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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Work Restrictions After Retirement

(Posted October 25, 2010)

Question 780: I'm a spouse of a rail worker. When I become eligible for a spouse benefit, do I have to stop working for my current employer? Can I continue part-time without any penalty?

Answer: There are several different restrictions on work and earnings after you become eligible for a spouse annuity.

First, there is a complete proabition of working in the rail industry regardless of the amount of earnings.

Second, if you earn over $14,160 in 2010 (the amount is adjusted annually) you will lose $1 in benefits for each $2 in earnings above $14,160.

Finally, there is a special restriction on the last non-rail employer that you work for before retirement. Your Tier 2 will be reduced by $1 for every $2 that you earn in that employment. The reduction can not exceed 50% of your Tier 2. Unlike the regular earnings restriction, there is no exempt amount before you begin to lose benefits


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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