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

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.

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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