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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Eliigible Spouse Continues To Work

(Posted April 7, 2006)

Question 574: My wife will turn 60 shortly and she will continue to work in her position as town clerk. I am currently collecting Railroad Retirement benefits after retiring with 40 years of rail sevice. Can my wife collect her share of my pension and continue to work without a penalty of some sort?

Answer: Your wife's employment would be considered as "Last Person Employment" by Railroad Retirement. As such, her Tier 1 would be reduced if she earned more than the annual exempt amount before she reaches her normal retirement age (around age 66 for her year of birth).

Her Tier 2 would be reduced by as much as 50% under a special earnings restriction for those workers and spouses who contine to work in "Last Person Employment" after reaching the eligibility age for benefits. The Tier 2 earnings restriction begins with the first $2 that she earns (there is no exempt amount as for Tier 1) and it also continues past her normal retirement age.


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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