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Refund of Employee Contributions to Railroad Retirement Funds
(Posted February 12, 2000)
Question 44: I took a voluntary separation payment in May 1997 after 17 years of rail service. Can I pull out my contributions and roll them over into an IRA or 401(k)-type account?
Answer: No, Railroad Retirement contributions actually are payroll taxes and cannot be refunded back to the employee or rolled over into an IRA or 401(k).
Because you have more than 10 years of rail service, you're "vested" and you will be eligible for benefits at age 62 (or earlier, if you become permanently disabled). If you had less than 10 years of rail service, your rail credits would be transferred to Social Security and combined with credits under that program.
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