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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Married Persons

(Posted May 29, 2004)

Question 457: I was told that when I retire and am able to collect Railroad Retirement, my wife will collect half of my retirement as well. Is that true?

Answer: Your wife can collect an amount equal to 50% of your Tier 1 & 45% of your Tier 2. But you and she must meet certain age requirements, depending on how much rail service you have.

If you have at least 30 years (360 months), she could start collecting as early as age 60. Her benefits would not be reduced for age.

If you have less than 30 years, she could start collecting at 62 but her benefits would be reduced because she would not have reached her "normal retirement age" (65-67, depending on her year of birth).

She should contact the nearest Railroad Retirement Board office for assistance in filing an application 3 months before she becomes eligible.

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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