By Ian Berger, JD
IRA Analyst


I turn 70 1/2 in 2020. Since I do not have to take a required minimum distribution (RMD), how much can I do in a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) this year?



Hi Ronnie,

Even though you won’t have an RMD for 2020, that doesn’t affect your ability to take a QCD at age 70 ½. One of the benefits of taking a QCD is to have it count towards the RMD. However, QCDs can be taken in amounts in excess of the RMD (up to the $100,000 annual limit) and can even be taken in years (such as 2020 in your case) when there is no RMD. Just be sure not to initiate the QCD before you are actually 70 ½.


Hello Mr. Slott:

I just read your article regarding the new SECURE Act, Good-bye Stretch IRA.  I have one question.  With the age limit for making IRA contributions lifted for as long as you work, if you are still working at the new RMD age of 72, will you also have to begin taking the required minimum distributions while still making IRA contributions?  That’s one area that wasn’t specifically addressed in your article.

Thank you,



Hi Terry.

This is one of the strange consequences of the new SECURE Act rule that lifted the age 70 ½ limit for traditional IRA contributions. You will still be required to take RMDs on your IRAs beginning for the year you turn 72 – even if you are still making new IRA contributions. This “in-and-out” of contributions and RMDs, which has been typical of SEP and SIMPLE plans, now also applies to traditional IRAs.