Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–2021.07a. Required minimum distributions.

(a) Distributions shall begin no later than the teacher’s required beginning date, as defined in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, and shall be made in accordance with all other requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. The provisions of this section shall apply for the purposes of determining minimum required distributions under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this part; provided, that these provisions are intended solely to reflect the requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and accompanying Treasury regulations and are not intended to provide or expand, and shall not be construed as providing or expanding, a benefit or distribution option not otherwise expressly provided for under the terms of this part. The provisions of this section shall apply only to the extent required under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code as applied to a governmental plan, and if any special rules for governmental plans are not set forth in this section, these special rules are incorporated by reference and shall for all purposes be deemed a part of this part.

(b)(1) The teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed, or begin to be distributed, to the teacher no later than April 1 following the later of the calendar year in which the teacher attains age 701/2 or the calendar year in which the teacher retires or terminates employment (the “required beginning date”).

(2) If the teacher dies before distributions begin, the teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed, or shall begin to be distributed, no later than as follows:

(A) If the teacher’s surviving spouse is the sole designated beneficiary, distributions to the surviving spouse shall begin by December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the teacher died, or by December 31 of the calendar year in which the teacher would have attained age 701/2, if later;

(B) If the teacher’s surviving spouse is not the sole designated beneficiary, distributions to the designated beneficiary shall begin by December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the teacher died;

(C) If there is no designated beneficiary as of September 30 of the year following the year of the teacher’s death, the teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year of the 5th anniversary of the teacher’s death;

(D) If the teacher’s surviving spouse is the sole designated beneficiary and the surviving spouse dies after the teacher but before distributions to the surviving spouse begin, subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not apply, and subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph shall apply as if the surviving spouse were the teacher. For the purposes of this paragraph and subsection (d) of this section, distributions are considered to begin on the teacher’s required beginning date or, if this subparagraph applies, the date distributions to the surviving spouse are required to begin under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. If annuity payments to the teacher irrevocably commence before the teacher’s required beginning date or to the teacher’s surviving spouse before the date distributions to the surviving spouse are required to begin under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the date distributions are considered to begin is the date distributions actually commence.

(3) Unless the teacher’s interest is distributed in the form of an annuity purchased from an insurance company or in a single sum on or before the required beginning date, as of the first distribution, calendar year distributions shall be made in accordance with subsections (c) and (d) of this section. If the teacher’s interest is distributed in the form of an annuity purchased from an insurance company, distributions under the annuity shall be made in accordance with the requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury regulations. A part of the teacher’s interest that is in the form of an individual account described in section 414(k) of the Internal Revenue Code shall be distributed in a manner satisfying the requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Treasury regulations that apply to individual accounts.

(c)(1) The amount of the annuity is to be determined each year.

(2) If the teacher’s interest is paid in the form of annuity distributions, payments under the annuity shall satisfy the following requirements:

(A) The annuity distributions shall be paid in periodic payments made at intervals not longer than one year;

(B) Payments shall either be non-increasing or increase only as follows:

(i) By an annual percentage increase that does not exceed the annual percentage increase in a cost-of-living index based on prices of all items (the CPI-W) and issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics;

(ii) To provide cash refunds of employee contributions upon the teacher’s death;

(iii) To pay increased benefits that result from an amendment to this part.

(3) The amount that must be distributed on or before the teacher’s required beginning date or, if the teacher dies before distributions begin, the date distributions are required to begin under subsection (b)(2)(A) or (B) of this section, is the payment that is required for one payment interval. The second payment need not be made until the end of the next payment interval even if that payment interval ends in the next calendar year. Payment intervals are the periods for which payments are received (for example, bi-monthly, monthly, semi-annually, or annually). The teacher’s benefit accruals as of the last day of the first distribution calendar year shall be included in the calculation of the amount of the annuity payments for payment intervals ending on or after the teacher’s required beginning date.

(4) Additional benefits accruing to the teacher in a calendar year after the first distribution calendar year shall be distributed beginning with the first payment interval ending in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the amount accrues.

(d) Amounts payable if a teacher dies before distribution begins are subject to the following requirements:

(1) If the teacher dies before the date of distribution of his or her interest begins and there is a designated beneficiary, the teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed, beginning no later than the time described in subsection (b)(2)(A) or (B) of this section, over the life of the designated beneficiary not exceeding either of the following:

(A) Unless the benefit commenced is before the first distribution calendar year, the life expectancy of the designated beneficiary, determined using the beneficiary’s age as of the beneficiary’s birthday in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of the teacher’s death; or

(B) If the benefit commenced before the first distribution calendar year, the life expectancy of the designated beneficiary, determined using the beneficiary’s age as of his or her birthday in the calendar year that begins before benefits commence;

(2) If the teacher dies before the date distributions begin and there is no designated beneficiary as of September 30 of the year following the year of the teacher’s death, distribution of the teacher’s entire interest shall be completed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the 5th anniversary of the teacher’s death; or

(3) If the teacher dies before the date distribution of the teacher’s interest begins, the teacher’s surviving spouse is the teacher’s sole designated beneficiary, and the surviving spouse dies before distributions to the surviving spouse begin, this subsection shall apply as if the surviving spouse were the teacher, except that the time by which distributions must begin shall be determined without regard to subsection (b)(2)(A) of this section.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 875, ch. 779, § 7a; as added May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(e), 60 DCR 3434.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.27.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 added this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 2(e) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(e) of D.C. Law 19-313 added this section.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.