Q: Why is there a change to the pension amount in July?
A: Every July beginning the calendar year after your retirement, you receive a post retirement increase of 2.5% (for retirees with membership dates of before July 1, 2012) and 1.5% (for retirees with membership dates on or after July 1, 2012).
Q: How do I change my federal tax withholding?
A: You may download the W-4P Form from our website at https://ers.ehawaii.gov or contact our office and we will mail you the form.
Q: Does the ERS send any notice when there is a change to my pension?
A: Yes. The ERS sends a letter explaining the change to your pension prior to the effective date of change. In addition, a Statement of Retirement Allowances and Deductions is mailed out when there is a change to your net pension payment or for your first pension payment. If your net amount has changed but you did not receive a statement, please allow time for the postal service to deliver it before requesting a duplicate. Due to postal service changes, it may take longer to receive your statement than in the past. Please retain pay statements as a record of your current pension amount.
Q: When will I receive my tax reporting documents (1099R)?
A: If you received benefits from the ERS during the previous year, your Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099-R will be mailed to your home address by January 31. Reprint/duplicate Form 1099-R requests may be requested approximately 2 weeks later to allow time for mail delivery. If you have a professional tax advisor, accountant, and/or tax preparer, we suggest that you make this information available for their review.
For more information, please review
ERS Form 1099-R Sample: The ERS Form 1099-R 2020
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How is my retirement benefits classified for income tax reporting (i.e. IRA, pension or annuity)?
A: The ERS is a ‘government defined benefit pension plan’. All benefits paid by ERS and reported to you on Form 1099-R are ‘pension’ benefits. For terminated members this includes refund of contributions and for retirees this includes option refund payments and disability benefits. For Service Connected Disability benefit recipients, all or a portion of your pension benefits are considered payments in the nature of worker’s compensation and, therefore, excludible from gross income under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 104(a)(1). For the portion of your pension benefits, if any, that is reportable to the Internal Revenue Service, a Form 1099-R will be sent to you.
Q: How does the CARES Act apply to distributions from the ERS?
A: Because the ERS is a defined benefit pension plan, the CARES Act did not permit the ERS to make special distributions (or withdrawals) available to ERS members while they were employed. See IRS Notice 2020-50 (first full paragraph on page 8). However, retirees and members who received normal distributions in 2020 and were adversely affected by COVID-19 may be eligible to elect favorable tax treatment (e.g., inclusion in income over 3 years and no 10% penalty tax for early distributions) when they file their individual income tax returns for 2020. Please refer to IRS Form 8915-E and your personal tax advisor/preparer.