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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

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

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Widow Plans to Start Business

(Posted March 11, 2013)

Question 985: I am collecting my deceased husband's railroad retirement benefits. I would like to start my own business. How does this affect my RR benefits and how much am I allowed to earn under this business? Also, are the earnings based on net income after business expenses are deducted, etc.? I do not anticipate taking a salary from the business and it will take a while to make a profit after the initial investment. What is the cap on the actual income I can make?

Answer: In 2013,if you have not reached your full retirement age (for survivor annuitants, full retirement age ranges from age 65 for those born before 1940 to age 67 for those born in 1962 or later), you are subject to the following earnings restrictions: Your net earnings from self-employment will begin to reduce your annuity if they exceed $15,120. You will lose $1 in benefits for each $2 that you earn.

There is no overall cap on your total earnings including interest, dividends from stocks and bonds, or rental income.


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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