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MetLife Welcome and Beneficiary Letters

MetLife began sending out Welcome and Beneficiary letters the first week of March to members notifying them that MetLife is the Term Life Beneficiary Recordkeeper for the State of Illinois.  The letters encourage members to update their beneficiary information and how to do so through MetLife.  If you have questions about your life insurance and need assistance, please contact MetLife at 800-880-6394.


Federal Income Tax Withholding

If you need to change the amount of your federal tax withholding, you must submit a new W-4P to GARS. The new W-4P may be submitted at any time throughout the year.

You should contact a qualified tax advisor or an IRS representative at 800-829-1040 with questions about your taxes, including withholdings.

Taxation of Your Retirement Annuity

Illinois law exempts all GARS benefits from state income tax. However, benefits are subject to federal income tax. If your federal tax withholding information is not on file with GARS, taxes are withheld using the rate for a married person with three exemptions.

Each year, the Comptroller’s office is required to send you a 1099-R form showing the total annuity amount you received during the past year, as well as any taxes withheld.

W-4P Frequently Asked Questions

Who to Contact

Contact the General Assembly Retirement System

Contact us at (217)782-8500, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email for questions about:

  • Annuity Benefits
  • Incorrect Insurance Premium Deductions
  • Dependent Deaths
  • Opt Out Financial Incentive
  • W2-GI+
  • Reciprocal Retirement Systems Service
  • Address Discrepancy Regarding Insurance
  • Change of Address/Name Requests
  • Income Verifications
  • Member Fraud Alerts
  • POA/Guardianship/Executor/Trust Inquiries
  • Taxes and Other Deductions
  • 1099Rs
  • Overpayments for Pension/Survivor

Contact MyBenefits

Contact or the MyBenefits Service Center (toll-free) (844)251-1777 or (TTY toll-free) (844)251-1778, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST for questions about:

  • Changing/Opting out of Health Coverage
  • Making Changes to your MAPD Plan
  • Life Insurance Coverage & Requests to Increase/Decrease Amounts
  • Adding/Dropping Dependents
  • Insurance Premiums

Contact the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS)

Contact the CMS Medicare Unit – (217)782-7007, the CMS Benefits & Claim Support Unit – (217)558-4486, the CMS Premium Collection Unit – (217)558-4783, or CMS General (toll-free) – (800)442-1300 for questions about:

  • Medicare
  • Insurance Claims
  • Insurance Premium Payments for Direct Pay

Contact MetLife

Contact MetLife at (toll-free) (800)880-6394 or at for questions about:

  • Life Insurance
  • Beneficiaries, Payment of Claims & Assignments