Tax Information about Your Pension
Frequently Asked Questions1
If I move out of New York State, would my pension check be taxed?
Your New York State pension is not taxed in New York. Please visit the Retired Public Employees Association website for more information on which states do tax pensions.
Why is my withholding tax status married with three exemptions?
This is the starting point for all of our pensioners. At the time of retirement, you are given a W-4P form (Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments). This form is provided so that you may change your designation at any time.
How do I get a copy of a 1099-R form?
- You can send us a 1099-R reprint request, or
- Call our Call Center toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 within the Albany, New York area.
When are 1099-R forms mailed?
1099-R forms are mailed out by January 31. Reprint requests can generally be accepted beginning the second week in February.
What are the monies reported in Box Five on my 1099-R form?
These monies represent the portion of your pension not subject to federal income tax. Generally, if you have made after-tax contributions while employed, a small percentage of your pension will be excluded from taxation each year until all of the after-tax contributions are fully recovered.
How can I have a fixed amount of federal withholding deducted each month from my pension check?
Indicate the amount you want withheld in Box Three on our W-4P form . Please note: Any changes must be received in this office prior to each month’s pension close-out date in order to affect your next check.
How do I change my mailing address with the Retirement System?
- Call us toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 within the Albany, New York area; or
- Send a letter with your name, old and new address, effective date of change, registration number and your signature to:
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12244-0001.
Please note: If your new address includes a PO Box or a location outside of the United States, you must send us a signed letter.
We cannot accept an email to change your address.
I need a letter for housing, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), or a mortgage company.
Most retirees can request a pension verification letter by email. Be sure to fill out all of your personal verification information when you submit your email. In most cases, a letter will be mailed out the next business day.
Where do I get answers to my health insurance questions?
The Retirement System does not administer health insurance programs. While it is sometimes possible for your health insurance premiums to be deducted from your pension payments, we can only do so at the instruction of your former employer or New York State (NYS) Civil Service.
If you have questions about your coverage or premiums and you retired from a New York State agency, either:
- Call the New York State Department of Civil Service at 1-800-833-4344 or 518-457-5754 in the Albany, NY area between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday, or
- Write to:
NYS Department of Civil Service
Empire State Plaza, Swan Street Building, (Core 1) First Floor
Albany, NY 12228-0002.
If you retired from a public employer other than New York State (a town, county, village, city, or school district), please contact your former employer.
How do I enroll in or change my direct deposit information?
- To enroll: complete a Direct Deposit Enrollment Application (RS6370) . You must either attach a voided check, or have a bank representative complete section three.
- To change information within the same bank:
- Complete the Direct Deposit Enrollment Application (RS6370) , or
- Instruct the bank to fax the following information to us on bank letterhead: your name, registration number, old and new routing and account numbers, and a bank representative’s signature.
Your form or letter can be faxed to 518-473-5323, or mailed to:
Attn: Direct Deposit
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12244-0001.
NOTE: It is important to contact us before you make any changes to your bank account. We cannot accept an email.
What days are pension checks sent out? What do I do if I did not receive my pension check?
If you have recently retired and your retirement calculation is still in process (and you are receiving partial advance pension checks), your check is mailed out on the first business day of each month. We must allow the United States Postal Service until the tenth of the month to deliver advance pension checks. If you do not receive your advance pension check by the tenth of the month, you may request that the Retirement System place a stop payment on that check and issue you a replacement check. Once the stop payment is requested, the original check (if received) will no longer be valid.
If you are a retiree receiving regular monthly pension checks, these checks are always mailed out on the second to last business day of each month. We must allow the United States Postal Service until the eighth of the month to deliver all regular monthly pension checks. If you do not receive your regular pension check by the eighth of the month, you may request that the Retirement System place a stop payment on that check and issue you a replacement check. Once the stop payment is requested, the original check (if received) will no longer be valid.
If you choose to enroll in our Direct Deposit Program, your retirement payments will be deposited directly into your checking or savings account on the last business day of each month.
1 As of 3/15, a question that was no longer applicable was removed from the FAQs.