Five-Year Rule

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DEFINITION of 'Five-Year Rule'

If a retirement account owner dies before the required beginning date for receiving distributions, the beneficiary may distribute the inherited assets over his/her (the beneficiary's) life expectancy or distribute the assets under the five-year rule. Under the five-year rule, the assets must be distributed by December 31 of the fifth year since the retirement account owner's death.

BREAKING DOWN 'Five-Year Rule'

The five-year rule does not apply if the IRA owner dies after the required beginning date (RBD).

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Does the five-year rule apply if a non-spouse inherits an IRA after the required ...

    The five-year rule applies only when the IRA owner dies before the required beginning date (RBD). If the IRA owner dies after ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can you buy penny stocks in an IRA?

    It is possible to trade penny stocks through an individual retirement accounts, or IRA. However, penny stocks are generally ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can I use my IRA to pay for my college loans?

    If you are older than 59.5 and have been contributing to your IRA for more than five years, you may withdraw funds to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why are IRA, Roth IRAs and 401(k) contributions limited?

    Contributions to IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS to prevent the very wealthy ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do you calculate penalties on an IRA or Roth IRA early withdrawal?

    With a few exceptions, early withdrawals from traditional or Roth IRAs generally incur a tax penalty equal to 10% of the ... Read Full Answer >>

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