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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Spouse Who Took Reduced Age Benefits Can Still Get Full Social Security

(Posted Auguust 16, 2009)

Question 720: When I retired I had 122 months service when I started receiving Railroad Retirement benefits. My wife started her spouse benefits at age 62. Can she draw full Social Security benefits when she reaches full retirement age, or will she continue to get reduced benefits due to taking her Spouse benefits early?

Answer: If your wife waits until she reaches her full retirement age to apply for Social Security benefits, she will receive unreduced benefits even if she elected a reduced Railroad Retirement spouse benefit. But her Tier 1 will be reduced by her Social Security benefits; if they are higher, she then will receive only Tier 2 from Railroad 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.


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