Can I Start Drawing My Social Security At Age 62 And Wait Until FRA To Start Drawing Railroad Retirement?

Nov 19 2019 - 5:07pm

I have 11+ years in RR employment. I have 20+ years of private sector employment. I am 62. My question is Can I start drawing SS now (reduced benefit) and wait until FRA and then start drawing RR retirement. My RR retirement in all cases is higher in each age bracket.

Hi,

You could file for Social Security (SS) benefits at age 62 without being required to also file for Railroad Retirement (RR), but I'm not an expert on RR benefits so I don't what effect that might have on the calculation of your future RR annuity. You might want to discuss this issue with the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) before applying for benefits.

If you do file for SS benefits prior to FRA your SS benefit rate will be reduced for age, and if you continue working your benefit payments could be subject to full or partial withholding depending on how much you earn (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html).

One thing I do know about RR benefits is that if you're drawing SS and you then apply for RR benefits, the RRB will offset your tier 1 RR benefits dollar for dollar by the amount of your SS benefit. What you would then be paid is essentially the higher of a) your SS benefit, or your tier 1 RR benefit, plus b) any tier 2 RR benefits to which you're entitled.

Best, Jerry