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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Can My Ex-Wife Claim Part of My Tier 2 Benefits?

(Posted September 23, 2001)

Question 135: I need information about whether and when an ex-spouse can claim a portion of my Tier 2 benefit. We have been divorced for 18 years. She has remarried.

Answer: It doesn't sound like she has much of a claim but you need competent legal counsel to protect your rights. I am not an attorney and I do not give legal advice as part of my column.

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has fairly strict requirements before they will divide a Tier 2 benefit to provide a portion for an ex-spouse. The final divorce decree must specify that the RRB, and not you, is required to make the payments. The decree also must either contain the exact monthly amount of payments to the ex-spouse or the percentage of your benefit she is entitled to. And the decree must officially be filed with the RRB. There is no retroactivity allowed.

Unless all these requirements are met, she will not be able to draw any of your Tier 2 benefit.

You need to consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling the apportionment of retirement benefits as part of a divorce proceeding.

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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