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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Earnings Limits

(Posted April 6, 2004)

Question 423: My husband is retiring this year with 35-1/2 years service. He will be 63 and I will be 60. Is the limit as to how much we can earn each year combined, or do each of us have a limit as to what we can earn counted individually? I am self-employed and have been for 14 years, and need to know if I need to cut back my business as to not lose any benefits.

Answer: Each of you has an seperate annual earnings limit. The amount is adjusted each year to reflect a national increase in average earnings.

For 2004, the limit is $11,640 for a person who has not yet reached his or her "normal retirement age." If you exceed that amount, you will lose $1 in benefits for each $2 of earnings.

As a Spouse, your benefits also would be reduced if your husband exceeds the earnings limit.

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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