News Release

FINRA Offers What You Need to Know About Required Minimum Distributions in Traditional IRAs

WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today issued an Investor Alert with answers to 10 commonly asked questions about required minimum distributions (RMDs) – the smallest amount you can withdraw each year from a traditional retirement savings plan once you've reached the mandatory age for making withdrawals, usually 70 1/2.

"RMD rules are complex, and if this is the first time you are taking a distribution, you may want to consult with a tax professional," said Gerri Walsh, Senior VP of Investor Education at FINRA. "Our alert is designed to provide basic information and answer a number of vital questions about RMDs.  Making a mistake can result in tax penalties, so it’s important to be informed."

The alert focuses on RMDs from traditional IRAs because these are the type of retirement accounts where individuals are directly responsible for computing required minimum distributions. It defines RMDs, explains how they are calculated, and answers questions about missed withdrawals, taking out more than the minimum amount, managing multiple accounts, what happens if the account owner or IRA owner dies before RMDs have begun, and a number of other "what if" scenarios. The advisory also provides links to additional information from the Internal Revenue Service.

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Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA's BrokerCheck. FINRA makes BrokerCheck available at no charge. In 2015, members of the public used this service to conduct 71 million reviews of broker or firm records. Investors can access BrokerCheck at or by calling (800) 289-9999. Investors may find copies of this disciplinary action as well as other disciplinary documents in FINRA's Disciplinary Actions Online database. Investors can also call FINRA's Securities Helpline for Seniors at (844) 57-HELPS for assistance or to raise concerns about issues they have with their brokerage accounts and investments.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, and informing and educating the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit