Ask Larry

Can You Give Me Some Insight On Swithing From Railroad Benefits To Social Security Benefits?

I am currently drawing retirement from railroad retirement board. RRB said I can switch too SSI when I turn 65 or older. can you give me some insight on this


My expertise is limited to Social Security (SS) benefits only, not Railroad Retirement (RR) benefits. What I can tell you is that If you're eligible for SS benefits, you can file for those benefits regardless of whether or not you're drawing RR benefits. However, if you do file for SS benefits the RRB will offset your Tier 1 RR benefits dollar for dollar by the amount of your SS benefits. Therefore, it's normally only advantageous for someone who's receiving RR benefits to file for SS benefits if their SS benefit rate would be higher than their Tier 1 RR benefit rate.

If you have enough SS work credits to qualify for SS retirement benefits and you start drawing SS benefits at age 65, your benefit rate will be reduced for age. So, if your SS benefit rate would in fact be higher than your Tier 1 RR benefit rate, it may be more advantageous for you to wait until later than age 65 to apply for your SS benefits. SS retirement benefits continue to grow until you reach age 70 if you delay filing for them until then, so it might be advantageous for you to wait until then to apply for your SS retirement benefits assuming that you qualify. I have no idea how much your Tier 1 RR rate or potential SS benefit rate would be, though, so I can't advise you what to do.

Our software should be able to help you determine your best strategy for claiming SS benefits, but the software is not programmed to handle RR benefit considerations.

Best, Jerry

Nov 21 2018 - 2:23pm
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