The Railroad Retirement Act is a Federal law that provides retirement and disability annuities for qualified railroad employees, spouse annuities for their wives or husbands, and survivor benefits for the families of deceased employees who were insured under the Act. These benefit programs are administered by the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). The RRB also administers the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, and has administrative responsibilities under the Social Security Act for certain benefit payments and railroad workers' Medicare coverage.
This booklet describes the retirement and disability annuities provided for employees under the Railroad Retirement Act, and the benefits available to their spouses and survivors. Medicare and unemployment-sickness insurance benefits are described in separate publications.
The information in this booklet supersedes earlier editions. If you have any questions about the information in this booklet, or if you want one of the RRB's publications on Medicare or unemployment and sickness insurance benefits, please visit the Benefits section of our website or contact the RRB toll-free at 1-877-772-5772. Agency field office representatives will be glad to answer your questions and explain your benefit rights.
See Field Office Locator for a list of cities with these offices.
In addition, through automated menus available 24 hours a day, you can find the address for the field office serving your area and listen to special announcements about the agency's benefit programs. You can also request a replacement Medicare card, a letter showing your current monthly benefit rate, a replacement tax statement for the most recently completed tax year, or a statement of creditable railroad service and compensation. Information on unemployment-sickness claims is also available.
The services listed above, and others, are also available by visiting Benefit Online Services.Other online services allow users to get annuity estimates, apply for or claim unemployment benefits, claim sickness benefits, view their Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act account statement, and review their service and compensation history. In addition, many of the RRB's publications are available for viewing and downloading, as is information about benefit requirements and other topics of interest.
This publication is issued for the purpose of general information. Certain limitations, exceptions, and special cases are not covered.