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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

When Is New Wife Eligible Following Remarriage?

(Posted August 20, 2003)

Question 299: My wife of 30 years died four years ago, several years after my retirement from the railroad. If I remarry, what benefits will my new wife be entitled to if I die. She is 64 years of age and I am now 70.

Answer: Your new wife would be entitled to a widow's annuity if your new marriage lasts at least nine months before your death. She would receive 100% of your Tier 1 & Tier 2. If it began before her "normal retirement age"i.e., 65 & 2 months if she was born in 1938 & 64 & 4 months if she was born in 1939, her widow's benefit would be reduced for her age. Tier 1 would also be reduced for another Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefit.

The duration of marriage requirement for a spouse annuity is one year. Both the 9 month & one year requirements are waived if she is entitled to wife's or widow's benefits in the month before the remarriage.

Good luck to both of you!


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.


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