When Should I Apply If I'm Eligible For Both Railroad Retirement And Social Security?

May 2 2018 - 10:57am

I worked the first part of my life paying into social security and later worked over ten years for a railroad. I am 3 months from age 66 my retirement age. Railroad Retirement advises that my social security benefits would be added to my railroad Retirement check. More than likely my social security will not be more than my railroad benefits. So if I apply now at age 66, is that it, or would I later apply for social security as well at age 70? Also does my military service of four years active duty apply or is that only my for 30 year retirees?


If you file for both Social Security (SS) and Railroad (RR) benefits, your RR tier 1 benefit will be offset dollar for dollar by your SS. Any RR tier 2 benefits for which your eligible would be paid on top of that.

You may want to check out the possibility of filing for RR now and then filing for SS at age 70 if your SS rate would be higher than your tier 1 RR rate. Or perhaps vice versa. Otherwise, there may no advantage to ever filing for SS benefits. Our maximization software can help you calculate your SS rate and options, but does not calculate RR benefits.

I'm not an expert on RR benefits, but if they're calculated like SS you'll get deemed military credits for your time on active duty in the service (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.09/handbook-0953.html).

Best, Jerry