On this week’s blog let’s discuss regular retirement combining retiree insurance, RRB details, earned/unused vacation and P.L. Days all into one discussion. First, the employee who will retire with less than 30 years is eligible to retire at age 62 but with an age reduction usually around 25%. Full retirement is age 66 and months determined by your birth date. There is no provision for bridge insurance to carry you to age 65 Railroad Medicare. To avoid these two costly items you would have to have conditions to become eligible for occupational disability where there is no age reduction. With a doctor signed proof of disability form your insurance would remain in effect for the remainder of the qualifying year plus 2 years, enough to get you to age 65 RR Medicare. All vacation pay earned from previous year and banked PL days (PLD) will be paid after you retire. Use up the current year’s PL Days or lose them.
The Railroad Employees National Agreement for the 60/30 early retirement package is one of the best in the nation. You can retire the month after the month you reach age 60 with 30 years of service and that qualifies your spouse as well. Spouse annuity is basically 50% of your Tier 1 and 45% of your Tier 2. However, if the spouse had earnings that calculated her social security greater than 50% of your Tier 1, she can opt to take her social security and 45% of your Tier 2. If the retiree happens to have a dependent child under 18 in care then your spouse is eligible for a spouse annuity at any age.
Married one year is the spouse eligibility requirement. However, married for ten years is the divorced spouse eligibility. If the eligible spouse wants to continue working, with you retired, she can draw a portion of spouse annuity and still work. If the employee previously retired on disability with 30 years the 60/30 benefits still apply. Retiree Insurance converts from GA-23000 to GA-46000 with prescription coverage that covers all the way to age 65 and Medicare. Unlike the GA-23000 insurance you had when active that terminates 4 months from month of death, GA-46000 continues for your dependents until you would have reached age 65. Oftentimes there is a period of time where the employee has reached 65 and the spouse has not, leaving the spouse with an insurance problem until eligible for Medicare. Call 800-842-5252 and inquire about plans A, B, and C or you can COBRA the existing coverage for 36 months. Retiree $2000 life insurance at MetLife, call: 800-310-7770
It’s a good idea to contact RRB AT 877-772-5772 a year or more in advance and submit all items needed and be ready to retire on the day of your choosing. Enroll in the GA-46000 60 days in advance of retirement by calling United Health Care at 800-842-5252. The supplement to GA-46000 is GA-23111, Plan E that adds $500,000 to your ($171,100.00) lifetime major medical. This will be your opportunity to enroll in dental and vision coverage under COBRA for 18 months. Your GA 23000 coverage will remain in effect for one month after you retire. They will not cash your enrollment check until the due date to begin coverage.
When the employee reaches age 65 and eligible for Medicare, RRB will handle your enrollment. The supplement for Medicare is GA-23111, Plan F. Call 800-809-0453 to purchase Plan F.
“Please accept this as my letter of resignation effective _____ for the purpose of retirement” is all that is necessary to satisfy your relinquishment of seniority rights. Sign no form letter.