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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Determining Highest 60 Months for Tier 2 Calculation

(Posted April 8, 2008)

Question 660: I understand the Tier 2 benefits of a Railroad Retirement Annuity are calculated by the 60 individual highest months of earnings. I am trying to determine how the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) actually does this. Does the board cherry pick these highest months throughout mycareer or does it treat the months pro rata as 12 segments using the highest yearly earnings? The RRB online annuity calculator seems to only use yearly earnings.

Answer: The RRB follows the law in calculating Tier 2. Railroads report earnings to the RRB on an annual basis. The RRB finds the 5 highest calendar years of earnings. It then calculates the average monthly earnings for each of the five years. The results are used as the highest 60 months in calculating the Tier 2 benefit.


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.


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