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Increase in Tier 2 Component When a Wife Becomes a Widow
(Posted January 2, 2001; revised January 4, 2000)
Question 82: Does a wife's Tier 2 rate increase when she becomes a widow? What are the percentages that a wife would receive before and after the husband-participant's death?
Answer: A wife/husband eligible for a Spouse Annuity receives 45% of the employee's Tier 2 benefit(in addition to 50% of the employee's Tier 1). A widow(er) receives 50% as the Tier 2 share(in addition to 100% of the employee's Tier 1). If a widow(er) is receiving spouse benefits when the employee dies, the widow(er)'s benefit is guaranteed to be atleast as much as the spouse benefit.
You can find out more information about the calculation of Railroad Retirement benefits by going to the RRB's web site at: http://www.rrb.gov (click).
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