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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Rail Worker from Mexico Worked for U.S. Railroad Until 1940

(Posted December 30, 2014)

Question 1225: In 1940 my grandpa worked for the railroad company and then he decided to move back to Mexico. How do I go about finding out if his pension is still active? When he was alive, his attorney stated that he had a fortune for his grandkids.

Answer: At the time that your grandfather worked for the railroad in the United States, rail workers needed 120 months (10 years) of U.S. railroad service in order to be vested for a pension.

If he was vested but never received an annuity from the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, there may be a Residual Lump Sum payable. A Residual Lump Sum is based on the payroll taxes collected between 1937 and 1974, minus any benefits paid out.

You need to contact the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago Illinois 60611. Include your grandfather's full name, the location and name of the railroad he worked for, and his U.S. Social Security Number.

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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