This section explains how the periodic payments you receive from a pension or annuity plan are taxed. Periodic payments are amounts paid at regular intervals (such as weekly, monthly, or yearly) for a period of time greater than one year (such as for 15 years or for life). These payments are also known as amounts received as an annuity. If you receive an amount from your plan that is not a periodic payment, see Taxation of Nonperiodic Payments, later.
In general, you can recover the cost of your pension or annuity tax free over the period you are to receive the payments. The amount of each payment that is more than the part that represents your cost is taxable (however, see Insurance Premiums for Retired Public Safety Officers, earlier.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004415
If you receive a qualified distribution from a designated Roth account, the distribution is not included in your gross income. This applies to both your cost in the account and income earned on that account. A qualified distribution is generally a distribution that is:
- Made after a 5-tax-year period of participation, and
- Made on or after the date you reach age 591/2, made to a beneficiary or your estate on or after your death, or attributable to your being disabled.
If the distribution is not a qualified distribution, the rules discussed in this section apply. The designated Roth account is treated as a separate contract.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004416
The 5-tax-year period of participation is the 5-tax-year period beginning with the first tax year for which the participant made a designated Roth contribution to the plan. Therefore, for designated Roth contributions made in 2008, the first year for which a qualified distribution can be made is 2013.
However, if a direct rollover is made to the plan from a designated Roth account under another plan, the 5-tax-year period for the recipient plan begins with the first tax year for which the participant first had designated Roth contributions made to the other plan.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004417
The pension or annuity payments that you receive are fully taxable if you have no cost in the contract because any of the following situations applies to you (however, see Insurance Premiums for Retired Public Safety Officers
- You did not pay anything or are not considered to have paid anything for your pension or annuity.
- Your employer did not withhold contributions from your salary.
- You got back all of your contributions tax free in prior years (however, see Exclusion not limited to cost under Partly Taxable Payments, later).
Report the total amount you got on Form 1040, line 16b; Form 1040A, line 12b; or on Form 1040NR, line 17b. You should make no entry on Form 1040, line 16a; Form 1040A, line 12a; or Form 1040NR, line 17a. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004418
Distributions you receive that are based on your accumulated deductible voluntary employee contributions are generally fully taxable in the year distributed to you. Accumulated deductible voluntary employee contributions include net earnings on the contributions. If distributed as part of a lump sum, they do not qualify for the 10-year tax option or capital gain treatment. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004419
If you have a cost to recover from your pension or annuity plan (see Cost (Investment in the Contract), earlier), you can exclude part of each annuity payment from income as a recovery of your cost. This tax-free part of the payment is figured when your annuity starts and remains the same each year, even if the amount of the payment changes. The rest of each payment is taxable (however, see Insurance Premiums for Retired Public Safety Officers, earlier).
You figure the tax-free part of the payment using one of the following methods.
- Simplified Method. You generally must use this method if your annuity is paid under a qualified plan (a qualified employee plan, a qualified employee annuity, or a tax-sheltered annuity plan or contract). You cannot use this method if your annuity is paid under a nonqualified plan.
- General Rule. You must use this method if your annuity is paid under a nonqualified plan. You generally cannot use this method if your annuity is paid under a qualified plan.
You determine which method to use when you first begin receiving your annuity, and you continue using it each year that you recover part of your cost.
If you had more than one partly taxable pension or annuity, figure the tax-free part and the taxable part of each separately.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004420
If your annuity is paid under a qualified plan and your annuity starting date (defined earlier under Cost (Investment in the Contract)) is after July 1, 1986, and before November 19, 1996, you could have chosen to use either the Simplified Method or the General Rule. If your annuity starting date is before July 2, 1986, you use the General Rule unless your annuity qualified for the Three-Year Rule. If you used the Three-Year Rule (which was repealed for annuities starting after July 1, 1986), your annuity payments are generally now fully taxable. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004421
Your annuity starting date determines the total amount of annuity payments that you can exclude from income over the years.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004422
If your annuity starting date is after 1986, the total amount of annuity income that you can exclude over the years as a recovery of the cost cannot exceed your total cost. Any unrecovered cost at your (or the last annuitant's) death is allowed as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on the final return of the decedent. This deduction is not subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004423
Your annuity starting date is after 1986, and you exclude $100 a month ($1,200 a year) under the Simplified Method. The total cost of your annuity is $12,000. Your exclusion ends when you have recovered your cost tax free, that is, after 10 years (120 months). After that, your annuity payments are generally fully taxable. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004424
The facts are the same as in Example 1, except you die (with no surviving annuitant) after the eighth year of retirement. You have recovered tax free only $9,600 (8 × $1,200) of your cost. An itemized deduction for your unrecovered cost of $2,400 ($12,000 minus $9,600) can be taken on your final return.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004425
If your annuity starting date is before 1987, you can continue to take your monthly exclusion for as long as you receive your annuity. If you chose a joint and survivor annuity, your survivor can continue to take the survivor's exclusion figured as of the annuity starting date. The total exclusion may be more than your cost. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004426
Under the Simplified Method, you figure the tax-free part of each annuity payment by dividing your cost by the total number of anticipated monthly payments. For an annuity that is payable for the lives of the annuitants, this number is based on the annuitants' ages on the annuity starting date and is determined from a table. For any other annuity, this number is the number of monthly annuity payments under the contract. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004427
You must use the Simplified Method if your annuity starting date is after November 18, 1996, and you meet both of the following conditions.
