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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

What Happens If I Die Before My Wife Is Awarded a Spouse Annuity?

(Posted August 7, 2014)

Question 1163: If I die while receiving a Railroad Retirement benefit while my wife is receiving a Social Security benefit (she is deferring her Railroad Retirement Spousal Annuity until age 66), will she receive my Railroad Retirement minus Tier 2? Also, I would expect her social security be stopped; her Spousal Annuity amount should be more than her current Social Security amount. Is that right?

Answer: Here are the facts that may clarify the situation you have presented. When you die, your wife will receive a Widow's Annuity from Railroad Retirement. It will consist of both Tier 1 and Tier 2, and should be approximently the same amount you are receiving. Her Social Security would continue. Her Tier 1 benefit under Railroad Retirement will be reduced by the amount of her Social Security.

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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