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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Spouses of Rail Workers

(Posted July 8, 2003)

Question 283: I'm a railroad worker; my wife is covered by Social Security. Will she receive Railroad Retirement too?

Answer: The short answer is "yes," but her Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefit will be reduced by the amount of her own Social Security benefit. She also will receive a Tier 2 benefit, which is not reduced for Social Security.

She can qualify for full benefits as early as age 60 if (i) you have at least 30 years of rail service, (ii) you are age 60 too, and (iii) you have retired. If you have less than 30 years of rail service, she will qualify for reduced benefits at age 62 if you are at least age 62 and retired.

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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