on timing, which is explained further below.

  • If you turn 72 in 2021 or before, you must start taking your first RMD on April 1, 2022. Your next RMD will be due at the end of the year in 2022. You could choose to take your first one in 2021 and the second one in 2022, or, you could take both in 2022—one before April 1, and one before December 31. After that point, you’ll take one by the end of each year.

If you want to help maximize your tax-deferred growth, and do not need to use the funds for living expenses, we recommend taking your RMDs towards the end of the year each year, rather than at the beginning.

Because it usually takes up to one business day for withdrawals to transact here at Betterment, do not wait up until the last minute to take your RMD. It’s best to put in your withdrawal request online at least a few business days before the deadline.

Example 1

Sarah will be 72 on May 5, 2021 so she must take her first RMD by April 1st, 2022, and her second RMD by December 31st, 2022.

She can choose to take her first RMD at any time during 2021 (the year she turns 72), and does not have to wait until her birthday that year.