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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Public Pension Offset Exemption

(Posted August 22, 2001)

Question 128: My husband retired at 62 with 39 years of rail credits. He is receiving an unreduced benefit. I will be 60 in 2003 and I believe I can receive a spouse's benefit without any reduction for my Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) benefit. I switched from the old Civil Service Retirement System to FERS in 1987. Am I correct?

Answer: Yes, you have a special exemption because of the switch from Civil Service to FERS.

Normally a spouse's Tier 1 benefit is reduced by two-thirds of any public pension that's based on employment not covered by Railroad Retirement or Social Security. The reduction does not apply in your case.

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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