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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

What Happens To My Contributions When I'm Not Vested?

(Posted February 8, 2002)

Question 158: I worked for the old Chicago Rock Island & Pacific RR in 1965 and 1966. I know I paid into the pension fund. How can I find out how much I contributed and if I will receive any benefits?

Answer: To be vested you need atleast 120 months of credits (10 years), or 60 months of credits (5 years) after 1995. Because it appears you do not meet either vesting requirement, your railroad credits will be sent to Social Security and combined with your earnings under that program. You will not receive any benefits from Railroad Retirement.

You can find out how much your earned from the Rock Island Line (like in that popular American ballad) from the Railroad Retirement Board. Q&A 9 of this column will tell you how to find the RRB district office serving your area.

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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