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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Social Security and Railroad Retirement for Spouses

(Posted June 29, 2002)

Question 182: As the spouse of a rail worker, can I draw both my own Social Security benefits as well as a spousal benefit from Railroad Retirement?

Answer: Yes, you can qualify for both but your Railroad Retirement Tier 1 will be reduced for your Social Security. You will receive a full Tier 2. Your Social Security payments will be made by the Railroad Retirement Board and you will qualify for Medicare at 65 through Railroad Retirement.

You can qualify for Railroad Retirement as early as age 60 depending on your spouse's age and how much railroad service (s)he has. If your Railroad Retirement begins before Social Security, your Tier 1 will not be reduced until your Social Security begins.

When you apply, you will need to furnish the Railroad Retirement Board proof of your age and a certified copy of your marriage certificate.


Important notice: Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner's situation. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of your situation. The laws, regulations and court decisions in this area change frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the laws, regulations or court decisions that occur after the date on which that Q&A is posted.
Copyright 1997-2014 Robert S. Kaufman
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