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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Getting Estimate of Social Security Benefits with Rail Credits

(Posted September 7, 2004)

Question 512: I was a railroad employee from 1966-1970. I was told in 1970 that the money witheld from me would be transferred to Social Security. My recent Social Security printout shows no contributions for those years. Can those years of contribution to railroad retirement fund be transferred or refunded, and if so what would I need to do to go about doing that?

Answer: Normally, rail credits for non-vested rail worker are not sent to Social Security until a worker becomes disabled, retires or dies. A worker may return to the rail industry years later and become vested so an immediate transfer might prove unnecessary.

As a result, you shouldn't expect your annual statement from SSA to reflect your railroad work credits.

You can ask the Railroad Retirement Board to furnish you with a statement of your rail service with an yearly breakdown of service and earnings. You can then take that to SSA and ask them to give you an estimate of benefits including your rail work.

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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