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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

When Benefits Are Reduced For Employees With 30 or More Years of Service

(Posted March 12, 2001)

Question 89: I was born in 1953 and started working for a railroad in 1977. I will get have 30 years of service in 2007 and I will turn 60 in 2013. Can I retire on a full pension at age 62? If I take my pension at age 60, how much would it be reduced?

Answer: Yes, you can retire at 62 on a full benefit with 30 or more years of rail work.

At age 60, your Tier 1 benefit would be reduced by about 25%; there would not be a reduction in your Tier 2 benefit. Of course, if the law changes so that the reduction before 62 is eliminated, you may be able to draw a full pension at 60.

There is such a bill pending in Congress (HR 180). Last session, an identical proposal (HR 4844) passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin, only to be tied up in the Senate because of concern over the budget surplus. It is more than likely that between now and 2013, the reduction will be eliminated and you will enjoy a full benefit at age 60. Let's hope so!


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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