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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Timing the Starting of a Spouse Annuity
(Posted August 24, 2016)
Question 1251: I am currently working and plan to retire next year in August, when I turn 66. Railroad Retirement told me I can start collecting my husband's Railroad Retirement benefit (he retired in January) in the year in which I turn 66 (which would be 2017). Tier 1 would be the full amount and Tier 2 would be half. When I retire, I could choose to receive my Social Security benefit (which is higher), stop the Tier 1 and continue to collect the full Tier 2. Is this correct?
First of all, your Tier 1 is 50% of your husband's Tier 1, and your Tier 2 is 45% of hisTier 2. If you are awarded your own Social Security, your Tier 1 will be reduced by that amount. You don't have to take any action because SSA will send your payment to the RRB so it can adjust your Tier 1 before you receive the payment.
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