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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Working Divorced Spouse

(Posted January 14, 2011)

Question 791: I'm divorced, over 62, and eligible for a Divorced Spouse benefit from Railroad Retirement. I haven't reached my full Social Security retirement age yet. I'm still working. My estimate from Social Security indicates that my Social Security benefit upon reaching my full retirement age will be higher than my Divorced Spouse benefit. Can I draw my Divorced Spouse Benefit now and wait until my full retirement age to apply for Social Security?

Answer: Yes, you can apply for a Divorced Spouse benefit from Railroad Retirement now and wait to file for Social Security when you reach 66, your full retirement age.

Please understand that your Railroad Retirement benefit will end when you are awarded Social Security, but your Social Security benefit will be higher because there will be no reduction for early retirement.

Of course, if you exceed the annual earnings limit that applies to Social Security benefit, then your benefits will be reduced by those excess earnings.


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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