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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Spouse with State Pension

(Posted May 7, 2005)

Question 543: I am the wife of a retired railroad employee. Can I collect half his pension at age 60 as well as my State retirement pension?

Answer: If your husband has at least 30 years of rail work, you could begin to collect a Spouse Annuity under Railroad Retirement as early as age 60. Your Tier 1 benefit would be 50% of your husband's Tier 1; your Tier 2 benefit would be 45% of your husband's Tier 2.

Your Tier 1 would be reduced because of your State pension, however. The reduction is two-thirds of the amount of your State pension.

There would be no reduction in the Tier 2 portion of your Railroad Retirement.

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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