What is a required minimum distribution?

If you turn 72 during the current tax year, you are required to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your traditional IRA, 401(k) and SEP IRA accounts. If you became 72 in a prior year, you must withdraw your RMD for this year by December 31. Failing to take a RMD could result in a penalty equal to 50% of the required withdrawal amount.