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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Remarriage to Railroader

(Posted April 16, 2008)

Question 661: My sister was married to a railroader for more than 10 years. They divorced and she remarried. If her present husband dies or they divorce, can she go back and remarry her ex-husband and draw retirement from the previous years she was married to him? Can she remain single, and draw on her ex-husband's retirement? Her ex-husband is willing to allow her to draw on his Railroad Retirement or Social Security.

Answer: If your sister's current marriage ends and she remarries her first husband, she will again be eligible for regular Spouse benefits from Railroad Retirement. If she remains single, she could receive a Divorced Spouse benefit, which would be less than the Spouse benefit.

Both types of benefits would be reduced for any Social Security benefits she receives.

She can ask the Railroad Retirement Board for estimates of either type of benefits. To find the location and phone number for the district office serving the area where you sister lives, go the Railroad Retirement Board's 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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