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February 16, 2009

Life Expectancy

Your Guide

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Definition

The number of years that a participant is expected to live, as defined by regulations. Life expectancies are provided in the life-expectancy tables, which include the following:

  1. The Single Life Table,  which is used only by beneficiaries to calculate RMD amounts after the death of the participant.
  2. The Uniform Lifetime Table, which is used to calculate RMD amounts for the participant. This is used in all cases, except where the Joint and Last Survivor Table can be used
  3. The Joint and Last Survivor Table, which is used to calculate RMD amounts for the participant, but only  if the spouse of the participant is the sole primary beneficiary and is more than 1-years younger than the participant

For substantially equal periodic payments (SEPP),  the Single Life , Uniform Lifetime or the Joint and Last Survivor Table may be used to calculate SEPP amounts

The life expectancy tables can be found in IRS Publication 590 and Revenue Ruling 2002-62

Referring Cite

Treas. Regs. § 1.401(a)(9)-9, Revenue Ruling 2002-62.

Additional Helpful Information

  • The Single Life Table, Uniform Lifetime Table and Joint and Last Survivor Table may be changed by the Commissioner in revenue rulings, notices, and other guidance published in Internal Revenue Bulletins
  • The life expectancy tables can be found in IRS Publication 590 and Revenue Ruling 2002-62
  • Uniform Lifetime Table, for use by:
    • Unmarried retirement account owners,
    • Married retirement account owners, whose spouses are not more than 10 years younger, and
    • Married retirement account owners, whose spouses are not the sole primary beneficiaries of their retirement accounts

Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at http://irapublications.com. Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.

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