- You receive your pension or annuity payments from any of the following plans.
- A qualified employee plan.
- A qualified employee annuity.
- A tax-sheltered annuity plan (403(b) plan).
- On your annuity starting date, at least one of the following conditions applies to you.
- You are under age 75.
- You are entitled to less than 5 years of guaranteed payments.
Your annuity contract provides guaranteed payments if a minimum number of payments or a minimum amount (for example, the amount of your investment) is payable even if you and any survivor annuitant do not live to receive the minimum. If the minimum amount is less than the total amount of the payments you are to receive, barring death, during the first 5 years after payments begin (figured by ignoring any payment increases), you are entitled to less than 5 years of guaranteed payments. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004429
If your annuity starting date is after July 1, 1986, and before November 19, 1996, and you chose to use the Simplified Method, you must continue to use it each year that you recover part of your cost. You could have chosen to use the Simplified Method if your annuity is payable for your life (or the lives of you and your survivor annuitant) and you met both of the conditions listed earlier under Who must use the Simplified Method. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004430
You cannot use the Simplified Method if you receive your pension or annuity from a nonqualified plan or otherwise do not meet the conditions described in the preceding discussion. See General Rule, later.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004431
Complete Worksheet A in the back of this publication to figure your taxable annuity for 2008. Be sure to keep the completed worksheet; it will help you figure your taxable annuity next year.
To complete line 3 of the worksheet, you must determine the total number of expected monthly payments for your annuity. How you do this depends on whether the annuity is for a single life, multiple lives, or a fixed period. For this purpose, treat an annuity that is payable over the life of an annuitant as payable for that annuitant's life even if the annuity has a fixed-period feature or also provides a temporary annuity payable to the annuitant's child under age 25.
You do not need to complete line 3 of the worksheet or make the computation on line 4 if you received annuity payments last year and used last year's worksheet to figure your taxable annuity. Instead, enter the amount from line 4 of last year's worksheet on line 4 of this year's worksheet.
If your annuity is payable for your life alone, use Table 1 at the bottom of the worksheet to determine the total number of expected monthly payments. Enter on line 3 the number shown for your age on your annuity starting date. This number will differ depending on whether your annuity starting date is before November 19, 1996, or after November 18, 1996. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004434
If your annuity is payable for the lives of more than one annuitant, use Table 2 at the bottom of the worksheet to determine the total number of expected monthly payments. Enter on line 3 the number shown for the annuitants' combined ages on the annuity starting date. For an annuity payable to you as the primary annuitant and to more than one survivor annuitant, combine your age and the age of the youngest survivor annuitant. For an annuity that has no primary annuitant and is payable to you and others as survivor annuitants, combine the ages of the oldest and youngest annuitants. Do not treat as a survivor annuitant anyone whose entitlement to payments depends on an event other than the primary annuitant's death.
However, if your annuity starting date is before 1998, do not use Table 2 and do not combine the annuitants' ages. Instead, you must use Table 1 at the bottom of the worksheet and enter on line 3 the number shown for the primary annuitant's age on the annuity starting date. This number will differ depending on whether your annuity starting date is before November 19, 1996, or after November 18, 1996. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004435
If your annuity does not depend in whole or in part on anyone's life expectancy, the total number of expected monthly payments to enter on line 3 of the worksheet is the number of monthly annuity payments under the contract. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004436
Bill Smith, age 65, began receiving retirement benefits in 2008 under a joint and survivor annuity. Bill's annuity starting date is January 1, 2008. The benefits are to be paid for the joint lives of Bill and his wife, Kathy, age 65. Bill had contributed $31,000 to a qualified plan and had received no distributions before the annuity starting date. Bill is to receive a retirement benefit of $1,200 a month, and Kathy is to receive a monthly survivor benefit of $600 upon Bill's death.
Bill must use the Simplified Method to figure his taxable annuity because his payments are from a qualified plan and he is under age 75. Because his annuity is payable over the lives of more than one annuitant, he uses his and Kathy's combined ages and Table 2 at the bottom of Worksheet A in completing line 3 of the worksheet. His completed worksheet is shown below.
Bill's tax-free monthly amount is $100 ($31,000 ÷ 310) as shown on line 4 of the worksheet. Upon Bill's death, if Bill has not recovered the full $31,000 investment, Kathy will also exclude $100 from her $600 monthly payment. The full amount of any annuity payments received after 310 payments are paid must be included in gross income.
If Bill and Kathy die before 310 payments are made, a miscellaneous itemized deduction will be allowed for the unrecovered cost on the final income tax return of the last to die. This deduction is not subject to the 2%-of-adjusted- gross-income limit.
