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Benefits for Railroad Couples
(Posted October 24, 2006)
Question 605: I was hired by a railroad in 1975 and I am currently working. My wife hired by a railroad in 1980. When we retire, do each of us receive a spouse annuity in addition to our retirement benefit? In the event of either of our deaths, does the surviving spouse receive a survivor annuity?
Answer: Each of you will receive a spouse annuity in addition to your retirement annuity. The spouse annuity Tier 1 will be reduced by the retirement annuity, though.
Either you or your wife as a surviving spouse would receive a widow(er)s annuity. Again, the Tier 1 of the widow's annuity would be reduced by the widow's own retirement benefit.
A special rule applies for railroad couples in which one of the spouses first began railroad work before 1975. The Tier 1 reduction the retirement annuity is restored in the spouse's Tier 2.
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