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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Early Benefits for Spouses

(Posted September 9, 2004)

Question 513: Has the law changed recently regarding the age at which a spouse can draw a benefit?

Answer: Yes, but only for spouses of rail workers who have 30 or more years of rail service. Beginning in 2002, those spouses can get a full annuity at 60; previously they could qualify for a reduced annuity at 60 or a full annuity at 62.

The mininum age for spouses of rail workers with less than 30 years remains at 62 for a reduced benefit. The age in which workers with less than 30 years (or their spouses or widows) can get full benefits has started to gradually increase, from age 65 to age 67. For those born in 1939, for example, it is 65 and 4 months; for those born in 1940, it is 65 and 6 months.

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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