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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Spouse's Pension From State Retirement Plan

(Posted July 22, 2004)

Question 489: I am employed by a county school district in Nevada, where I pay into a retirement plan run by the state of Nevada. Will I receive my own retirement benefit plus a Spouse Benefit from Railroad Retirement? My husband will retire soon after 42 years working for the railroad.

Answer: If your government job is not covered by Social Security, you will be subject to the "Government Pension Offset." Under that law, the Tier 1 benefit of your Railroad Retirement Spouse Benefit will be reduced by 2/3 of the amount of your Nevada pension. There will be no reduction in your Tier 2 benefit.

More information about the Government Pension Offset can be found at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/hearings.asp?formmode=detail&hearing=164 -- that's a page containing testimony presented about the law on July 20, 2004 to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.


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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