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A Map to Your 1099-R

Sample 1099-R form

Sample form figures are for informational purposes only.

The Unique control number is a seven-digit number that identifies a specific 1099-R form.  The first digit indicates how many 1099-R forms you will receive from SERS for 2013.

Box 1 - Gross distribution shows the total amount paid to you before taxes were calculated and deducted. In most cases, this is the amount you report on your 1040 or 1040-A tax form on the line for “IRA distributions,” “pensions and annuities,” or “taxable amount” (whichever applies). If the amount was paid to you as a lump-sum distribution, see Form 4972, Tax on Lump-Sum Distributions for additional instruction.

Box 2a - Taxable amount shows the taxable amount paid to you. A portion of the total amount paid to you may not be taxable, so the amount in Box 1 may be different from the amount in Box 2a. If there is any difference, it will be shown in Box 5.

Box 2b - Taxable amount not determined, if marked with a check mark, indicates that SERS does not have enough information to determine how much of the total paid to you is taxable and Box 2a should be blank. If this box is checked, contact the IRS or a professional tax adviser for assistance.

Box 2b - Total distribution, if marked with a check mark, indicates that the 2013 payment closed the SERS account. This could occur if:

  • you left employment, were not entitled to an annuity, and withdrew all of your contributions and interest in 2013,
  • you left employment, withdrew all of your contributions in installments, and received your final installment payment in 2013, or
  • you received a lump-sum payment in 2013 as a beneficiary of a deceased SERS member.

Box 4 - Federal income tax withheld shows the amount of federal income tax withheld from the amount in Box 1. Enter this amount on your tax return as “tax withheld.”

Box 5 - Employee contributions shows the amount of previously taxed money you paid (or in the case of survivor or beneficiary payments, the amount the deceased SERS member paid) toward your pension, if any, that was returned to you tax-free in 2013, as part of the distribution or annuity payments you received. These employee contributions are also referred to as “after-tax contributions.”

Box 7 - Dist. code shows the type of payment you received. If you received more than one type of payment, you will receive more than one 1099-R form from SERS and each will have a different code in this box. The following codes apply to SERS payments:

1 - Early distribution, no known exception (in most cases, under age 59½) indicates lump-sum payments you received before age 59½ that were not rolled into another qualified retirement plan.

2 - Early Distribution, exception applies (under age 59½) indicates monthly annuity payments you received before the age of 59½ and to lump-sum payments that were not rolled into another qualified retirement plan if you left employment between the year you turned 55 and the year you turned 59½.

3 – Disability

4 – Death

7 – Normal Distribution indicates payments made after you turned 59½.

G – Direct rollover of a distribution to a qualified plan, a governmental section 457(b) plan or an IRA indicates payments rolled directly into another qualified retirement plan, such as the commonwealth’s Deferred Compensation Program.

Box 9a - Your total dist. will be blank if the payment was rolled into another qualified retirement plan. If, however, a payment you received was part of the total distribution of a pension account made to more than one person, your percentage of the distribution is shown here.

Box 9b - Total employee contributions, if you received your first annuity payment last year, shows the amount of contributions you paid toward your SERS pension, if any, that are not subject to federal income tax.  This box only applies if you received your first annuity payment in 2013.

For advice on taxes or estate planning, please see a professional financial or tax adviser, or contact the IRS at or 1-800-829-1040.

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 09:27 AM