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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Can Divorced Mother Receive Railroad Retirement?

(Posted August 14, 2008)

Question 672: My mom was married to my dad for 17 years before they divorced in 1975. No retirement claims were put in the settlement. Each of them remarried and is still married. My mom receives Social Security. Is she eligible for a benefit from Railroad Retirement?

Answer: Railroad Retirement has a Divorced Spouse benefit but your mother is not eligible because she has remarried. If her current marriage were to end through divorce or death, she may then qualify for it. Keep in mind, it would be reduced by any Social Security benefits she received.

In addition to the Divorced Spouse Benefit, a rail worker's
Tier 2 benefit can be divided between the parties in a divorce if it is agreed to as part of the property settlement and is included in the final divorce decree.

You say that neither your mother nor your father claimed retirement benefits from the other in the divorce. It appears that your mother therefore would not be entitled to any part of your father's 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.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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