Will I Get Both Railroad And Social Security?

Sep 20 2017 - 6:15am

Hi Larry. I stared working for Amtrak in 2015. I was 48 years old at tgat time. When I turn 60 I'll have 11 years on the railroad. Will I get my railroad retirement along with my social security or will it be one or the other. I have gotten so many different answers and I just want to know my options. Thank yiu!


If you file for Social Security (SS) and you also have enough credits to qualify for Railroad Retirement (RR) benefits, SS will calculate your benefit rate based on your SS work credits only. Then, they will send the information to the RR so that RR can determine your combined benefit rate in the event that you also file for RR benefits.

On the other hand, if you file only for RR benefits they will pay you a 2-tiered benefit rate. Tier 1 benefits are calculated similarly to SS benefits and include both RR and SS credits. Tier 2 benefits are calculated using only RR credits.

If you file for both SS & RR benefits, you will be paid a) the higher of your SS rate or your tier 1 RR rate, plus b) your tier 2 RR rate. So, you would typically only file for SS benefits if your SS rate is higher than your tier 1 RR rate. However, in some cases there can be advantages to filing for one type of benefit first and the other type later, since the rates are calculated independently. Unfortunately, our software can only help you with the Social Security part of the equation.

Best, Jerry