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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Spouse Will Receive Texas Teacher's Pension

(Posted June 22, 2004)

Question 470: My husband will be 61 in February 2005. He has 30 years of rail service. I will be 59 in at that point; I'll have 18 years in the Teachers Retirement System of Texas. I can apply to get early retirment benefits from TRS. If in January 2006, when I reach 60, I apply for my Railroad Retirement spouse benefit, will my TRS pension or Railroad Retirement be reduced and at what percent?

Answer: I can only advise what will happen to your Railroad Retirement spouse benefit.

Because as a Texas public school teacher you were not covered by Social Security, your Tier 1 benefit will be reduced by 2/3 of your teacher's pension. This is called the "Government Pension Offset." It is designed to put public workers not covered by Social Security in the same position as those who are covered by Social Security. There is no reduction in your Tier 2 benefit.

You need to ask the Texas TRS whether your Texas TRS pension is going to be reduced because of your Railroad Retirement benefit.


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.


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