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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Former Rail Worker Wants to Continue Working Full-Time and Receive an Annuity

(Posted January 4, 2014)

Question 1092: I'm vested with 21 years of railroad service. I left in 1997. I am 57. I work full-time for a junior college and will be vested in its pension in 2017. Can I draw Railroad Retirement at 62, and still work full-time for the college?

Answer: Your plan to continue to work full-time can cause you to lose both portions of your Tier 1 and Tier 2.

First, your Tier 1 will be subject to annual earnings restrictions until you reach your full retirement age. Since you were born in 1957, you will reach your full retirement age at 66-1/2.

The earnings limit in 2014 is $15,480. It's not possible to predict what the limit will be for 2018 when you reach 62 because it's revised each year based on the increase in the average earnings of current workers. If you earn more than the annual limit, you will lose $1 in Tier 1 for each $2 of earnings over the annual limit.

Your work for the junior college will be considered as "Last Person Employment" and your Tier 2 will be reduced by $1 for each $2 in earnings from the junior college beginning with the first $2 in earnings. The maximum reduction is 50% of your Tier 2.

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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