McCain, Obama Back Loosening RMD Rules

October 10, 2008 ( - Retirees feeling hemmed in by minimum distribution requirements got some support from the two leading presidential candidates.

On Friday. GOP Presidential candidate Senator John McCain called for the suspension of the minimum distribution requirements that “mandate that investors must begin to sell off their IRAs and 401Ks when they reach age 70 and one half.”  

On that point, at least, the two major Presidential candidates could find common ground.   That same day the Obama campaign issued a statement supporting McCain’s retirement-account proposal – with a slight twist.   “Barack Obama supports allowing senior citizens to delay withdrawals from 401(k)s and believes we don’t have to wait for Congress to act to provide seniors with these protections,” spokesman Bill Burton said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“He’s calling on the Treasury Secretary to temporarily suspend Treasury regulations and allow seniors to delay these withdrawals,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a press release.

According to IRS rules, IRA holders and owners of 5% or more of a business must begin taking distributions from the plan no later than April 1 of the year after they attain the age of 70 ½, retired or not.    Those still working do not need to take a distribution from a company plan, but will have a RMD from IRAs or previous employers’ retirement accounts under a significant simplification of the rules unveiled in 2002.