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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Estimates of Future Benefits May Differ From Actual Payments

(Posted August 9, 2002)

Question 185: Before I decided to take an early retirement package offered by the railroad, RRB gave me an estimate of my Railroad Retirement at 60. Now that I'm nearing 60, the RRB has come up with a lower amount. Can you explain why?

Answer: Estimating future benefits is very tricky. You need to assume future earnings, and even the yearly legal maximums that might limit how much can be credited. Then you have such varibles as Social Security and military service. So the RRB estimate is only that: an estimate.

When I used to provide estimates, I would try to get as close as possible to what I thought the final rate would be but I would use the most "conserative" assumptions so as to avoid overstating the amount. I would carefully explain that to the worker.

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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