Interests from Former Employment

How do I report a 401(k) plan and defined benefit plan with my former employer? 

You should report the underlying assets in the 401(k) as separate line items on Schedule A. For funds held in the 401(k), you should determine whether they meet the definition of “excepted investment fund” so you can report them correctly. For information regarding the criteria for meeting the EIF standard, please click on the following link. (EIF standard)

You should also report your defined benefit plan on Schedule A. You should list the name of the employer providing the plan and identify the asset as a “defined benefit plan” in Block A. In Block B, check the appropriate category of value. In Block C, check the appropriate type and category of amount of income. If you cannot ascertain the value of the plan, you may state the “value is not readily ascertainable” and provide the amount of benefit you will receive and the age you will begin receiving it.

In addition, you should report the 401(k) and defined benefit plan on Schedule C, Part II (Agreements and Arrangements). You should include the following information for the 401(k) plan and defined benefit plan on Schedule C, Part II: name of the employer; a statement that the plan is a 401(k) plan or defined benefit plan; and the date you entered the plan.


Last year I was awarded a $20,000 bonus from the company for which I worked. How do I report this?  

The bonus should be reported on Schedule A, listing your employer in Block A and the exact amount received (e.g. $20,000) in the ‘Other Income’ column with a notation that it represents a bonus. Alternatively, you may aggregate this figure with your salary and enter the total in the ‘Other Income’ column with a notation that it represents both your salary and a bonus. No boxes in Blocks B or C should be checked. The name of your employer also needs to be reported on Schedule D, Part II if you are a first-time filer and if the amount of the bonus and other compensation exceeds $5,000. Bonuses received from the Government do not have to be reported.


I am on a leave of absence from a university. Do I have to report TIAA-CREF holdings in a retirement plan with the university? 

Yes. TIAA-CREF offers annuity accounts and mutual funds for retirement plans. All TIAA-CREF annuity accounts and mutual funds must be reported on Schedule A if they meet the reporting threshold.

For variable annuities, each account must be reported as a separate item. For example, if your TIAA-CREF plan holds the CREF Stock Account, the CREF Social Choice Account, and the TIAA Real Estate Account, you should report each account on a separate line. You should report the full name of the account in Block A, such as “TIAA Real Estate Account.” In Block B, check the appropriate category of value. In Block C, check the “Excepted Investment Fund” column and the appropriate category of amount of income. For information regarding the criteria for meeting the EIF standard, please click on the following link. (EIF standard)

The TIAA Traditional Annuity is a fixed annuity. You should report “TIAA Traditional Annuity” in Block A. In Block B, check the appropriate category of value. In Block C check the type of income and the appropriate category of amount of income. Do not check the “Excepted Investment Fund” box for fixed annuities. Fixed annuities do not qualify as “Excepted Investment Funds” because they are an obligation of the company, not an interest in a fund.

For other TIAA-CREF mutual funds that are not part of an annuity plan, report the exact name of the fund in Block A. In Block B, check the appropriate category of value. In Block C, check the “Excepted Investment Fund” column and the appropriate category of amount of income.

In addition, you should report the TIAA-CREF retirement plan on Schedule C, Part II (Agreements and Arrangements). You should report the name of the university, a statement that the plan is a TIAA-CREF plan, the parties to the agreement, and the date you entered the plan. I am leaving my private sector employer with vested and unvested stock options. Do I have to report these options?Yes, stock options acquired through employment are required to be reported on Schedule A if they meet the threshold for asset value ($1,000 at the close of the reporting period). You must report both vested and unvested stock options even if they are underwater. For underwater options, report the following information instead of a category of value: number of shares; strike price; date on which the options will expire; and the vesting date if the options are unvested. In addition, you should report the options on Schedule C, Part II (Agreements and Arrangements) because the options are an agreement or arrangement with a former employer. On Schedule C, you should identify the name of the employer, whether the options are vested or unvested, the parties to the agreement, and the date you entered the plan. You should also describe what you will do with the options (e.g., whether they will be retained, exercised, or forfeited).