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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Dividing Railroad Retirement In A Divorce

(Posted March 31, 2006)

Question 571: I am divorced from my ex-husband who is a railroad worker. In our divorce agreement, he gave me half of his Railroad Retirement. How can I find how much I will receive, where it comes from (Tier 1 or Tier 2), and other laws/regulations that would pertain to my case?

Answer: Your former husband could agree to provide you with a portion of his Tier 2 benefit as part of the property settlement in your divorce.

Tier 1 benefits are not subject to division in a divorce. Instead the Railroad Retirement program provides direct benefits to a divorced spouse at 62. The benefits are offset by any Social Security benefits you receive.

You should contact the local office of the Railroad Retirement Board to find out how much your former husband's Tier 2 is, and what you need to do to receive your portion. They also can advise you how you can qualify for a divorced spouse benefit. You can find the address and telephone number of the RRB office serving your area by going to their web site at

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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