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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Should I File for Social Security Benefits?

(Posted December 19, 2006)

Question 616: I have worked many years and paid into Social Security. I also worked years for the railroad and retired last January. When I reach the retirement age for Social Security, can I draw Social Security benefits along with my Railroad Retirement benefits?

Answer: You can draw both Railroad Retirement and Social Security, but your Tier 1 Railroad Retirement is reduced by the amount of your Social Security benefit. In most cases, you will not receive more in total benefits by filing for Social Security.

There are some exceptions where it does pay to apply for Social Security. For example, if you have young children, or an older child who cannot work because of a disability, it might be to your advantage to file for both benefits.

If you are in doubt, ask Social Security for an estimate of your benefit. Then furnish the estimate to the Railroad Retirement Board office; they should be able to tell you if filing at Social Security will provide you with higher monthly payments.

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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