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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Benefits for Divorced Spouse Who Is Still Working

(Posted April 5, 2005)

Question 541: If I am still working and my ex-husband is drawing Railroad Retirement benefits, can I draw my part of his check?

Answer: There are two types of benefits that a divorced spouse can receive from Railroad Retirement. One is provided by law; the other is provided through the property settlement in the divorce decree.

The one provided by law begins as early as age 62. It is reduced by the amount of any other Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefit you are entitled to receive. It's also reduced until you reach your "normal retirement age" if you earn more than $12,000 in 2005. (If you were born in 1940, for example, your normal retirement age is 65 and 6 months. By law, a person's normal retirement age generally depends on his or her age.)

The benefit provided through a divorce decree actually is part of your former spouse's Railroad Retirement benefit. There is no age requirement for you to receive it. Nor is it reduced if you receive other benefits or if you are working.

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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