Question 189: How can I find someone outside of the government to recheck an annuity estimate given to me by the Railroad Retirement Board?
Answer: Finding someone in the private sector who is knowledgeable enough to compute a complete Railroad Retirement Benefit may be difficult but not impossible. You can try to find an actuary who may be willing. Or a lawyer who specializes either in handling appeals from Railroad Retirement beneficiaries or in personal injury cases involving railroad workers. If you still have connections with your railroad brotherhood, they could be helpful in pointing you to a qualified person.
Be prepared to pay a substantial fee though because it is a very difficult and time-consuming process to do all of the calculations manually.
The American Academy of Actuaries sponsors a program under which actuaries volunteer to provide their services to individuals who have retirement plan questions, called the Pension Assistance List (PAL).
For more information about the program, see this web page:
http://www.actuary.org/palprogram.htm (click here)
You'll also find a link on that page entitled "Request assistance from PAL" -- that's the online form to use when requesting help.