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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Working After Retirement

(Posted July 9, 2004)

Question 479: Will I still be able to work and draw a retirement benefit? If so, how much will I be able to earn?

Answer: Yes, you can work within the following limitations.

You cannot work for any company covered by Railroad Retirement. If you do, you will lose your entire annuity (both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 components) for that calander month.

Your Tier 1 benefit might be reduced if you work and earn above the following amounts in 2004.

  • If you are under your normal retirement age (which is 65 & four months for people born in 1939), you begin losing $1 in Tier 1 benefits for each $2 you earn above $11,640 in 2004.
  • If you reach normal retirement age in 2004, you begin losing $1 in benefits for each $3 you earn above $31,030 until the month you reach normal retirement age. (The exempt amounts are adjusted annually.)
  • When you reach normal retirement age, there are no restrictions on the amount of your earnings.


Your Tier 2 benefit and any Supplemental Annuity will be reduced $1 for each $2 you earn from the last non-railroad employer you worked for after you left the railroad industry & before you retired.

Unlike the Tier 1 benefit restrictions explained above, there is no exempt amount. The reduction will continue even after you reach normal retirement age. No other earnings affect Tier 2 or the Supplemental Annuity.


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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