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Frequently Asked Questions

Members born on/after July 1, 1949 through December 31, 1950

This Fact Sheet describes requirements for a TRS member to begin receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) from TRS on or before the member’s required beginning date (RBD), which occurs after the member has both attained age 72 and terminated employment in all TRS reportable positions.

The RMD requirements arise under federal tax law (Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and are applicable to TRS as a 401(a) tax-qualified retirement plan. If you are a TRS member, the RMD requirements apply to you, regardless of whether you are a vested or non-vested member on your RBD. Failure to comply with the RMD requirements may result in a substantial tax penalty for any RMD that you should have received but did not receive by your RBD.

Important Information for TRS Members Who Recently Turned 72 Years of Age

If you have already terminated or will soon terminate all TRS reportable employment and you have not yet submitted an application to TRS for retirement benefits or forwithdrawal and refund of your accumulated contributions, please contact TRS immediately. Read all information in this Fact Sheet so that you are prepared to begin receiving RMDs in conformity with federal tax law. You may need to take action without additional prompting or instruction from TRS.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)?

Once you reach age 72, or if you turned 70½ in 2019, you may be required to withdraw a certain amount of money from your tax-deferred retirement account each year. Thatamount is called a required minimum distribution (RMD).

What is my Required Beginning Date (RBD)?

Your RBD is the date by which you must receive your first RMD and is the later of:

  •  The April 1st following the end of the calendar year in which you turned or will turn 72, or
  •  The April 1st following the end of the calendar year in which you terminated or will terminate employment in all positions reportable to Revised February 7, 2023 Page 2 of 4 TRS.

Example 1. If you terminated employment in all TRS reportable positions in 2021 but you did not turn 72 until 2022, your RBD would be April 1, 2023.

Example 2. If you turned 72 in 2020 but you continued to work in a position reportable to TRS until sometime in 2023, your RBD would be April 1, 2024.

Does the RMD requirement establish a mandatory retirement age?

No. It merely places a time limit on when you must begin receiving your TRS retirement benefit (or withdraw from TRS) after you have both attained age 72 and terminated all TRS reportable employment. 

Please note that the RBD requirement does not change the age at which you may be eligible for TRS retirement. If you meet TRS requirements, you may apply for and begin receiving a retirement benefit. Your RBD only establishes the latest date on which you may begin receiving payments without incurring a tax penalty once the RMD criteria have been met.

How do I begin receiving RMDs from TRS?

If you are a vested member, you will fulfill your RMD requirement:

  • by applying for retirement and receiving your first monthly benefit payment on or before your RBD ,


  • by applying for withdrawal from TRS and receiving a lump-sum refund of your accumulated contributions account balance (your member contributions and applicable interest) on or before your RBD.
    •  Important Note: Upon withdrawal from TRS you will forfeit your right (or the right of a joint annuitant or eligible beneficiary on your behalf) to receive any retirement or death/survivor benefit from TRS. Your forfeited retirement benefit is guaranteed to be at least equal to your accumulated contributions account balance and may significantly exceed your account balance, as it is payable for your lifetime. As a rule of thumb, TRS retirees receive retirement benefits at least equal to their accumulated contributions account balance within approximately five years. TRS strongly advises that you give careful consideration and seek competent financial advice before deciding to withdraw from TRS as a vested member. 

If you are a non-vested member, you are not eligible to receive a retirement benefit and will fulfill your RMD requirement by applying for withdrawal from TRS so that you receive a one-time, lump-sum refund of your accumulated contributions account balance on or before your RBD.

How do I apply for retirement or withdrawal?

  • If you are a vested member who wants to receive a lifetime, monthlybenefit: Access your MyTRS account to submit a Pre-retirement InformationVerification to begin the retirement process. An estimate(s) of benefits and anApplication for Retirement will be mailed to you. Youmust complete and submitall required documentation to TRS no later than the February 1st precedingyour RBD.
  • If you are a vested member who wishes to withdraw from TRS rather thanreceive a lifetime, monthly retirement allowance: Contact TRS to discussyour options. You will be provided an estimate of retirement benefits to ensureyou have the information you need to make the best decision for you and yourfamily. If you choose to forfeit the lifetime benefit:
    • You may contact TRS and request an Application for Withdrawal. Youmust complete and return your signed, notarized application to TRS,along with any required documentation, no later than the February 1stpreceding your RBD.        
  • If you are a non-vested member:
    • You may contact TRS and request an Application for Withdrawal. Youmust complete and return your signed, notarized application to TRS,along with any required documentation, no later than the February 1stpreceding your RBD.    

