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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Action Following Award of Share of Benefits Pursuant to Divorce Decree

(Posted December 11, 2007)

Question 646: I was married to a rail conductor for over 11 years. We have been divorced for 2 years. As part of our property settlement I was awarded a portion of his retirement and 401(k) benefits. After 3 attorneys, I still don't have any answers. Am I entitled to any of this settlement now?

Answer: I'm sorry that you had to engage 3 attorneys to help you secure part of your former husband's Railroad Retirement benefit awarded to you in your divorce.

You have not indicated whether your former husband has retired and whether he has started receiving Railroad Retirement. You cannot be paid your portion of his benefit until he does. But you can take certain actions now to ensure that your monthly payments will start promptly.

Railroad Retirement benefits are administered by a federal agency called the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, in Chicago. You should send a certified copy of your final divorce decree to the Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092. The phone number is (312) 751-4948. You should also include your former husband's Social Security Number and both of your current addresses and phone numbers.

The Railroad Retirement Board then will advise you if there is anything further to do. At this point, you should not have to engage an attorney to handle this.

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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