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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Estimating My Tier 2 Benefit

(Posted April 5, 2007)

Question 623: If I retire at 67 earning $60,000 a year with 26 years of service, how much would my Tier 2 benefit be? If I retired earlier at 62 with the same earnings with 22 years of service what would the Tier 2 be?

Answer: The formula for Tier 2 is as follows:

(1) Find the 60 months of highest rail earnings;

(2) Divide the total earnings for the 60 higest months by 60;

(3) Multiply the result in (2) by .07; and

(4) Multiply the result in (3) by the years of service.

Based on the facts you furnished about your earnings & years of rail service, a "rough" estimate of what your monthly Tier 2 would be at 67 with 26 years of service is around $750 . At 62 with 22 years of service would be about $640 a month. At 62, there would also be a reduction of between 20 & 30 percent because you will not have reached the full retirement age.

The Railroad Retirement Board can give you a more accurate estimate because they have data to accurately compute the 60 months of your highest railroad earnings. You can find the district 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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