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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Value of Railroad Retirement Contributions

(Posted November 17, 2004)

Question 529: I am in the process of a mortgage loan; the lender wants information about my retirement plan. Is there a statement I can get that gives my current balance?

Answer: Unlike retirement plans such as a 401(k) or a cash balance pension, Railroad Retirement benefits do not have a monetary value assigned to them. Individual accounts are not maintained.

Your future benefits are based on your earnings and the amount of rail service; they are not directly related to the contributions you make from your paychecks.

You can ask the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for an estimate of the size of the benefit you are expected to receive at retirement age (based on your pay, service and contributions to date), and how much you have paid in. Although IRS collects the payroll taxes, the RRB should be able to give you a fairly accurate record of your payments.

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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