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I assume the RMDs must begin this year (2008), but what is the account value used to calculate the RMD? Is it the amount converted to the beneficiary IRA (100% of pension)? Something else?

Yes, the first distribution must come by 12/31/2008 (Pub 575). I would assume it's the 12/31/2007 value, just like any other IRA RMD.

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