Ask Larry

Will I Only Receive The Higher Of Railroad Retirement Or Social Security?

If I switch from RRB to SSI when I turn 70, and if my ss benefit is higher than my rr does that just means that I would only receive the higher of the 2 benefits and who would I be receiving the money from, RRB or SSI
Thank you in advance for your answers

Hi. Railroad Retirement (RR) benefits consist of two tiers. Tier 1 benefits are essentially a substitute for Social Security, so if you apply for both Social Security and RR benefits you can only be paid the higher of your Social Security benefit or your RR tier 1 amount. But, if you're eligible for any tier 2 RR benefits, those benefits can still be paid in addition to the higher of your Social Security or tier 1 RR benefit amount.

Social Security benefits are paid from Social Security trust funds, and RR benefits are paid from the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust. But, when you're eligible for both Social Security and RR benefits, instead of paying you directly the Social Security Administration first sends your benefits to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) so that they can make any required adjustments to your RR benefits. The RRB then determines what if any RR benefits you're entitled to in addition to your Social Security, and they then authorize the U.S. treasury department to pay whatever benefits are due from each program.

Best, Jerry

Apr 8 2023 - 4:02pm
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.