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Can a Person Collect Both Social Security and Railroad Retirement?
(Posted January 18, 2015)
Question 1232: Can a person collect both Social Security and Railroad Retirement? My wife collects Railroad Retirement, and has paid into the Social Security system for 40 years. For whatever reason, she is not allowed to collect from Social Security because she collects from Railroad Retirement. Can I, as her spouse, collect her Social Security along with my Railroad Retirement?
Answer: This is probably the most frequently asked question. The answer is "YES" but with qualifications.
You can collect both benefits, but the Tier 1 of the Railroad Retirement Annuity is fully reduced by the Social Security Benefit. Depending upon the benefit rate, it may be advantageous to file for one at 62 and delay filing for the other until you reach your full retirement age. Also, depending on the benefit rates, your total monthly income might not increase despite the addition of Social Security.
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