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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Should I Work Another Six Months To Become Vested In Railroad Retirement?

(Posted February 28, 2001)

Question 86: I have nine years and six months of Railroad credits earned between 1967 and 1976. I only need another six months to become vested. I've worked long enough and have earned a high enough salary to receive the maximum in Social Security benefits without my railroad credits.

Would it be worth my while to go back to railroad work and become vested? Would I lose anything by doing so?

Answer: Briefly, here's the impact of getting 10 years of service:

  1. You would gain the value of a Tier 2 Railroad Retirement benefit. Even though most of your earnings were at the lower ceilings of the 1960s and 1970s, it would still yield an additional benefit over and above your Social Security.

  2. Social Security would remove the Railroad credits from their records and return them to Railroad Retirement. Because you have earned a maximum Social Security benefit without your railroad earnings, removing those credits would not have any affect.

I can't see any downside to getting 10 years for railroad retirement.

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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