Traditional IRA withdrawal rules

Traditional IRAs can be a smart solution to increase your tax-deferred retirement savings.

With a Traditional, Rollover, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA, you make contributions on a pre-tax basis (if your income is under a certain level and certain other qualifications) and pay no taxes until you withdraw money. IRA withdrawal rules and penalty details vary depending on your age. 

Age 59½ and under: Early IRA withdrawal penalties—with some exceptions

Your deductible contributions and earnings (including dividends, interest, and capital gains) will be taxed as ordinary income. The U.S. government charges a 10% penalty on early withdrawals from a Traditional IRA, and a state tax penalty may also apply. You can learn more at IRS Publication 590-B.

First-time home purchase
Some types of home purchases are eligible. Funds must be used within 120 days, and there is a pre-tax lifetime limit of $10,000.

Educational expenses
Some educational expenses for yourself and your immediate family are eligible.

Disability or death
If you're disabled, you can withdraw IRA funds without penalty. If you pass away, there are no withdrawal penalties for your beneficiaries.

Medical expenses
You can avoid an early withdrawal penalty if you use the funds to pay unreimbursed medical expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Birth or adoption expenses
New parents can now withdraw up to $5,000 from a retirement account to pay for birth and/or adoption expenses penalty-free.

Health insurance
If you're unemployed for at least 12 weeks, you may withdraw funds to pay health insurance premiums for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents.

Periodic payments
You can avoid an early withdrawal penalty if you choose to receive your funds on a regular distribution schedule.1

Involuntary IRA distribution
If an IRA distribution is the result of an IRS tax levy, IRS Form 5329 explains how to claim your penalty exception.

Reservist IRA distributions
Members of the National Guard and reservists can take penalty-free distributions if they are called to active duty for at least 180 days. Some restrictions apply.

Qualified disaster
IRA owners in a Federally Declared Disaster Area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who have sustained an economic loss can withdraw up to $22,000 per disaster.

Domestic abuse
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you may withdraw up to $10,000 (subject to cost-of-living adjustments starting in 2025) or 50% of your balance, whichever is less within one year of the abuse.

Emergency personal expenses
You may take a $1,000 withdrawal, once in a calendar year, for the purpose of an unforeseeable or immediate financial need. No additional emergency expense distributions are allowed during the following calendar year unless repayment occurs, or you make a Traditional or Roth IRA contribution in the amount equal to the distribution amount that has not been repaid.

Repayment of certain distributions

You may be able to pay all or a portion of certain distributions such as Qualified Birth or Adoption, Terminal Illness, Domestic Abuse, Emergency Personal Expenses, and Qualified Disaster Recovery. Please consult with your tax advisor and you can learn more at IRS Publication 590-A.

Age 59½ and over: No Traditional IRA withdrawal restrictions

Once you reach age 59½, you can withdraw funds from your Traditional IRA without restrictions or penalties. You can make a penalty-free IRA withdrawal at any time during this period, but if you had contributed pre-tax dollars to your Traditional IRA, remember that your deductible contributions and earnings (including dividends, interest, and capital gains) will be taxed as ordinary income.

In other words, you will now owe the taxes that you originally deferred. You can keep taking advantage of tax-deferred contributions regardless of your age as long as you have earned income. But you will be required to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year you turn age 73.

Learn more about Traditional IRA rules >

Age 73 and over: Required minimum withdrawals are mandatory

Once you turn 73, you must start taking annual RMDs from your Traditional IRA. Your first RMD must be taken by April 1 of the year following the year you reach age 73. Every year thereafter you must take an RMD by December 31.

The amount of your RMD is calculated by dividing the value of your Traditional IRA by a life expectancy factor, as determined by the IRS. You can always withdraw more than the RMD, but remember that all distributions are taxed as income. If you don't make withdrawals, you'll be subject to pay a penalty.

Under SECURE 2.0, if you don't take your RMD by the IRS deadline, a 25% excise tax on insufficient or late RMD withdrawals applies. If the RMD is corrected timely, the penalty can be reduced down to 10%. Follow the IRS guidelines and consult your tax advisor. Learn more about RMDs.

Take the next step

Call 866-855-5635 or

Questions? We're ready to help.