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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Termination Before Retirement
(Posted March 1, 2002)
Question 163: I'm 49 and I have been a management employee of Amtrak since August 1973. I was terminated on February 1, 2002 as part of a reorganization. I only have 28-1/2 years of service. I am very concerned how this will affect my retirement because I won't have 30 years of service. Do I have any options?
Answer: You first option would be to find another job in the railroad industry so you could get at least 30 years of service. The Railroad Retirement Board may be of assistance to you because they do placement work and maintain job registers as part of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Program, the other major program the RRB administers.
Without 30 years, you (and your spouse) cannot receive retirement benefits until age 62. Those would be at a reduced rate rather than full benefits.
But I have some good news for you. Because of your "involuntary" exit, your "Current Connection" will be protected under a special provision. Because you are several years from retiring, your rights to a Supplemental Employee Annuity will continue, and your survivors will be eligible for benefits from Railroad Retirement after your death. You also will be eligible to receive an Occupational Disability Annuity if you became disabled for some employment but not for all employment before 65.
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