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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Will Working After Retirement Incease Benefits?

(Posted August 3, 2012)

Question 892: I retired in September 2011 and received my first Railroad Retirement check in October 2011. My check includes a small payment from Social Security. Both payments are reduced because I was 62 when I applied for my benefits. I'm working part-time at a non-railroad company receiving less than the approved amount that I'm able to receive while receiving benefits. Will my benefits increase on the Social Security side because I'm still paying into Social Security? If not, how is this money used?

Answer: Both Railroad Retirement and Social Security review their benefits each year to see if the previous year's earnings would increase benefits. The automatic review is done each spring. Any required benefit adjustments are made and retroactive payments are made.

One note of caution, since you said your earnings are within the annual exempt amount: In order to increase your payments, your new earnings would have to be higher than earnings in the 35 years used to calculate your Social Security and Railroad Retirement Tier 1.

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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