By Sarah Brenner, JD
Director of Retirement Education
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My name is Bruce. I am 65 years old, and I have a question about the SECURE Act.

My mother died at age 89 on April 19, 2023, and I inherited her IRA. She had been receiving RMDs for years and most recently filed her 2022 tax return indicating she had received her last RMD in December 2022.

I am confused about the 10-year requirement to exhaust all the monies in the inherited IRA account. I have read portions of IRS Publication 509-B, and I thought that I could withdraw whatever amount I wanted as long as all money is exhausted at 10 years after my mother’s death.

But upon further research, it looks like I need to withdraw money (an RMD) from my IRA by December 31, 2023, and annually thereafter until 10-year rule is exhausted.

Thank you.


Hi Bruce,

You are not alone! There has been much confusion about the 10-year rule that applies to many beneficiaries after the SECURE Act.

Initially after the SECURE Act was enacted back in 2020, it was believed by most that there would be no annual distributions required during the 10-year payout period. However, the IRS took a different position in its proposed regulations released in 2022. In the proposed regulations, the IRS said that if the account owner died after RMDs were required to start, then RMDs must continue during the 10-year period. (In your case, the first annual RMD would be required in 2024, the year after the year of your mother’s death, not in 2023.)

This was a surprise to many, so the IRS has stepped in and said that no penalties will be assessed for RMDs not taken during the 10-year period for 2021, 2022 and 2023. We will have to wait for future guidance to determine whether you must an RMD in 2024 (the first year of your 10-year period) or in future years.

However, as your mother’s IRA beneficiary, you must definitely take the RMD your mother would have taken in 2023 had she not died. This year-of-death RMD must be taken by the due date of your 2023 tax return, including extensions.



I know that there are provisions in SECURE 2.0 to move 529 funds to a Roth IRA beginning in 2024, but I would like to know if the same is true for Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)?

Thank you,



Hi Richard,

SECURE 2.0 allows funds from a 529 plan to be moved to a Roth IRA beginning in 2024, with some significant limitations, including waiting periods. This new rule does NOT apply to ESAs. ESA funds will not be allowed to be moved directly from an ESA to a Roth IRA next year. However, ESA funds can be moved to a 529 plan. It may be possible to move funds from an ESA to a 529 plan and then to a Roth IRA, provided all the requirements (and there are quite a few) are met.

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