How does Railroad Retirement work?

General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.

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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby rrnewbie » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:47 pm

I just want to be clear. I am new at the railroad, and at max will only have 10 years before retirement. I worked in private industry for 30 years. Do I understand that if I leave the railroad in say 8 years I LOSE all my Tier 2? That seems weird?
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby Pj » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:49 pm

Correct, as the RRB explained it to me. If you stay for 10, then you can collect a very reduced benefit as you will be vested at 10 years. Leave at eight, and all monies paid into tier 2 stay with the RRB, and Tier 1 will be credited back into SSI.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby Cowford » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:22 pm

Not so. The vesting period was changed from 120 months to 60 in 1995. If a vested employee leaves the RRB system prior to retirement, the "current connection" rules kick in which state, in effect, if you don't work a certain number of months under RRB in the 30 months prior to the start of your annuity, you may forego the ability to claim supplemental, disability, and spousal benefits.

90% of railroaders admit to not fully grasping RRB, the other 10% are lying. It's horribly confusing. RRnewbie, if this is causing you heartburn, I'd call your local RRB office.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby COEN77 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:52 am

Darn right RRB is confusing. Being vested and collecting the max are two different issues. If a person doesn't have 360 months paid in their retirement age is based on the year they were born. Example: 1954 full retirement age 65. That chart can be seen on the RRB website.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby RDGTRANSMUSEUM » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:29 pm

the vested rule was changed for people hired AFTER 1995,they only need 60 months. when i called the RRB they were very helpful and did not rush me off the phone,and all my questions were answered.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby Gadfly » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:54 am

SO what kind of retirement can someone expect when they hire out at 56 years old? They won't be able to work until they're 86 for a full pension. So if he hires in at that age and works until he's 67, then what? It doesn't seem worth it to me. Does he lose out on what he would've gotten under Socialist INsecurity? Would it be some sort of an "inbetween" arrangement, or what?

When I hired in the 70's, the railroads wouldn't HIRE someone over 40--and even then, probably sought much younger men. That was before age discrimination laws. It pretty well guaranteed that a fella could hire in (like me), make 30 years, and retire at 60 with a full pension. The pension system was geared for people who were basically expected to hire right out of high school, work their entire career on the railroad and retire. They weren't expecting OLDER men to come in, work a few years, and retire, like that nothing system socialist insecurity! Back then, being "older" was the same as having a club foot or being color blind! It truly works against the older worker in many ways. For one thing, there is no "2nd tier" in SSI, and additionally, the older worker doesn't get a chance to contribute as much into the system before retirement, so he has less money to retire on. Sometime ago, there was a group of new hires (and older workers) on here that thought they were going to waltz in , work 10-15 years, and walk out the door with the SAME pension as those who worked for the full 30 years. It is based on 360 months of what is called "Creditable Service". If you ain't got the months, you ain't got the full monty; it's as simple as THAT!

I don't have to deal with this issue since I was in "under the wire". So what CAN an older worker expect? It is certainly something to consider when embarking on a railroad career.

GF
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby NJT TT9801 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:24 pm

With railroad retirement being age 60 with 30 on the job, do you get lifetime medical with it? If not how long your medical last after reitrement? I researched this, and couldn't find any info out there.Thanks guys!
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:11 pm

your lifetime medical (medicare) won't start till your 65, for individual plans that depends on what company you work for.
Some companies provide bridge covering from early retirement to age 65, at either reduced cost or free depending on railroad.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby NJT TT9801 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:30 pm

Thanks. After retirement do you receive COLA raises with your pension payments.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:23 pm

only at same rate as social security
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby COEN77 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:03 am

DutchRailnut wrote:your lifetime medical (medicare) won't start till your 65, for individual plans that depends on what company you work for.
Some companies provide bridge covering from early retirement to age 65, at either reduced cost or free depending on railroad.

Even working for the same railroad some fall under old agreements from predecessor railroads. I recently spoke to a co-worker he started on the RF&P I was with the C&O. His healthcare coverage for early retirement from 60 till age 65 is $165 a month under RF&P agreements mine with the C&O cost $225.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby COEN77 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:11 am

DutchRailnut wrote:only at same rate as social security

Which for the past two years social security didn't get a COLA raise neither did railroad retirement. This affects the tier II portion of our retirement which is the equivelent of social security.

Being vested was changed to 60 months one must not lose a connection to the railroad industry. If that happens the money is transferred to social security credits. There are ways to go around it one is starting your own business.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby jes1976 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:14 pm

All very good information. My bf has a interview in two days. I have been reading along with him all the rr info I can. What would you say the odds are when you get an interview? fifty fifty? I know it depends on the person. I am wondering how many people they call to the interview for each position opened? There are seven that he is getting interviewed for.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby jr145 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:26 pm

It all depends on the company, the craft, the location. The Class 1 railroads get thousands and thousands of applications.
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Re: How does Railroad Retirement work?

Postby NScarbon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:48 pm

I have read on this forum that to get full benefits from railroad retirement I have to meet two requirements: work until age 60 and 360 months of service. I am only 23 and just got hired on with NS starting next month, i thought that since I am starting my career at such a young age I would be able to retire at the age of 53. After reading some replies on this board I will have to work until 60 despite having done my 360 months of credible service is this correct?
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