Please take note of the following annual events that affect you as a retired TRS member:
Expect arrival of 1099-R
If you received a TRS benefit in 2018, the Office of the Comptroller will mail an IRS Form 1099-R to you by Jan. 31, 2019. This form will report your income received from TRS during 2018.
The amount shown in Box 5 on the 1099-R form represents the non-taxable portion of TRS retirement benefits paid to you for the year (see graphic below) and is the difference between Boxes 1 and 2a. Box 5 does not represent the amount of your TRIP premiums for 2018. Box 9B will only have a value if 2018 was the first year that you received a benefit from TRS.
If you do not receive a 1099-R form by Feb. 15, 2019 or you need a duplicate copy sent to you, please log in to the secure Member Account Access area. Annually after Feb. 15, you may request a duplicate 1099-R online for a prior year. A duplicate is mailed by the Illinois Comptroller's Office and will take up to 10 business days for you to receive it.
If you have not yet set up your online member account, please watch this video to learn how: https://www.trsil.org/videos/accessing-your-trs-member-account-online. Your Member ID is required to set up an account.
Annual increase reflected on Feb. 1 check because it is your payment for January
TRS pays your monthly benefit in arrears. The check issued Jan. 1, 2019 is your payment for the month of December 2018. Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases, certain insurance premiums and federal tax withholding changes will be reflected on the check issued Feb. 1, 2019, which is your monthly annuity for January 2019.
The annual 3 percent COLA will be reflected on your Feb. 1, 2019 check. With some exceptions, recipients of monthly survivor benefits will also see a 3 percent increase. The COLA increase is first effective on Jan. 1 following either your first retirement anniversary or your 61st birthday, whichever is later. TRS only sends a notification letter before your first COLA occurs. Retirees may log in to the secure Member Account Access area to view their monthly and annual earnings statements.
Federal income tax withholding tables changing
Revised federal income tax withholding tables will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. As a result, the federal taxes withheld from your Jan. 1, 2019 annuity payment may increase or decrease based on your filing status.
TRS cannot give tax advice. You may wish to contact a qualified tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 to ensure that you have adequate federal withholding for the 2019 tax year. If you are underwithholding, there could be a negative consequence at tax time.
If you would like to change your withholding election, you must complete a new Form W4-P. You may print a personalized Form W4-P online within the secure Member Account Access area after you have signed in. Or, you may call your local Internal Revenue Service office for a blank form or download the blank form from the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4p.pdf. A new Form W4-P replaces any former withholding on file with TRS.