Ask Larry

Is It True That I Can't Collect Both Social Security And Railroad Retirement At Any Age?

I AM PRESNENTLY 62 YRS OLD AND COLLECTING RR RETIREMENT DISABILITY BENEFITS. MY EMPLOYMENT WAS WITH THE RAILROAD FOR THE MOST PART BUT DID ALSO WORK ELSEWHERE AND PAYING INTO SS. WHAT HAPPENS WITH MY SOC. SER. BENIFITS I PAID AS IM TOLD THAT I CANOT COLLECT BOTH THEREBY INCREASING MY BENIFIT AMOUNT NO MATTER WHAT AGE I AM.

Hi,

If you have at least 40 quarters of Social Security coverage (QC) you could apply for Social Security retirement benefits, but you'll only get more total benefits if your Social Security benefit rate is higher than your Tier 1 Railroad (RR) benefit. Tier 1 Railroad are calculated using a similar formula as are Social Security retirement benefits, and your Social Security covered earnings can be used to calculate your Tier 1 RR rate. However, if you file for both Social Security and Railroad retirement benefits, your Tier 1 RR benefit rate would be offset dollar for dollar by the amount of your Social Security benefits. Therefore, it's generally only advantageous for people drawing RR benefits to file separately for Social Security if their Social Security benefit rate would be higher than their Tier 1 RR rate.

If your insured for Social Security retirement benefits and you haven't applied for them, your potential Social Security benefit rate will continue to increase until you reach age 70. If your age 70 Social Security retirement benefit rate would still be lower than your Tier 1 RR rate, then you almost certainly wouldn't gain anything by ever filing for your Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security should be able to tell you how much your benefit rate would be so that you can compare that amount to your Tier 1 RR rate.

Best, Jerry

Posted: 
Aug 15 2020 - 10:37am
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