Will TRS notify me when I am about to reach my RBD?

Not necessarily. Although TRS can readily determine when you will turn age 72, TRS may not know whether you have terminated employment in all TRS reportable positions as of that date.

TRS does not assume you have terminated employment until no TRS employer has reported service on your behalf for at least 180 consecutive days. It is possible your RBD will have passed by that time.

To ensure timely receipt of any TRS correspondence, please keep your mailing address and email updated by submitting a Personal Data Form.

How is the amount of a late RMD determined?
In every case, unless written documentation provided to TRS conclusively establishes a later date of termination of employment, TRS will deem you to have terminated employment in all TRS reportable positions as of the last day of the last month for which service was reported on your behalf by any TRS employer.

If you receive your RMD in the form of monthly retirement benefit payments, your late RMD will be the total of all payments you should have received as of the end of the month prior to the month in which you receive your first distribution from TRS and importantly is calculated on a calendar year basis.

For example, for 2022 RMDS with a required beginning date of April 1, 2023, if you receive your first monthly payment on May 1, 2024, the payments from April 1, 2023 to December 1, 2023 are considered late RMDs. The payments from January 1, 2024, to May 1, 2024, will be considered “caught up” for the 2024 tax year when paid on May 1, 2024, for late RMD and excise tax penalty calculation purposes.

If you receive your RMD in the form of a lump-sum distribution upon withdrawal, the portion of the distribution that constitutes a late RMD will be calculated in conformity with 26 CFR 1.401(a)(9)-6(d)(1).

What is the tax penalty for a late RMD? Are there other repercussions?

If you do not begin receiving distributions on or before your RBD, the portion that constitutes a late RMD is subject to a 50% tax penalty. TRS does not withhold the penalty tax from your distribution. You are responsible for reporting the late RMD to the IRS.

In addition, if you withdraw from TRS, any portion of the distribution that constitutes an RMD is not eligible for rollover to an IRA or another eligible plan. For additional information, please consult your tax advisor or accountant.

Can I take my RMD for the TRS plan from another qualified plan?

No. You must take your RMD for the TRS plan from TRS.


If you have questions about any information provided in this Fact Sheet, please contact us at (877) 738-6365 or in Oklahoma City at (405) 521.2387, or by email at


Q: What is a 1099-R?

A: IRS Form 1099-R is an annual statement of disbursements and applicable taxes withheld by a retirement plan. Each year, the Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS) sends a 1099-R to all retired members who received benefits in the previous calendar year.  Any active members who took a distribution of their employee contributions after they left employment with a participating employer will receive a 1099-R, as well as beneficiaries of active or retired members if they received some form of survivor benefit. 

Q: When are 1099-R forms mailed? (OR) When will I receive my 1099-R?

A: Forms will be mailed no later than January 31st of the current year. Please allow for normal delivery time. If you have not received your Form 1099-R by February 15th, please see “How do I get a duplicate copy of my 1099-R?” below.  

Q: Are 1099-Rs available in the MyTRS member portal?

A: Yes. Form 1099-Rs will be accessible in MyTRS no later than February 1st. If you have not registered for access to MyTRS, please complete registration at this link.

Q: Why is the taxable amount (Box 2a) less than the gross distribution (Box 1)?

A: There were after-tax dollars in the retirement account.  This occurs if after-tax retirement contributions were made while employed or after-tax money was used as payment for a service purchase, redeposit or other billing, etc.  This reduces the taxable portion of the total amount, thus accounting for the difference in the two amounts.

Q: Where do I find the amount withheld for federal and state taxes?

A: The amount of federal income tax withheld is located in Box 4, and the state tax withheld is found in Box 14.

Q: Why was there little or no taxes withheld?

