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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Spouse Benefit Following Divorce

(Posted July 11, 2004)

Question 482: I'm in the middle of a divorce. My husband has 28 years on the railroad. Am I entitled to part of both his Tier 1 and Tier 2 retirement benefits?

Answer: A divorced spouse benefit is provided by law in lieu of Tier 1.
It becomes payable at 62. If you are entitled to your own Social Security benefit, it will be reduced by the amount you receive of that Social Security benefit.

Tier 2 benefits are not automatic but you can receive a portion of your husband's Tier 2 when he retires if you and he agree to it as part of your property settlement. Your divorce attorney might have to use the services of an actuary to determine the value of your husband's Tier 2 based on life expectancy tables and other information.

The agreement partitoning the Tier 2 must be included in the final divorce decree and then filed with the General Counsel of the Railroad Retireement Board.

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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