IRS Issues Guidance on 2009 Required Minimum Distributions for Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

October 2009

As a means of alleviating some of the financial burdens on older Americans in these unprecedented economic times by allowing participants to retain investments in their retirement accounts and perhaps recoup lost value prior to distribution, the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (the "Act") suspended required minimum distributions ("RMDs") for calendar year 2009. This temporary relief applies to defined contribution retirement plans—including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, certain 457(b) plans and IRA accounts. The relief does not, however, apply to defined benefit retirement plans and, as noted below, RMDs for 2008 were not suspended even if not paid until 2009.

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