A: The amounts of federal and state income taxes withheld are based on the instructions you provided to TRS. If you instructed TRS to use the IRS and Oklahoma tax withholding tables to calculate your withholdings, and your benefit is less than the minimum amount required to have taxes withheld (based on filing status, exemptions and subtractions), then little or no taxes were withheld during the year.

*** TRS does not provide tax advice regarding the amounts to be withheld ***

Your withholding elections can be changed at any time in MyTRS or by mailing IRS Form W-4P and Form OK-W-4-P.

Forms can be returned by mail to:

Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma    

P.O. Box 53524                        

Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3524

Q: Why does the amount in Box 1 (Gross distribution) not match the total deposited into my account?

A: The amount deposited into your account is a net amount after subtracting things withheld from your benefit payments like taxes, insurance, levies, garnishments, member dues, etc.

Q: What do the different boxes on the 1099-R represent?

Q: What is the State ID number for TRS?

A: Please see Box 15 on Form-1099R. The “PAYER” on the 1099 form is the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS) since TRS “pays” the benefit to the “recipient”. A PAYER must have a federal ID number on the 1099. Some people refer to it as a “State ID Number” but this federal ID number is only used for federal tax purposes and other limited purposes. So the “State ID number” for 1099 purposes is really the TRS Federal ID Number. The TRS Federal ID Number is 73-6028563.

Q: Why did I receive multiple 1099-Rs from TRS?

A: Please do not discard any tax form you receive as you may have received a payment, other than a normal retirement, that required a different distribution code.  Some of the reasons why you may have been issued two or more 1099-R forms are:

  • You may have reached the age of 59½* at some point during the year.  *One 1099-R you receive will have Code 2 (early distribution, with exceptions) in box 7 for the portion of the year’s benefits prior to turning 59½ and another 1099-R will have Code 7 (normal distribution) in box 7 for the portion of the year after turning 59½.
  • You may have received a distribution as a beneficiary
  • You may have taken a distribution from your own account

You should be able to determine from the amounts, or by the distribution code listed in box 7, which 1099-R is for which distribution.  If you still have questions, contact TRS.

Q: How do I determine how much was withheld from my retirement for medical insurance premiums?

A: If you had medical insurance premiums withheld from your TRS benefits, that amount will be clearly marked in the “Insurance Premiums” box on your 1099.

Q: How do I get a duplicate copy of my 1099-R? (OR) How do I get a copy of my 1099-R if I did not receive it?

A: Duplicate Forms 1099-R are available in MyTRS.

In addition, you may request a duplicate Form 1099-R in writing, via fax or United States Postal Service. Your current mailing address must match our records before a 1099-R will be mailed to you. All requests must include your name, Social Security number, tax year requested, mailing address, daytime telephone number, and signature. Please allow 10-15 business days to receive your 1099-R.

Fax:      (405) 522-2521

Mail:     Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma

P.O. Box 53524

Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3524

Has your address changed? Addresses may be updated in MyTRS or

you may complete and submit an updated Personal Data Form.  

Sample 1099-R

The IRS’ 1099-R website may be referenced as well:

Box 1: Shows the total amount you received this year.

Box 2a: This part of the distribution is generally taxable.

Box 4: Shows federal income tax withheld.

Box 5: Generally, this shows the employee’s investment in the contract (after-tax contributions).

(Employee’s after tax contributions – made while you were employed. i.e. (if you made after-tax retirement contributions, used after-tax money as payment for a service purchase, redeposit or other billing, etc.)

Box 7. The following codes identify the distribution you received*:

1 — Early distribution, no known exception (in most cases a withdrawal, under age 59½).

2 — Early distribution, exception applies (under age 59½).

3 — Disability.

4 — Death.

4G — Death, Direct Rollover

7 — Normal distribution.

G — Direct Rollover

*See the back side of copy "C" of your 1099-R form for further explanation of distribution codes

Box 14: State Income Tax Withheld

Insurance Premiums: Insurance premiums withheld from retirement benefit checks for the calendar year.

How should I notify TRS of my new home mailing address?

It is important you keep TRS advised of your current contact information. Active members should change their name and address with their employer, which will then be updated with TRS. Retired and inactive members can use the MyTRS Member Portal updates or may notify TRS in writing or by submitting a Personal Data Form 1R to TRS.

