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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Husband and Wife Want to Take Social Security Early and then Wait for Railroad Retirement

(Posted July 28, 2013)

Question 1033: I have 20 years with the railroad and 18 years with Social Security. I would like to take my Social Security at age 64 now, and my wife would like to take her Social Security at age 62. We would like defer Railroad Retirement until we reach our full retirement ages, when we understand there would be no reductions in our Railroad Retirement due to age.

After numerous calls to the Railroad retirement Board (RRB), I understand my Tier 1 will be reduced by my Social Security benefit amount, but in effect I will receive my total planned retirement between the two benefits. Is this true? And I assume it works the same on the
spouse benefit as well?

Answer: The story get better. By doing it the way you have described, you and your wife will receive more in monthly benefits when you reach your full retirement age because your Railroad Retirement will not be reduced for age! Your total benefits will be about 30% higher than if you took them early.

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 or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes 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 law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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