• How does Railroad Retirement work?

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

Moderator: thebigc

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  by cnuke621
 
As someone seeking a railroad job, can someone explain how the RRB works in more simple terms? I was blown away at my first interview about how it works. I get that you don’t pay into social security and your spouse gets an additional 50% of what you get (guess that really screws people without spouses). I have looked at the RRB’s website, but maybe I need to just sit down and go through it.

What happens with my current retirement, (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Social Security)?

What if I change railroads, for example from CN to UP/BNSF? What about non-class 1s? Of those railroads participating in the RRB, did they all follow the exact same rules?

What is all this Tier I, Tier II, and vested business about?

Or am I just blowing it all out of proportion, and should just read the RRB's site?

Thanks for the input.

  by BigMike
 
http://www.rrb.gov


Youll find out that most guys dont know squat about RR Retirement, most of what youll hear is second hand misinformation. Its best to look it up yourself.

  by COEN77
 
Contact your local RRB office they are more than willing to explain things. All I can say is railroad retirement is one of the best in this country for a blue collar occupation. Yes, a single man does get shafted when he retires and doesn't have a wife even though he paid in to it. But, you could have three ex-wives who you were married to for over 10 years that could collect if they never remarried. I've seen that one happen. :P

  by BR&P
 
Here's another one (true) - I used to work with a guy whose wife passed away. The guy said he had paid into the system all those years and was DAMNED if he was going to let the government have it back. He looked up a woman he had known in high school. He lived in New York, I think she was in Florida. They went and got married, then he resumed his life in New York and she went back to Florida - permanently! In due time he passed away and she was able to collect spouse benefits. He didn't actually want another wife, just someone to collect the money after he was gone!

  by KarlJ
 
BigMike wrote:http://www.rrb.gov


Youll find out that most guys dont know squat about RR Retirement, most of what youll hear is second hand misinformation. Its best to look it up yourself.
Or, they could ask someone that has been around for more than fifteen minutes and does know it very well.

  by Burner
 
KarlJ wrote:
BigMike wrote:http://www.rrb.gov


Youll find out that most guys dont know squat about RR Retirement, most of what youll hear is second hand misinformation. Its best to look it up yourself.
Or, they could ask someone that has been around for more than fifteen minutes and does know it very well.
Still not a good idea.... you wind up with word of mouth...

I'm still not very sure what all you get out of it.

  by Gadfly
 
BR&P wrote:Here's another one (true) - I used to work with a guy whose wife passed away. The guy said he had paid into the system all those years and was DAMNED if he was going to let the government have it back. He looked up a woman he had known in high school. He lived in New York, I think she was in Florida. They went and got married, then he resumed his life in New York and she went back to Florida - permanently! In due time he passed away and she was able to collect spouse benefits. He didn't actually want another wife, just someone to collect the money after he was gone!
Well, according to my local RR Retirement board office, a spouse has to be married for at LEAST 10 years to collect those benefits. IOW, you can't just go out and marry, divorce, marry and divorce or "accumulate" wives! :-D Them women would wear a poor old railroader out a-marrying up just to get his money! LMAO! :P :wink:

Gadfly

(All *I* know is, I GOT MINE!---------pension, that is!)

  by COEN77
 
That's an ex-wife that had to be married to a railroader for over 10 years to collect if she didn't remarry. If you happen to get married 2 years before retirement your new wife is entitled. So, it can happen. :P

  by Gadfly
 
COEN77 wrote:That's an ex-wife that had to be married to a railroader for over 10 years to collect if she didn't remarry. If you happen to get married 2 years before retirement your new wife is entitled. So, it can happen. :P
Yep, I didnt make myself clear. I was married for 13 years before our divorce and my ex is entitled now.

Gadfly

  by Pj
 
From my basic reseach (going from memory here)

Need to have 30 years in, and at least age 60. If your younger, you need to work more than 30 years, but when you hit 60, your good to go.

Tier 2 with a wife works out to be 150% of your salary, or thereabouts. I am still deciphering the fine print, but thats what it looks like. I believe an average of some of your highest years comes into play. Its in one of the RRB .pdf files.

If you jump RR's, as long as they have been defined as conducting interstate commerce (99.9% are), RR retirement applies. If you go to work for an industrial railroad (steel mill owner, etc) these typically are not considered a common carrier, and you would covered under the companies retirement plan.

Only thing you lose is your senority from the former RR to the new RR unless you somehow cut a deal.

If you leave RR employment, your done. All your money stayes with the RRB. After a certain time, there may be a way to have some/all of your contrubitions rolled over back to SS. Again, information is in some of the RRB .pdf files.

Vested means that after x amount of years, upon your retirment from service, you are entitled to receive the monies. If you leave before your actual service committments are completed, but are "vested" you will received a greatly reduced check (sometime as much as 90% depending on lenght of service/age/etc) than what you would have had if you stayed. I don't remember off hand, but I think once you leave the RR field, your done (unless you go out on disability retirement) and you get no cash.

But as mentioned, a call to the people who do this all day is the best source of information.

http://www.rrb.gov/forms/PandS/g177series/g177.asp
http://www.rrb.gov/forms/opa/ib2/ib2_overview.asp
http://www.rrb.gov/forms/opa/ib2/ib2_re ... Connection

  by thebigc
 
I made this one a sticky. After all, RRB is what keeps people like us in the industry for 30-40 year careers.

Your BA-6 (annual RRB statement) has the phone number of your regional RRB office. Feel free to give them a call with your questions. They're very helpful people and they have the facts you desire.

And always hold on to your BA-6's.

  by 74volts
 
So....are the commuter railroads, such as the LIRR and MNCR, covered under Railroad Retirement?

CSX Mike

  by MNRR_RTC
 
74volts wrote:So....are the commuter railroads, such as the LIRR and MNCR, covered under Railroad Retirement?

CSX Mike
Yes.

  by cnuke621
 
Thanks for all the replies, especially the excellent one from Pj.

  by 74volts
 
Yes...Thank you RTC...that is the answer I needed to hear!

CSX Mike
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