How do I change my beneficiary with TRS? 

It is important to keep your beneficiary designation up to date. Active Members may update their beneficiary information by submitting a Beneficiary Designation Form 2A to TRS. Retired Members may update their beneficiary information by submitting a Beneficiary Designation Form 2R to TRS. Forms are not valid until they are received by TRS. For more information on survivor benefits, please refer to the Member Handbook.

Can I get an estimate of benefits with all plan options from this web site?

Members now have the ability to create retirement projections through the MyTRS Member Portal using these instructions. Alternatively, Members may submit a Pre-Retirement Information Verification Form 3 to TRS and a retirement projection will be sent to you.

How can I find out about retiring?

Members should obtain a retirement projection at least one year before their expected retirement date. Members now have the ability to create retirement projections through the MyTRS Member Portal using these instructions. Alternatively, Members may submit a Pre-Retirement Information Verification Form 3 to TRS and a retirement projection will be sent to you. Members should also consider attending one of our virtual retirement planning seminars which are offered monthly from June – December. More information including retirement timelines, the retirement processpresentations, and virtual seminar dates and registration can be found on the TRS Retirement Seminars page.

If I retire this year, what do I have to do?

Generally, you should start the application approximately 6 months before the effective retirement date to ensure your account is free of outstanding balances or issues that are yet to be resolved.Please refer to the Timeline chart online to determine when you should begin your retirement process.Retirement is accomplished through the following three-step process.

Step One:

If you are planning to retire, you must submit the completed Pre-Retirement Information Verification form at least 90 days before your expected date of retirement. If the PIV is received less than 90 days prior to the projected retirement date, the retirement date will be delayed by at least one month.All pending balances must also be paid at this time to ensure all available service is included in the benefit amount.

Step Two:

Upon receipt of the PIV, your Intent To Retire (ITR) will be sent to you and must be returned to OTRS at least 60 days prior to retirement. If the ITR is received less than 60 days prior to the projected retirement date, the retirement date will be delayed by at least one month.

Step Three:

Upon receipt of the ITR, a final Contract will be mailed to you. Your Final Contract and required documents for retirement must be postmarked at least 30 days prior to your date of retirement. If the final contract is received less than 30 days prior to the projected retirement date, the retirement date will be delayed by at least one month.Each member is responsible for filling out the proper application and completing all necessary paperwork in a timely manner.

Retirement always begins the first of the month. Most members retire effective June 1, at the end of the school year. The Final Contract for Retirement must be filed by May 1 to retire June 1 and receive a retirement check July 1. Members can and do retire on the first of other months during the year depending of eligibility and desire. You can request a retirement estimate online or contact TRS by phone, mail or email.

When can a TRS member retire?

A vested member of TRS is eligible to apply for retirement benefits:

  • If you joined TRS prior to July 1, 1992, you are eligible to receiveunreduced retirement benefits at age 62 or when your age and years of creditable servicetotal 80points, OR at the minimum age of 55to receive reduced benefits,
  • If you joined TRS after June 30, 1992 and before November 1, 2011, you are eligible to receive unreduced retirement benefits at age 62 or when your age and years of creditable servicetotal 90points, OR at the minimum age of 55to receive reduced benefits,
  • If you joined TRS after November 1, 2011, you are eligible to receive unreduced retirement benefits at age 65 orwhen your age and years of creditable service total 90 points, OR at the minimum age of 60to receive reduced benefits.

How do I go about making an appointment to discuss my retirement benefits?

You may contact TRS to talk to a TRS staff member or schedule an appointment after you receive a hypothetical estimate, projection or Intent To Retire. Phone consultations are encouraged as many questions CAN be answered by telephone if you are unable to make an appointment. TRS responds to inquiries in a timely manner, providing estimates of retirement benefits under all options for the date(s) requested.

Do I get a refund if I terminate my membership with TRS? 

Upon termination of employment, a member may withdraw their accumulated member contributions credited to their account. A member may request a withdrawal packet by secure messaging through the MyTRS Member Portal or by phone at 405.521.2387 or toll free at 877.738.6365. Completed forms will not be accepted before member’s last day on the job. The earliest one can receive payment is the 20th day of the 4th month after the termination date as verified by their former employer(s). For more information on withdrawing your account, please refer to the Member Handbook.

