Railroad retirement annuitants subject to earnings restrictions can earn more in
2014 without having their benefits reduced as a result of increases in earnings
limits indexed to average national wage increases.
Like social security benefits, some railroad retirement benefit payments are
subject to deductions if an annuitant's earnings exceed certain exempt amounts.
These earnings restrictions apply to those who have not attained full social
security retirement age. For employee and spouse annuitants, full retirement age
ranges from age 65 for those born before 1938 to age 67 for those born in 1960
or later. For survivor annuitants, full retirement age ranges from age 65 for
those born before 1940 to age 67 for those born in 1962 or later.
For those under full retirement age throughout 2014, the exempt earnings amount
rises to $15,480 from $15,120 in 2013. For beneficiaries attaining full
retirement age in 2014, the exempt earnings amount, for the months before the
month full retirement age is attained, rises to $41,400 in 2014 from $40,080 in
For those under full retirement age, the earnings deduction is $1 in benefits
for every $2 of earnings over the exempt amount. For those attaining full
retirement age in 2014, the deduction is $1 for every $3 of earnings over the
exempt amount in the months before the month full retirement age is attained.
When applicable, these earnings deductions are assessed on the tier I and vested
dual benefit portions of railroad retirement employee and spouse annuities, and
the tier I, tier II, and vested dual benefit portions of survivor benefits.
All earnings received for services rendered, plus any net earnings from
self-employment, are considered when assessing deductions for earnings.
Interest, dividends, certain rental income, or income from stocks, bonds, or
other investments are not considered earnings for this purpose.
Retired employees and spouses, regardless of age, who work for their last
pre-retirement non-railroad employer are also subject to an additional earnings
deduction, in their tier II and supplemental benefits, of $1 for every $2 in
earnings up to a maximum reduction of 50 percent. This earnings restriction does
not change from year to year and does not allow for an exempt amount.
A spouse benefit is subject to reduction not only for the spouse's earnings, but
also for the earnings of the employee, regardless of whether the earnings are
from service for the last pre-retirement non-railroad employer or other
Special work restrictions continue to be applicable to disability annuitants in
2014. The monthly disability earnings limit increases to $840 in 2014 from $810
Regardless of age and/or earnings, no railroad retirement annuity is payable for
any month in which an annuitant (retired employee, spouse or survivor) works for
a railroad employer or railroad union.
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