Worksheet A. Simplified Method Worksheet for Bill Smith
|1.||Enter the total pension or annuity payments received this year. Also, add this amount to the total for Form 1040, line 16a; Form 1040A, line 12a; or Form 1040NR, line 17a ||1.||$ 14,400|
|2.||Enter your cost in the plan (contract) at the annuity starting date plus any death benefit exclusion.* See Cost (Investment in the Contract) earlier ||2.||31,000|
| ||Note. If your annuity starting date was before this year and you completed this worksheet last year, skip line 3 and enter the amount from line 4 of last year's worksheet on line 4 below (even if the amount of your pension or annuity has changed). Otherwise, go to line 3. || || |
|3.||Enter the appropriate number from Table 1 below. But if your annuity starting date was after 1997 and the payments are for your life and that of your beneficiary, enter the appropriate number from Table 2 below ||3.||310|
|4.||Divide line 2 by the number on line 3||4.||100|
|5.||Multiply line 4 by the number of months for which this year's payments were made. If your annuity starting date was before 1987, enter this amount on line 8 below and skip lines 6, 7, 10, and 11. Otherwise, go to line 6 ||5.||1,200|
|6.||Enter any amount previously recovered tax free in years after 1986. This is the amount shown on line 10 of your worksheet for last year ||6.||-0-|
|7.||Subtract line 6 from line 2||7.||31,000|
|8.||Enter the smaller of line 5 or line 7||8.||1,200|
|9.||Taxable amount for year. Subtract line 8 from line 1. Enter the result, but not less than zero. Also, add this amount to the total for Form 1040, line 16b; Form 1040A, line 12b; or Form 1040NR, line 17b. Note: If your Form 1099-R shows a larger taxable amount, use the amount figured on this line instead. If you are a retired public safety officer, see Insurance Premiums for Retired Public Safety Officers earlier before entering an amount on your tax return ||9.||$ 13,200|
|10.||Was your annuity starting date before 1987?|
□ Yes. STOP. Do not complete the rest of this worksheet.
☑ No. Add lines 6 and 8. This is the amount you have recovered tax free through 2008. You will need this number if you need to fill out this worksheet next year
|11.||Balance of cost to be recovered. Subtract line 10 from line 2. If zero, you will not have to complete this worksheet next year. The payments you receive next year will generally be fully taxable ||11.||$ 29,800|
| || || || |
|* A death benefit exclusion (up to $5,000) applied to certain benefits received by employees who died before August 21, 1996.|
| || || || |
| ||Table 1 for Line 3 Above|| |
| || ||AND your annuity starting date was—|| |
| ||IF the age at annuity|
starting date was...
|BEFORE November 19,|
1996, enter on line 3...
|AFTER November 18,|
1996, enter on line 3...
| ||55 or under||300||360|| |
| ||56-60||260||310|| |
| ||61-65||240||260|| |
| ||66-70||170||210|| |
| ||71 or older||120||160|| |
| ||Table 2 for Line 3 Above|| |
| ||IF the combined ages at |
annuity starting date were...
on line 3...
| ||110 or under|| ||410|| |
| ||111-120|| ||360|| |
| ||121-130|| ||310|| |
| ||131-140|| ||260|| |
| ||141 or older|| ||210|| |
If you and one or more other annuitants receive payments at the same time, you exclude from each annuity payment a pro rata share of the monthly tax-free amount. Figure your share by taking the following steps.
- Complete your worksheet through line 4 to figure the monthly tax-free amount.
- Divide the amount of your monthly payment by the total amount of the monthly payments to all annuitants.
- Multiply the amount on line 4 of your worksheet by the amount figured in (2) above. The result is your share of the monthly tax-free amount.
Replace the amount on line 4 of the worksheet with the result in (3) above. Enter that amount on line 4 of your worksheet each year.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004438
Under the General Rule, you determine the tax-free part of each annuity payment based on the ratio of the cost of the contract to the total expected return. Expected return is the total amount you and other eligible annuitants can expect to receive under the contract. To figure it, you must use life expectancy (actuarial) tables prescribed by the IRS. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004439
You must use the General Rule if you receive pension or annuity payments from:
- A nonqualified plan (such as a private annuity, a purchased commercial annuity, or a nonqualified employee plan), or
- A qualified plan if you are age 75 or older on your annuity starting date and your annuity payments are guaranteed for at least 5 years.
If your annuity starting date is after July 1, 1986, and before November 19, 1996, you had to use the General Rule for either circumstance just described. You also had to use it for any fixed-period annuity. If you did not have to use the General Rule, you could have chosen to use it. If your annuity starting date is before July 2, 1986, you had to use the General Rule unless you could use the Three-Year Rule.
If you had to use the General Rule (or chose to use it), you must continue to use it each year that you recover your cost.taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004441
You cannot use the General Rule if you receive your pension or annuity from a qualified plan and none of the circumstances described in the preceding discussions apply to you. See Simplified Method, earlier. taxmap/pubs/p575-002.htm#en_us_publink10004442
For complete information on using the General Rule, including the actuarial tables you need, see Publication 939.