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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

I'm 61; When Can I Apply For Spouse Benefits?

(Posted February 17, 2012)

Question 850: I have a spouse that worked for the railroad for 27 years. I will have a birthday this month which I will be 61. I want to apply for benefits. How should I start the process?

Answer: If you wife had at least 30 years of rail service & she had retired, you could apply for a full spouse benefit now.

However, since she has less than 30 years of service, you will not be eligible for a reduced spouse annuity for another year, at age 62 providing she is at least 62 & retired. You can start the application process three months before your 62nd birthday. At that time you should call the Railroad Retirement Board toll-free at: (877) 772-5772.

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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