Will My Social Security Benefit Rate Be Reduced If I Took Railroad Retirement At Age 62?

Dec 14 2016 - 9:15am

I retired at age 62 with RRB. I am now 67 soon to be 68. I worked for the RR for 13 years which ended in 2000. I worked strictly under SS after that until retirement. I have never applied for SSI. When I called today I asked what my monthly benefit would be. I was told by SSA that it would be about $300.00 more per month than what my tier 1 benefit is from RR. This almost sounds to good to be true! Would there be a possibility they would reduce my SSI because of taking early retirement benefit from RRB? Thanks for any help. I understand they would certify with RRB what my rate is.

Hi,

No, your Social Security benefit rate would be calculated independently from your Railroad Retirement benefit. And, it sounds like you would likely benefit by waiting until age 70 to apply for your Social Security benefits. You can continue to accrue delayed retirement credits (DRC) on your Social Security benefit rate until age 70, even if you are already receiving Railroad Retirement benefits. Therefore, your Social Security benefit rate would be 16% higher if you wait until age 70 to apply, instead of filing at age 68.

As you indicated, Social Security will certify your payments the RRB when you file, and you will then receive the higher Social Security rate in place of your tier 1 Railroad benefit. BTW, for others reading this, the Social Security benefit is not always higher than the tier 1 Railroad benefit, even at age 70. If you receive Railroad Retirement benefits and are also potentially eligible for Social Security benefits, you should check with both agencies before filing in order to determine if applying for Social Security benefits would be advantageous.

Best, Jerry