Taxes and Your Pension

Messaging for Customers

To protect the health of our members and employees, Retirement System consultation offices are closed until further notice. To schedule a phone consultation, and for all other inquiries, contact us at 1-866-805-0990; 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area. However, we strongly encourage you to use Retirement Online to do business with NYSLRS at this time.

COVID-19 Information: To understand your NYSLRS benefits if you are impacted by COVID-19, and the steps to take if you become seriously ill, visit our COVID-19 Help Center.

Overview

This page will help you with a variety of tax-related questions and issues. You can also:


Is My Pension Taxable?

Most NYSLRS pensions are subject to federal income tax (although some disability benefits are not taxable). NYSLRS pensions are not subject to New York State or local income tax, but if you move to another state, that state may tax your pension. Visit the Retired Public Employees Association website to see which states tax pensions.


Federal Tax Withholding Information

When you retired, we sent you a W-4P form (Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments) so you could choose the tax withholding status that was right for you.

If a retiree does not return a completed W-4P, we assume the tax status for that retiree is married with three exemptions. You can, however, change your withholding at any time. If we don’t receive your W-4P form in time to adjust your withholding for that month’s payment, your changes will be applied the following month.

When you submit a W-4P form you can:

  • Choose the number of your exemptions;
  • Indicate your marital status;
  • Tell us whether you want federal tax withheld; and
  • Let us know if you want an additional amount withheld.

NYSLRS will calculate your withholding amount based on the information you provide and current federal tax tables. To estimate how much will be withheld from your pension each month, you can use our federal tax withholding calculator.


1099-R Information

By January 31 of each year, we mail 1099-R forms to retirees with taxable pensions. For help understanding your 1099-R, visit our interactive 1099-R tutorial.

You can request a reprint of your 1099-R form beginning the second week in February. Request your copy:

If you made after-tax contributions to NYSLRS while you were working, a small portion of your pension may be exempt from federal tax. The non-taxable amount is shown in Box 5 on your 1099-R. You should report only the taxable amount (in Box 2a) on your tax return. After you have fully recovered your after-tax contributions, the amount in Box 5 will be zero.


Checking Your Pension Deductions

You can view a breakdown of your most recent pension payment, including tax withholding and other deductions, using Retirement Online.

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(Rev. 5/20)