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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Career Teacher With Social Security Coverage Married To Rail Worker

(Posted September 1, 2008)

Question 673: I am a retired teacher and receive my retirement pension. I am 57 years old and am now employed by a private school. My husband is a railroad employee and will retire in a year or so.

I paid into Social Security during most of my 30 years of public school teaching and continue to pay through my job now. How will my Social Security benefits be affected when I retire fully?

Answer: As a career school teacher in both the public and the private sectors, your Social Security benefits should not be affected by your teacher's retirement benefits because your teaching positions were covered by Social Security.

In planning for your full retirement, keep in mind that your Social Security benefits will not begin until 62 on a reduced basis or to at least 66 if you want to receive unreduced benefits.

As a wife of a rail worker, you will also qualify for a spouse benefit from Railroad Retirement. If your husband has at least 30 years of rail service credits, the spouse benefit could begin as early as 60 on a unreduced basis. If your husband has less than 30 years in the rail industry, your spouse benefit can be paid at 62 with a reduction for age, or at 66 on a full rate.

Your Tier 1 benefit will be reduced by the amount of your Social Security benefit, but not by your teacher's retirement.

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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