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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Spouse Annuity When Rail Worker Has Less Than 30 years

(Posted January 22, 2006)

Question 566: I receive a Disability Annuity based on 28 years of rail service.
I'm not 60 yet. My wife turns 60 in April 2006. Will she be eligible for benefits then?

Answer: Because you have less than 30 years of rail service, your wife will be eligible for a spouse annuity when you both are 62. If she is older than you are, her annuity cannot start until you reach 62.

As a spouse, she will be entitled to receive 50% of your Tier 1, less any Social Security benefit she is entitled to, and 45% of your Tier 2. There is a reduction if she is under her full retirement age (age 66 if she was born in 1946).

She should contact the nearest office of the Railroad Retirement Board three months before she is eligible for assistance in filing an application. She will need to submit proof of her age and proof of your marriage.


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.


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