Q. I turned 70½ last year but I’m still running my company. Do I have to take 401(k) and IRA distributions this year? L.S., Sandwich, Mass.
A. Yes, and do it fast. The basic rule is that you must take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from qualified plans by no later than April 1 of the year following the year you reach age 70½. There’s an exception if you’re still working full time for the plan’s employer, but it doesn’t apply if you own 5% or more of the company. Based on these facts, you should take an RMD from your 401(k) by April 1 and then another for 2014 before the end of this year. Ditto for your IRA(s).
Tip: The RMD exception for folks who are still working isn’t allowed for IRAs in any event.