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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

What My School Teacher Wife Will Collect At Retirement

(Posted February 13, 2004)

Question 380: My wife is a school teacher; she pays into a state retirement plan and Social Security. I am employed with the railroad. When we both retire, what will she be able to receive?

Answer: It sounds like she will qualify for 3 different retirement benefits.

Her teachers pension (provided by the state retirement plan) and Social Security will be based on her own employment record.

She also will get a Railroad Retirement benefit as a Spouse, which will be based on your employment record. Her Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefit will be reduced by the amount of her Social Security benefit. But it will not be reduced by her teachers pension under the Public Pension Offset because, in your state, teachers are covered by Social Security.

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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