Railroad Disability Lawyers Discuss How Railroad Retirement Benefits Compare to Social Security Benefits
Railroad retirement benefits are divided into Tier I and Tier II benefits. While Tier II benefits are similar to a private defined-benefit pension plan, Tier I railroad retirement benefits are very similar to Social Security.
How Are Tier I Retirement Benefits Similar to Social Security?
Tier I railroad retirement benefits are calculated based on the highest 35 years of indexed earnings, much like Social Security benefits are calculated. Also like Social Security, railroaders might not eligible for retirement benefits until at least age 62. Retiring at 62 can be considered an early retirement and will reduce benefits. Again, like Social Security, full benefits are available for the railroader retiring at the minimum age of 65-67, depending upon the railroader’s year of birth. Your railroad disability lawyers at Hermann Law Group can help you determine those retirement benefits for which you may be eligible.
How Do Tier I Retirement Benefits Differ from Social Security?
Unlike Social Security, a railroader is only eligible for railroad retirement benefits if he/she has at least ten years in covered railroad service, or at least five years after 1995. Also, unlike Social Security, a railroader may be eligible for early retirement at age 60 with no reduction in benefits if the railroader has at least 30 years of railroad service. Moreover, for those with at least 25 years of qualified service, a supplemental annuity is available. Consultation with your railroad disability lawyers can help you understand your retirement options.
How Do Railroad Disability Benefits Compare to Social Security Benefits?
Total and occupational disability annuities are available to railroaders. Total disability is defined just as the Social Security Administration defines disability: one which precludes any employment. Railroad disability benefits differ from Social Security disability benefits in a significant way: railroaders may be eligible for occupational disability. Occupational disability only precludes employment in the railroader’s regular duties, even if another job could be performed. The railroad disability lawyers at Hermann Law Group can explain to you the disability benefits for which you may be eligible.
What are Tier I Spousal Benefits?
Spousal benefits available to spouses of railroaders are similar to those available under social security. Also, as with social security, divorced spouses may be eligible for tier I retirement benefits.
What are Tier II Benefits and How Do They Compare to Social Security?
Tier II benefits are similar to a private defined benefit pension. Tier II benefits are calculated as a percentage of the average of the 60 months of highest earnings multiplied by years of service. These benefits include a cost of living adjustment. Tier II benefits are also available to spouses and survivors of railroaders. Divorced spouses are generally only eligible for these benefits as part of a property settlement. This second tier of retirement benefits is unlike any Social Security benefit. Your railroad retirement disability lawyers can explain to you eligibility requirements for Tier II benefits.
Contact Railroad Disability Lawyers
For more information about railroad retirement and disability benefits, contact Hermann Law Group, PLLC at 877-773-3030