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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Pending Legislation Will Not Lower Eligibilty Age for Spouse Benefits

(Posted June 28, 2001)

Question 111: Under current Railroad Retirement rules, a wife can receive benefits at 60 if her husband has 30 or more years of railroad service. Her husband can draw his retirement at 62. I understand that certain proposed changes will allow a rail worker with 30 years to draw a full pension at 60. Will a wife be able to start her benefit at 58?

Answer: First I need to correct a misunderstanding you have about when 60/30 benefits can start under the current rules. A worker can draw benefits as early as 60 but the Tier 1 benefit is permanently reduced for the months before age 62.

The proposed legislation eliminates any reduction if retirement is before 62. There is no change for spouses; age 60 remains the earliest date benefits can begin.

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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