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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

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.


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.


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