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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Divorced Spouse Also Entitled to Social Security Benefit

(Posted June 15, 2014)

Question 1143: I was married to a railroad employee for 27 years. We recently went through an amicable divorce. I only requested Tier 1 benefits because I have my own non-railroad pension. I am single and I plan to take an early retirement at age 60 and file for reduced Social Security benefits. When I am 62, I plan to file for my Divorced Spouse Annuity from Railroad Retirement. Is there any advantage to waiting until age 66 to file for this?

Answer: At 62, you receive 70% of what you would receive at your full retirement age. You do realize that your Divorced Spouse Annuity is reduced by your own Social Security benefit. If your Social Security is higher, you would not receive anything from Railroad Retirement.

You should ask the Railroad Retirement Board for an estimate of your Divorced Spouse Annuity. Their toll-free number is: (877) 772-5772.

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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