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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Deceased Rail Worker Is Survived by Widow and Also by Previous Spouse; Who Gets Benefits?

(Posted January 14, 2011)

Question 794: A rail worker was married for 28 years and then divorced. He then married another woman. When he dies, which of his wives is entitled to survivor benefits?

Answer: Both can receive benefits if each meets the eligibility requirements.

His first wife needs to be 62 and not remarried. His second wife needs to be 60 and not remarried.

The first wife receives a Divorced Widow's Annuity consisting of only Tier 1. She also receives a portion of the rail worker's Tier 2, if the divorce decree so provided.

The second wife receives a regular Widow's Annuity, consisting of both Tier 1 and Tier 2.


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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