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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Former Rail Worker & Federal Employee Will Receive Three Retirement Benefits

(Posted September 28, 2007)

Question 636: I worked and paid into Railroad Retirement for 121 months (October 1974 - November 1984). Since then I have been employed as a federal employee under the Federal Employee Retirement System. Will I be able to collect a one-third railroad retirement benefit and a full Social Security benefit?

Answer: You are in line to receive three different retirement benefits: Railroad Retirement, Social Security and a Federal employee pension.

With 121 months of rail service, you are fully vested for Railroad Retirement. Tier 1 of your benefit will be reduced for your Social Security benefit but you are not subject to the "Windfall Benefit Reduction" provision because you are a Federal employee under the FERS retirement system. You will receive a full Tier 2 benefit.

Your Railroad Retirement benefit can begin as early as 62 on a reduced for early retirement provision. You can file three months before you are 62 by contacting the nearest office of the Railroad Retirement Board.

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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