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Tax Information about Your Pension

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 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.

  2. 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 Adobe pdf (Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments). This form is provided so that you may change your designation at any time.

    See an interactive W-4P form.

  3. How do I get a copy of a 1099-R form?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    See an interactive 1099-R tutorial form.

  6. 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 Adobe pdf. 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.

  7. 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:

    NYSLRS

    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.

  8. How do I get help with my Retirement Online password or access?1

    If you are having trouble accessing your Retirement Online account, please call us toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 within the Albany, New York area), any business day between 7:30 am and 4:15 pm. You may also complete the Email Form on our Contact Us page, and one of our representatives will unlock your account and provide you with a new temporary password.

    If you are having trouble logging in and your account is not locked, you can reset your password by clicking on the “I Forgot My Password” link and answering the secret questions you selected during the registration process.

    If you just recently signed up for Retirement Online, remember that you must wait to receive your temporary password in the mail before you can log on and view your account information for the first time.

  9. 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.

  10. 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:

    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.

  11. How do I enroll in or change my direct deposit information?

    Your form or letter can be faxed to 518-473-5323, or mailed to:

    NYSLRS

    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.

  12. 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 Updated 4/14

(Rev. 12/13)