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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

When Will 5-Year Vesting Begin?

(Posted July 21, 2001)

Question 115: Will the 5-year vesting proposal ever come about? It would certainly help me. I plan to retire at 62 with 36 years under Social Security and 6 years under Railroad Retirement by that time. Also, when I retire, will I get more from Social Security or Railroad Retirement?

Answer: Five year vesting will go into effect if H.R. 1140 is passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. The legislation is pending in the House of Repersentatives.

If H.R. 1140 becomes law, you will be vested for both Social Security and Railroad Retirement.

You would most likely receive more from Railroad Retirement because Tier 1 would be larger than your Social Security benefit alone. This is because Railroad Retirement combines your earnings from both programs whereas Social Security does not when you are vested for Railraod Retirement. And you would receive a Tier 2 from Railroad Retirement (Social Security does not have a similiar benefit).

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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