Federal Withholding and Your Pension

Getting hit every year with a larger than expected federal tax bill? Or maybe you received a hefty refund. Either way, it might be time to look at how much federal tax withholding is taken out of your NYSLRS pension. If you’re not sure whether you need to adjust your federal withholding, you can check with your tax preparer. Remember, this is only for federal income tax. New York State doesn’t tax your NYSLRS pension and we can’t withhold state income taxes.

Understanding Your Federal Withholding

You can adjust the amount we withhold from your retirement benefit at any time. Just follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Print our NYSLRS Form W-4P (Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments) from our website. (This is a fillable form, so you can type in the information before you print it out.)
  2. Fill in the top of the form with your name, address, Social Security number and NYSLRS ID.
  3. Complete the form.
    • Select your filing status.
    • If you have income from a job or more than one pension/annuity, in addition to your NYSLRS pension, or if you’re married filing jointly and your spouse receives income from a job or pension/annuity, you can enter that in Step 2.
    • If you need to claim dependents, you can enter that information in Step 3.
    • If you have other adjustments to make — other income, deductions or extra withholding — you can complete Step 4.
  4. If you completed the form by typing in your information, print the form.
  5. Date and sign the form.
  6. Mail your form to:
    110 State Street
    Albany, NY 12244-0001

You can sign in to Retirement Online to view your current federal withholding information, including your withholding status, number of exemptions and any additional tax being withheld. You’ll also find your NYSLRS ID on your Retirement Online account page. Visit our Taxes and Your Pension page for more information.

19 thoughts on “Federal Withholding and Your Pension

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      NYSLRS is unable to provide tax advice.­ For questions about federal taxes, please visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website at http://www.irs.gov. You may also wish to speak to an accountant or tax preparer.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Please fill out and submit a W-4P form to increase the amount we withhold from your pension. Step-by-step instructions are available in the blog post above.

      If you have questions about your federal tax withholding, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form at http://www.emailnyslrs.com. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

  1. Erica

    How do I have federal taxes withheld from disbursements I receive from someone else’s retirement account through divorce order? I get a 1099-R showing nys exempt, but no withholding for federal. I want to change that.

  2. JoAnn Hughes

    been retired since 2008 and have had few problems with my withholding. When I used the incorrect formula for the amount to withhold for Federal taxes, a simple call to one of your reps solved the problem easily. The young lady was cordial, professional & patient with explaining things.

  3. Bruce Winsor

    Two years in a row we have been short on Fed. withholdings. We adjusted to 8-9% in order to cover. My wife and I are receiving pensions along with other employment. Individually, they fall short for withholdings but added together were got walloped. Hope this helps.

    1. NYSLRS

      We recommend checking with an accountant or tax preparer if you need to adjust your federal withholding but aren’t sure how.

  4. Joanne P. Malecki

    Thanks for the reminder. My accountant said, after doing my taxes this year, that I should increase my withholding or start to pay quarterly tax estimates, since I had to pay an increasingly higher amount this year, due to other changes in my income. Rather than having to “remember” to do those quarterly payments, I chose to use your form to increase the withholding amount from my monthly pension; thanks for providing the link/form. Jo

  5. Kendra Eichholz

    Not really. I may be looking into depositing a portion of my one pension into the federal taxes for the future. As of now…. I do not know…. Thanks anyway. I will reconsider it in the future months. Sincerely, Kendra


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