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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Post-Retirement Employment by Railroader and Spouse

(Posted September 10, 2009)

Question 725: My husband will have 30 years of railroad service when he retires in two years. Whom can he work for after he retires in order to still have a current connection? Does it have to be for a railroad? Also, what about me, as a spouse-- can I continue to work for a non-railroad company and still recieve spouse benefits at age 60 with the reduction for my Social Security payments?

Answer: If your husband retires immediately after leaving rail work, or within 12 months, he will have a current connection. Once retired, he cannot lose his current connection no matter how long he works for a non-railroad employer or high high his earnings are. Of course, he would still be subject to earnings restrictions until he reaches 66, and the penalties for returning to rail work.

If you continue to work for the same non-railroad employer after 60, you could lose up to one half of your Tier 2 benefit. Your Tier 1 benefit would be subject to regular earnings restrictions. Your Tier 1 benefit normally would not be reduced for Social Security until you are 62, when you would first be entitled to Social Security payments.


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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