Eligibility Thresholds

October 26, 20201

Eligibility Thresholds will be our website blog this week and RRB has plenty:

  • Five years of railroad service and you are vested in railroad retirement Tier 1.
  • Ten years and you are vested in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 railroad retirement.
  • Twenty years and you are eligible for Occupational Disability at any age.
  • Thirty years and age 60 eligible for full retirement and makes spouse eligible also.
  • Ten years and age 60 makes you eligible for Occupational  Disability.
  • Married for one year the spouse is eligible for a spouse annuity. Ten months if employee dies).
  • Married ten years, divorced spouse is eligible for Tier 1 annuity.
  • Widow eligible at age 60 or any age if caring for the employee’s minor or disabled child.
  • Disabled widow between ages 50 and 59.
  • Unmarried child under age 19 and attending secondary school is eligible for survivor benefits.
  • Age 18 or older if totally disabled before age 22 is eligible for survivor benefits.
  • Total disability makes dependent child eligible (Also disability freeze)


Credible months can come from any railroad service, including unions. Credit can come from any month the employee worked, even if the employee worked only one day. There are many more factors determining eligibility but, in a nutshell, these are the most common



Paul Wingo


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