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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Second Divorce; Division of Tier 2 Benefit

(Posted September 21, 2004)

Question 519: My husband's first wife has a divorce decree awarding her 100% of his Tier 2 benefit. How will this affect me and any entitlement that I might have to Tier 2 in a divorce? He has 30+ years of service; we have been married more than 10 years.

Answer: Unlike the movie "The Producers," one can't get more than 100% of Tier 2! Tier 2 is considered to be property. Because title to it has been given to your husband's first wife, you will not be able to claim any portion of it in your divorce.

Your attorney might want to check with the Railroad Retirement Board to see what happens if the first wife dies before your husband.

Because you will be married for more than 10 years, you will be eligible for a Divorced Spouse Benefit at 62. That benefit will be reduced by any Social Security you are entitled to.

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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