By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF®
IRA Analyst


Hi Ed,

My question:

Is there any way to do a charitable distribution from my IRA before I reach RMD age? I am recently retired and 65 years old.




Marty – The number-one requirement to be able to do a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is that the IRA account owner must be 70 ½ years old. We are not talking about the year in which you turn 70 ½, we are talking about actually being 70 ½. In fact, even on inherited IRAs, where the deceased account owner may have already reached 70 ½, it does not change the fact that the current account owner of the inherited IRA must also be 70 ½ before they can do a QCD. Indeed, you could take a taxable withdrawal from your IRA and subsequently donate the funds to charity, but it would not be a “QCD.”



Can I make a QCD from my employer-sponsored plans 403b, 457 and federal thrift plans or only from my IRA plans?

Thanks for your help.


QCDs can only be taken from IRA accounts. QCDs are also not available from active SEP or SIMPLE plans, but are allowed from inactive SEP and SIMPLEs. (The IRS defines an inactive SEP or SIMPLE as one that is not receiving a contribution for the year of the QCD.) If you have access to your workplace dollars, you are permitted to roll over all or a portion of those monies to an IRA and then take the QCD from the IRA. But be careful! If you are looking to offset the work plan RMD with a QCD, it can’t be done. RMDs cannot be rolled over. The plan RMD would need to be taken first. Then, anything above and beyond the plan RMD amount could be rolled over to an IRA where a QCD could then be done.