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1099-R Frequently Asked Questions

 
 
 
Can SERS provide tax advice?  No. You can seek advice from a professional tax adviser or from the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or www.irs.gov. This information is general guidance only and does not cover all relevant tax law.

How is federal income tax calculated on my SERS payments?  There are several IRS-approved methods of calculating the taxable and non-taxable portions of SERS benefits depending upon the date you first began receiving payments and other factors. In most cases, we use the “simplified method” for annuity payments that began after November 18, 1996. Under this method, previously taxed contributions made after December 31, 1986, cannot be fully excluded from federal income tax in the year in which they are received.  Instead, they are excluded from federal income tax over a period equal to the expected number of payments, based on your age at retirement.

If you were over age 75 when you retired, special rules apply. See IRS Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income, or Publication 939, General Rule for Pensions and Annuities for more information, specific to your date of retirement.

Is there a tax penalty if I withdrew my contributions and interest at retirement, and had the pretax portion sent directly to me?  Yes, if you received a payment before age 59½ and you did not roll the money into a qualified plan. In addition to the regular income tax, you will also pay tax equal to 10 percent of the taxable portion of the withdrawal. There are exceptions. See IRS Publication 575 for information.
 
I think my 1099-R is incorrect – what should I do?  Please write to SERS at the address on this guide or send an e-mail to ra-sersbene@pa.gov. Provide your daytime phone number and detail the information you believe is incorrect. If necessary, we will issue a corrected 1099-R. If we determine that the original 1099-R is correct, we will notify you and explain why.
 
How do I change how much I withhold from my payments for income tax purposes?  You can authorize SERS to start, stop, or change withholding by completing an Annuitant Federal Income Tax Withholding (SERS-W-4P) form. The form is available on this website or call 1-800-633-5461 to have one sent to you.
 
How can I get another copy of my 1099-R form?  You can print duplicate forms for 1995 through 2013 from your Online Member Services account. If you haven’t already, please visit SERS' homepage, click on “Account Sign In” and create an account. 
 
Free duplicate 1099-R forms are also available from SERS for tax years 1995 through 2013. Forms from before 1995 cost $5 each. For assistance, call your retirement counseling center at 1-800-633-5461.
 
I use direct deposit. If I move, do I have to notify SERS of my new address?  Yes. Even though we don’t send you a check every month, we still need to send important information like your 1099-R form, your Personal Statement of Retirement Benefits, newsletters, benefit  verification forms, etc. If your address changes – even temporarily – complete an Annuitant Change of Address (SERS-128) form. The form is available on SERS' website and by calling 1-800-633-5461.
 

Links to other sections of this guide:
Taxes on SERS Retirement Payments

A Map to Your 1099-R
SERS and IRS Contact Information
1099-R Frequently Asked Questions
 



Last published: 01/17/2014 09:26 AM