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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

What If the Rail Worker and I Divorce?

(Posted June 11, 2003)

Question 267: My husband has more than 30 years of rail service credits. He's been getting disability benefits for the last 8 years and has just turned 65. I'm turning 60 and we've been married for 40 years. Recently he has talked about getting divorced.

If a divorce is granted, will I continue to receive my 60/30 spouse annuity? Can I get a portion of his pension because I had to give up my job 8 years ago to care for him?

Answer: If you are divorced, your regular spouse benefit will immediately end. If you do not remarry, you could qualify for a divorced spouse's benefit at 62. It would be quite a bit less than your current spouse benefit (see Q&A 236 for how the two benefits compare).

As part of your divorce property settlement, you can be awarded a portion of your husband's Tier 2. You need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure that this option is included in any property settlement.

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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