How can I obtain additional service credit?

Members may purchase service for certain employment to obtain additional service credit towards retirement. Purchased Service is subject to verification and documentation before a billing statement is prepared and may include:

• Substitute service (120-day minimum in same school year)

• Adjunct service (18 or more credit hours in same school year)

• Military service (180-day minimum in same fiscal year)

• Out-of-state service (6 months of full-time employment in same school year)

• Prior Oklahoma service (non-contributory service).

• Optional service performed prior to July 1, 2021 (provided the member has not previously withdrawn such service or ceased making contributions to TRS while continuing working during the time period of such service) 

• Service accrual during leave--various time limits may apply in which to notify Teachers' Retirement of intent to purchase and make payment to receive proper credit for leave taken under Workers’ Compensation guidelines, when called into active, military duty (under USERRA), due to family leave (during child’s first year of life), or due to official sabbatical from an Oklahoma school (requires employer to remit contributions for full-time pay, commensurate with prior year, while member receives one-half pay during leave).

For more information about Service Purchases, please refer to the Member Handbook.

What options do I have for health insurance after I retire?

Members who retire or terminate employment with at least ten years of creditable service may be eligible to continue the insurance provided by their employer upon retirement. This can be the OMES Employees Group Insurance Plan offering or a private health insurance plan offered by the member’s school district. If the same insurance is continued into retirement, the System will pay a supplement of $100 - $105 (depending on length of service and final average salary at retirement) toward the members’ health insurance premiums. If you are enrolled in the state plan, TRS deducts the balance of monthly premiums, including dependent coverage, and forwards your premiums and the TRS supplement to the insurance plan. When you are covered by an employer health insurance plan other than the state plan, the TRS monthly premium supplement is paid directly to the local employer on your behalf, but TRS cannot deduct the balance of premiums from your monthly benefit check.

For more information on post-retirement health insurance benefits, please refer to the Member Handbook and the OMES Group Insurance Division.

What happens to my benefits if I become divorced?

A court may order that your former spouse receive a portion of your retirement benefits. This can only be accomplished if a copy of the court order or judgment is filed and approved by TRS. Such an order is commonly known as a Qualified Domestic Order (QDO) and the former spouse is referred to as an Alternate Payee. If you anticipate a divorce, you or your attorney should download the TRS Form QDO documents and submit a draft of the proposed QDO to TRS for review prior to finalization in court. 

May I return to work after I retire with TRS?

TRS retirees cannot work at any TRS employer in any capacity for a 60 day period following their last day of preretirement employment. After 60 days, TRS retirees can return in a non-contributory status subject to earnings limits and continue to receive their monthly retirement benefit from TRS or in contributory status where their monthly retirement benefit is suspended and additional retirement credit is earned. For more information, please see our brochure on Returning to Work After Retirement as well as our Member Handbook.

Senate Bill 267 allows certain educators who retired on or before July 1, 2020, to return to the classroom as an active classroom teacher with no limitations on their earnings. In order to qualify for the exception under SB 267, retirees must have not been employed by any public school or career technology center for 12 consecutive months immediately following his or her retirement date. All educators returning under this provision must be employed as active classroom teachers and pursuant to temporary contracts. A complete summary and list of frequently asked questions can be found here: SB 267 FAQ

SB 683 modifies eligibility requirements related to optional employee membership in TRS after July 1, 2021. Under the new provision, nonclassified optional employees are eligible for participation in TRS upon their initial employment with a TRS employer (previously, these employees had to wait one year to participate in TRS). To accommodate this change, TRS’s provisions regarding optional personnel have been updated to reflect current IRS regulations. As part of this revision, optional personnel will no longer be permitted to “opt-in” and “opt-out” of participation in TRS while remaining employed at a TRS employer. Instead, all current optional personnel and all future optional personnel will have to make an irrevocable election whether to participate in TRS. This election will follow them throughout employment with any TRS employer. A complete summary and list of frequently asked questions can be found by clicking here.

Last Modified on Apr 27, 2023
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