A. No, the minimum required distribution is not taken from each individual account, so you don't have to consolidate all your IRA and 401K accounts just to prevent this hassle which doesn't exist.
For example, let's say 2015 is your first year to take the minimum required distribution as you turn age 70.5. Here is what you need to do in order to take the MRD:
- Add up all your IRA and 401K accounts' balances as of December 31, 2014
- Divide the total by your life expectancy factor (IRS Publication 590), this will tell you how much you must withdraw
- Since 2015 is your first year to do so, you can delay the withdrawal till April 1, 2016
- You can take the entire distribution from one account or multiple accounts, as long as the total amount is correct
Consolidating your multiple accounts into one account will help, so does roll over your 401k from former employers into one account, as you have fewer number of accounts to monitor and manage, plus you might save on account management fees.