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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Wife Planning to Resume Working For Previous Employer After Spouse Annuity Begins

(Posted May 28, 2008)

Question 666: Can the spouse of a retired railroad employee, after quitting a
certain job six months before she receives a percentage of the employee's retirement, return to that same job after she starts drawing her retirement? I am a church organist and would like to return to playing for the same church to play for their services, but would I be penalized for doing this?

Answer: As you are no doubt aware, there are special postretirement work restrictions for employees and spouses. They are called "Last Person Employer" restrictions. If you violate these restrictions after you retire, you can lose $1 in Tier 2 benefits for every $2 that you earn. The maximum reduction in Tier 2 is 50%.

Only the Railroad Retirement Board can determine if the church is considered to be your Last Person Employer. You need to contact the RRB and give them all of the information about your planned return to this employment.


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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