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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Retired Rail Worker is 60; Can Working Wife (Age 62) Receive Her Benefit Now?

(Posted December18, 2013)

Question 1085: I retired at age 60 with 35 years of service. My wife is 62 and works full-time for a doctor. Can she receive an RRB benefit while still working, or does she have to retire to receive an RRB benefit?

Answer: Yor wife does not have to stop her employment to receive a Spouse Annuity. But both you and your wife are subject to annual earnings limits from all employment and self-employment, until you both reach the full retirement age. In 2013, the earnings limit is $15,120. In 2014, it will increase to $15,480.

If your wife exceeds the annual earnings limit, she will lose $1 in her Tier 1 for every $2 in earnings above the annual limit.

If she continues to work for the doctor, her current employer, she also will be subject to the Last Person Employment earnings restriction applied to her Tier 2. She will lose $1 of her Tier 2 for every $2 she earns, beginning with the first $2 in earnings from the doctor.


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.


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