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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Rail Worker Vested for Both Railroad Retirement and Social Security

(Posted December 28, 2003)

Question 353: My husband worked for the railroad for many years and is vested for retirement. He also has worked in other jobs in the last few years, so he has paid into Social Security. When he retires, can he collect both Railroad Retirement and Social Security?

Answer: Since 1975, it is no longer possible for a worker to draw full Railroad Retirement and Social Security benefits. Tier 1 of the Railroad Retirement is reduced dollar-for-dollar by any Social Security benefits paid to the worker.

Many retired workers find there is no advantage to file for both benefits if they can't gain anything. But there are some exceptions, so if your husband becomes insured for Social Security, he should ask the RRB if there is any financial advantage to filing for those benefits.

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 1997-2015 Robert S. Kaufman
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