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Retirement tax questions

Yes, your TIAA-CREF pension is tax free on your NYS tax return, and will be a subtraction on the NYS (IT-201) tax return.

Article 16, § 5 of the New York State Constitution provides that "all salaries, wages and other compensation, except pensions, paid to officers and employees of the state and its subdivisions and agencies, shall be subject to taxation." Tax Law § 612 provides that the New York adjusted gross income of a resident individual means the individual's federal adjusted gross income with the modifications specified in § 612. Tax Law § 612(c)(3)(i) provides that, to the extent includible in gross income for federal income tax purposes, pensions paid to officers and employees of New York State, its subdivisions, and agencies will be subtracted from an individual's federal adjusted gross income.