Federal and state laws require the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) to withhold income tax from your monthly retirement benefit unless you tell us in writing that you do not want taxes withheld. The tax rates applied to your benefit are based on withholding tables provided by the Internal Revenue Service and the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Oklahoma State Income Tax
NOTE: If you live outside of Oklahoma and have state taxes withheld on your OPERS benefits, those amounts are remitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission and not the taxing authority of your state of residence.
Federal Income Tax
If you have any accumulated nontaxable contributions (post-tax contributions) as of your retirement date, you will be able to reduce the taxable portion of your benefit to the extent of your nontaxable contributions in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service’s Safe Harbor provision. Generally, this method allows OPERS to spread your accumulated nontaxable contributions over your life expectancy or the joint life expectancies of you and your joint annuitant. OPERS will calculate this exclusion for you, and the resulting taxable portion will appear on your Form 1099-R. However, you may consult IRS Publication 575 for more information about the Safe Harbor method.
Federal and State Income Tax Withholding Instructions
You can indicate your tax withholding preferences by completing the Withholding Preference Certificate. This form allows you to choose separate preferences for federal and Oklahoma state taxes.
You may specify that you do not want taxes deducted from your benefit.
You may elect to have specific “allowances claimed” by indicating your marital status and number of allowances. By doing this, OPERS will determine the amount, if any, to be withheld based on current federal and state withholding tables. You may also elect to withhold an additional dollar amount to be withheld.
A new Withholding Preference Certificate may be completed at any time to change future withholdings.
The Federal and State Tax Withholding Tables calculate income tax on employee wages . OPERS has extracted specific pages, however, full publications with tables can be found at:
Federal: 2022 Publication 15-T (irs.gov)