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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Former Husband Worked for Canadian National Railroad
(Posted August 10, 2004)
Question 501: I was married to my first husband for 18 years. He was employed by the Canadian National for over 20 years. I believe he received a pension from the railroad. He recently passed away. Am I entitled to any benefits, now that I am retired?
Answer: You did not indicate if your former husband worked in the United States or in Canada. The Canadian National has extensive operation in both countries; the retirement and death benefits are different.
If he had at least 10 years of service within the United States, he would have been vested for Railroad Retirement and you could be entitled to a "Former Spouse Benefit" at 62 if you are not married. You should contact the Railroad Retirement Board. Use the direct hyperlink at the bottom of this question to find the location and phone number of the District Office serving your area.
If he worked exclusively within Canada, or if he had some service in the United States but less than 10 years, he would have been covered by the CN Pension Plan. You would have to contact the CN at (888)-888-5909 for information about your eligibility.
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