AVOIDING “THE DARK YEARS” FOR RAILROAD FAMILIES
While railroad employees’ benefits are among the best in the nation, we do have one very bad situation that over 20 years ago I dubbed the “dark years”. It creates the potential for a major financial problem but one that can be easily fixed with a little planning.
More than once I have spoken with a railroad widow and had to inform her that the dependents health insurance is in effect for only four months from the last month of the employee’s compensation and there would be no widow ‘s annuity unless there were dependent children under age 18 (or if she was between 50 and 59 years old and could be considered disabled she would then qualify for a disabled widow’s annuity but with a permanent 20% age reduction). In these cases, there are no survivor benefits and I can tell you this is the majority of the time. A railroad spouse needs to be acutely aware of this as the railroad career years roll by quickly. First thing you know, the kids are over 18, she is perhaps still less than 40 with 20 years to go before she is eligible for a widow’s annuity if her husband passes.
However there is a remedy as this can be easily fixed with a little planning. The solution is dirt cheap term life insurance. A 20 year term-life policy for half a million can be bought for probably $22.00 per month and if purchased at the right time, would cover the family until the age of annuity eligibility is reached. In today’s railroad operational plan like precision railroading or targeting certain crew performances the pressure is on to get more done with less cre w size which can lead to more possibilities for what no one wants to happen. Fortunately, the General Chairmen have also recognized the need for life insurance for railroaders and have successfully negotiated accidental death coverage in the agreements such as the off-track vehicle coverage of $300,000, some job insurance riders like BRCF with $50,000 and other riders on short-term disability policies are valuable. However, it’s the individual term-life coverage that really does the job and protects the railroad family.
Don’t let your family be surprised to find out RRB “survivor benefits” are not really there when needed and don’t have them wondering what to do if something unfortunate happens. This job on the railroad is for our family. Make sure that they, no matter what , will be taken care of if something happens to you .Also know that In terms of a law firm that really cares, knows the railroad language and will guide them through every phase of collecting every benefit you have coming and getting the maximum settlement by proving liability- that Law Firm Is Steel & Moss of Atlanta, Georgia 800-776-0098.