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What to Report and Why for Railroad Retirement Thumbnail

What to Report and Why for Railroad Retirement

Tier 1 Tier 2 Video Financial Planning


When should you reach out to the Railroad Retirement Board?

Welcome everyone to another addition of the Highball Advisors Railroad Retirement Whiteboard. My name's John McNamara of Highball Advisors and today we're going to talk about communicating with the Railroad Retirement Board. There's a lot of issues going on between annuities, and disability, and survivor annuities and blah, blah, blah, all that stuff. So when should you be talking to the retirement board and let them know what's going on?

So I thought I'd run down and just go through the high level stuff and you can drill down a little bit deeper on it. So let's start from the top. I put them into categories, government benefits. Are you collecting social security? Let them know. They have to know. You can't double dip. Very important. Hey, are you getting a government pension also? Maybe you were part teacher sometimes so you might have a government offset or maybe your spouse was a teacher. So you have to let them know about non-covered service pensions. Very important, and also public service pensions. All that affects your tier one portion of your railroad retirement.

Next part, are you getting a railroad pension? This has to really do with supplemental annuity. So I won't really get into it. That's way back on the supplemental annuity side. But that's another reason. Then you have the work related issues here. Okay. Well you're working for the railroad. If you're working for the railroad, you got to let them know you're working for the railroad. All right. Don't rely on your HR department. Let them know that you're working for the railroad.

Then non railroad after full retirement age. Work deductions, all those type of things. Now, the reason I tell you all this stuff is because you don't want to be hit with penalties. So you got to know when to reach out to these people. So non railroad after, okay. Next one, tier one reductions for non railroad work before full retirement age. Remember I did the video working in railroad retirement? You have those reductions in your annuity when you're working. So then you might want to say hey, what earnings count towards that tier one reduction? You reach out to them to understand that.

And then we get into pre-retirement employers information here. So basically you've left the railroad. You've gone to work for another, let's say social security company. You got to let them know that that's where you're working, because that becomes your last pre-retirement employer. They want to know that. That's called the LPE because they're going to, if you work for them, once you start the annuity, then that's going to affect your tier two. So if it comes to their knowledge that hey, you worked before collecting your annuity and you're still working for them, reductions on your tier two.

And then there might be some exceptions on the LPE hit on the tier two, such as working for the post office, that type of thing. And then finally, understanding your annuity deductions for the LPE. You contact them say what's this? How much am I losing on it? Because that's good planning. That's good to know. So that makes sense to them.

Then on the disability side, all right. Some people are on the disability. I don't handle disability too much. So let's say you're retired and then all of a sudden... You retired at 60 or 61 and then you get disabled, let them know and then maybe you can get to Medicare a lot quicker. So that way you want to know. Or maybe you're on disability and you've recovered. Got to let them know that you've recovered also. They don't want to continue to be making those payments. All right. And then you can also ask them about disability work reductions. That's also important. And then if you're getting workers comp, got to let them know that. All these things. I mean, there's a lot of issues going on here.

And then on the personal side, maybe your marital status has changed, especially if you get married and your spouse is now available for a spousal annuity. Oh they got to know that. That's a freebie right there. Qualifying child status change. So that's interesting. So if you had children that were able under 18 able to collect on the annuity, maybe now they're in college and they're no longer available to get that. So they got to know what the status is on that. Conviction of a criminal offense. All right. It's got to let them know that. That might be the second or third phone call. I'd call a lawyer first, but you got to let the Railroad Retirement Board know that for sure.

Spouse or employee death. So eventually everybody's going to have to make that phone call, which isn't great. Change of address, want to make sure that any communication you're staying in touch with them. Don't want to lose track of each other. And then finally, direct deposit. That's probably really important because that's where all the money's coming to. So make sure you have that correct direct deposit information on file.

So what's the best way get in touch with them? Just call them. All right. Just call, call the phone number and give them an update on any of these issues. All right. Very, very important. Stay proactive. I know it's tough to get through to the Railroad Retirement Board lately, but taking an hour or whatever it takes, an hour, two hours and if it's going to save you headaches that are going to take hours in the future to unravel or pay back in penalties or fines, one or two hours out of your time is just worth it. It's just the way it is.

So I hope you found this video helpful. Reach out to me if you have any questions or put them in the comment section and I'll respond to them in the comment section, that's always a great way to do it. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel. It's going great. Want to get to 3000 subscribers, we're closing in so that's very exciting. Click on the notification bell to get latest whiteboard video that's going out. And until next time everyone, please stay safe, stay on track and take care. So long everybody. Bye.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. Highball Advisors encourages you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Highball Advisors, and all rights are reserved from Highball Advisors, and all rights are reserved.