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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Keeping a Current Connection Before Reaching Retirement Age

(Posted April 4, 2004)

Question 421: I am 53 years old, with 34 years of service. I am looking at terminating Railroad employment before I reach age 60. If my wife owned a business and I was to work for her as a self-employed contractor, would that be allowable under the current connection restrictions? Does it make any difference if the business is incorporated? I have read Q&As 219, 377 and 408.

Answer: The best thing to do is to submit your self-employment plans to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and ask them for an opinion before you begin.

A person who calls himself "self-employed" but only provides services to one person often has been ruled by the RRB to be in "regular employment" rather than self-employment. Also, providing those services for a family member (or to a corporation owned by a family member) does not help establish your self-employed status.

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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