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U.S. Pension and Annuity Income Drops Again

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Part of the IRS headquarters building (Photo: Allison Bell/TA) (Photo: Allison Bell/TA)

The Internal Revenue Service says the number of individual taxpayers reporting income from pensions and annuities continued to fall in 2016.

The number of taxpayers who included private pension or annuity income in their 2016 returns fell 1.2%, to 28 million.

The average amount of pension and annuity income per recipient increased 1.6%, to about $25,100.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of taxpayers who reported getting pension or annuity income fell 0.5%. The average amount of pension or annuity income those taxpayers reported receiving increased 4.3%.

(Related: U.S. Workers Rank Retirement Security First: Prudential)

The IRS put the 2016 pension and annuity income numbers in a new collection of data from the tax returns filed in 2017, for 2016.

A copy of the full report for 2016 is available here.

A copy of the full report for 2015 is available here.

The Census Bureau has reported separately that the number of U.S. residents over age 65 increased 3.6% between 2015 and 2016, to 44.9 million.

A comparison of the IRS and Census Bureau numbers suggests that, even as the retiree population is growing, fewer retirees are getting guaranteed streams of income from private pension and retirement savings arrangements.

The IRS has not broken out the ages of the pension and annuity income recipients in the new report.

But the number of taxpayers reporting pension or annuity income for 2016 is equal to 62.5% of the total number of U.S. residents over age 65. That figure is down from 65.6% in 2015, and down from 68.2% in 2014.

U.S. Pension and Annuity Income, for 2014 through 2016

2016 2015 2014 Change, 2016/2015 Change, 2015/2014
Returns         28,054,617.0         28,403,147.0         28,545,699.0 -1.2% -0.5%
Total pension and annuity income      703,550,696.0      700,815,387.0      675,553,358.0 0.4% 3.7%
Average pension and annuity income per recipient                         25.1                         24.7                         23.7 1.6% 4.3%
U.S. residents ages 65+         44,874,735.0         43,313,614.0         41,871,333.0 3.6% 3.4%
Number of returns reporting pension or annuity income as a share of 65+ population 62.5% 65.6% 68.2%
Sources: IRS, Census Bureau

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