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Estimates of Future Railroad Retirement Benefits
(Posted August 23, 2001)
Question 130: I will be 60 in December 2001. I plan to retire January 1, 2002. I left the railroad industry eight years ago. My annual earnings have been lower. I received an estimate from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) that is based on my annuity starting on December 1, 2001 (not January 1, 2002). Are they afraid to show me the figures for January 1, 2002 because my rate will be lower?
Answer: I checked with the RRB and your estimate uses the latest data now available. They cannot project more accurately what your benefit will be next year until the special calculation "bend points" for 2002 are available later this fall. The policy is to give estimates based on the current data available and to be conservative so they won't overstate the rate.
If you want another estimate based on January 1, 2002, you should requested one in late October. The new "bend points" will be available by then.
By the way, your Tier 1 benefit will be based on the highest earnings years reported. Even if those years are not the most current ones, they will be used.
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