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60/30 Retiree With School Teacher Spouse
(Posted October 26, 2006)
Question 606: I retired with full Railroad Retirement benefits at age 60 with over 30 years of service. My wife will be 60 next year.
Will she be eligible for Tier 2 benefits when she reaches age 60, or does she have to wait until later? She currently receives a teacher's pension so she probably won't be eligible for Tier 1 benefits from my retirement.
Answer: Your wife will be eligible for a Spouse Annutiy when she reaches 60. You indicated that her own teacher's pension is large enough that she will not receive a Tier 1. (The Tier 1 of a Spouse Annuity is reduced by 2/3 of a public pension that the spouse receives.)
She will, however, receive a full Tier 2 at 60. She should contact the Railroad Retirement Board three months before her 60th birthday to file an application. She will need her birth certificate and your marriage certificate.
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