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Required Minimum Distribution

New York Teacher

Do you participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System’s and the Board of Education Retirement System’s Tax-Deferred Annuity programs? If so, you may be required to receive a distribution from your account this year. The Internal Revenue Service requires Tax-Deferred Annuity participants to begin receiving Required Minimum Distributions — RMDs — from their TDA account in the year they reach the age of 70½ if they have separated from service and elected TDA deferral status.

If you are required to take an RMD, TRS and BERS will notify you by mail by the end of April. Your RMD is calculated based upon your account balance on Dec. 31 of the preceding year. This mailing will include a notification letter that shows your RMD amount and an RMD Election Form.

TRS and BERS will also enclose a copy of the “Required Minimum Distributions for Members” brochure, which will help you better understand the RMD rules.

By completing and returning the RMD Election Form, you will be informing TRS and BERS how you plan to satisfy your RMD requirement. Your choices are:

  • Receive a payment from TRS and BERS in the amount of your RMD;
  • Annuitize your entire TDA balance (if you are retired or are retiring);
  • Receive a payment from another 403 (b) plan; or
  • Receive one or more direct withdrawals from the TRS and BERS.

If TRS and BERS does not receive your election form by the deadline indicated on your notification letter, TRS and BERS will issue a payment to you for the entire amount of your 2017 RMD, less any direct withdrawals received during 2017, at the end of the year.
If you are not required to receive an RMD at the time of the April mailing because you are an active member on payroll, but you separate from service subsequently this year and are at least age 70½, you will be required to receive an RMD. TRS and BERS will contact you. Since this would be the first year you would be required to take an RMD, the IRS will extend your deadline to receive an RMD until the first business day of April 2019.

This extension also holds true for those members attaining the age of 70½ who already separated from service. If 2018 is the first year that you are required to take an RMD, you will be able to delay the RMD until the beginning of 2019. This election can be made on the RMD Election Form and must be received by TRS and BERS before the deadline. You should be aware that the extension only applies to your first RMD. If you choose to delay the receipt of your first RMD, you will receive two RMD’s in 2019.

For more details about RMD requirements, please refer to IRS Publications 571, “Tax-Sheltered Annuity Program (403 (b) Plans) for Employees of Public Schools and Certain Tax-Exempt Organizations,” which may be accessed at You may also order this publication by calling the IRS at 800-829-1040.