Ask Larry

Railroad Retirement & Social Security

Am I Allowed To Collect Both RRA And SSA Benefits?

At my full retirement age of 66, I applied for RRA benefits and was awarded $2170 mo. In 2017, at age 70 I contacted RRB and was told to apply for SSA benefits and was was awarded $2883 mo. I was working for the railroad in 1965 and got my draft notice in Sept or Oct. I resigned from the Santa Fe to wait for my enlistment date. I served for 3 years and about 5 mos and was discharged on May 19, 1969 on a Friday and went to work for the Southern Pacific the following Monday. I enrolled into college and when my GI bill kicked in, I resigned from the SP.

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 10:25

Is My Wife Entitled To Both Her Social Security And A Railroad Widow's Benefit?

Hi Larry,
I recently married and my wife is a widow. As A surviving spouse she receives her deceased husband's RR Tier 2 (NOT TIER 1) Pension as he worked for the PRR for over 30 years. We wanted to be legally married & with that being said the RRB reduced her Tier 2 monthly benefit by $264 - down to $1443.
My wife worked herself for 40+ years as an X-Ray Tech in 2 hospitals paying into SS (FICA) all that time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 05:58

Can I Get Social Security And Railroad Retirement?

can i get social security benefits and my railroad retirement. I will retire from the railroad in december with over 10 years service and will be 62 in december?


Yes, but you can only receive the higher of a) your Social Security (SS) benefit amount or b) your tier 1 Railroad Retirement (RR) rate, plus any tier 2 RR benefits to which you are entitled. So, it will likely only benefit you to file for Social Security benefits if and when your SS benefit rate would be higher than your tier 1 RR rate.

Best, Jerry

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 15:10

Is What I Was Told Correct?

my husband is ready to retire from metro north and I have been on SSDI for over 20 years. I was told that I can keep my SSDI benefits but cannot have the Tier 1 benefits from my husband. When we were speaking to the person regarding exit, he said if I had SSI only I could keep that and the Tier 1, but being that it is SSDi I cannot have both.Is this correct? If it is not can you guide us please. Thank you


Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 15:09

Am I Missing Out On Benefits?

My husband worked for the Rairoad for 32 yrs.but passed away before eligible to retire (age 53). This was his only employment and never paid into Social Security. At the time of his passing I was 52 and went to work full time paying into S.S. I had worked some before his death.. My social security wages were strictly my earnings. I took Railroad widows pension at 62 and continued to work until I was 76. I am aware of the double dipping rule but am wondering how or if this affects my retirement as to claiming S.S. also.

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 16:59

Will I Automatically Be Eligible For Railroad Retirement Benefits On My Husband's Record?

Hello Larry,

I am a teacher who has worked in NYSTRS for 30 years and my husband 36 years at metro north rail road. I know there is two tiers in the RRRS and that the first tier is supplemental for social security in essence. But my question is. When he retires am I automatically elegable for his RR Retirement? I have made a substantial amount more that him and I am going to take my social security at 62. Will he receive his tier 1 and 2 and his spousal benefit from SS??


Monday, October 2, 2017 - 16:58

Why Do I Keep Getting Statements From Social Security If I'm Receiving Railroad Retirement?

I keep getting a earnings statement from Social Security saying i can collect a sum of $281.00 in pension but i am retired from the RailRoad for almost 14 years now. Why do i keep getting this. When i worked for the RailRoad i did have a side job and paid Social Security but should'nt that been included in my pension? What should i do with this statement i get ever year. Hope you can help. Thank you


Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 12:03
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