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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Working for Contractor After Leaving Railroad

(Posted May 23, 2005)

Question 548: Because almost every railroad in the country is covered by Railroad Retirement, can a retired railroader who has not reached legal retirement age work for a company that contracts out to a major railroad carrier?

Answer: If you begin working for a railroad contractor before you reach retirement age for Railroad Retirement, it could affect your survivor benefits. If there is a long enough interval between leaving the railroad and your having retired under Railroad Retirement, you might lose your "Current Connection." Survivor benefits then would be paid by Social Security based on your combined work record under both systems. The same would be true if you worked for any non-railroad employer.

Further, the contractor could be "Last Person Employment," so if work for the contractor continues after retirement your Tier 2 benefit might be reduced by as much as half.

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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