Reminders for the new year: Tax-time prep

December 06, 2021

Tax season is around the corner. Here is a refresher about tax-time forms related to your retirement and health care benefits. 

Annuity distributions

Form 1099-R shows distributions (gross earnings) from your annuity and the taxes that were withheld. You should receive the form in the mail by early February. You can view it through your ERS OnLine account starting January 15. To view or print your form in ERS OnLine, look for “My Payroll Information” on the Retiree homepage, and click “1099-R Summary.” You can also access your 1099-R forms from the past three years.

If you did not activate your ERS OnLine account before you retired or within 90 days after, call ERS at (877) 275-4377, TTY: 711 to register or re-activate.

If you’d like ERS to mail you a second copy of your Form 1099-R, call (877) 275-4377 after February 15.

Newly retired?

If you retired in 2021 and opted for a partial lump-sum payment in addition to your monthly payment, you will get two 1099-R statements. If you are retired from another system, such as Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), contact that system directly with questions about tax forms.

Possible annual federal tax withholding table changes

Changes to the federal tax laws can affect your annuity payment. Federal tax withholding tables can change every calendar year, depending on action by Congress and/or the IRS. ERS is required to implement the IRS’ changes to the tax withholding tables as soon as possible after the IRS releases the new withholding tables. A tax advisor can help you decide whether you should make changes to your tax withholding.

Proof of medical coverage

Form 1095-B is your proof of medical coverage; however, you do not need to submit this form to the IRS and you don’t need it to file your return. Your health plan (or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) if you’re enrolled in Medicare) will report this information to the IRS for you.

If you participated in a Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) health plan and were not enrolled in Medicare in 2021, your health plan provider will make a Form 10951095 form proof of medical coverage-B available to you. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) will mail a paper copy of the form to HealthSelectSM plan participants, who can also can access it through their Blue Access for MembersSM account.

If you had coverage from more than one GBP plan—for example, you were in an HMO January through August, and switched to HealthSelect of Texas® in September—you will have a Form 1095-B for each plan. Scott and White Care Plans participants can log in to their member portal or contact the plan to request a copy. Community First Health Plans will mail a copy of the form to you, or you may contact the plan to request one.

Covered dependents do not get a separate Form 1095-B; you may provide them a copy for their records.

If you are 65 or older and were covered by Medicare Part A for the entire calendar year, you will not get a Form 1095-B. CMS reports your coverage to the IRS. You will get the form if you enrolled in Medicare Part A for the first time, you had Medicare Part A for part of the year or you are under age 65 with Medicare Part. A. If you need a copy of the Form 1095-B from Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

For more information

For more information about the Form 1099-R or federal tax withholding on annuity payments, go to the ERS FAQs page. Find the Annuitant Information FAQs under “Retirement.” View FAQs about Form 1095-B under “Insurance” (Federal regulations (Affordable Care Act)).