Most applicants select the earliest date permitted by law. This means the RRB will set your annuity beginning date as the very first day it could legally begin. If you choose to select a beginning date yourself, your annuity will begin on that date. However, the date you choose cannot be before the earliest date permitted by law.
The earliest age and service annuity beginning date permitted by law is the latest of the following:
- the day after the actual day you last worked in the railroad industry;
- the day after the last day of a period of Dismissal Allowance, Pay for Time Lost, or some types of Vacation Pay from the railroad industry;
- the first day of the first full month you meet the age requirement;
- the first day of the month in which your application is filed if your annuity is reduced for early retirement; or,
- the first day of the sixth month before the month in which you file your annuity application if your annuity is not reduced for early retirement.
If Items 1-3 above apply, you can file your age and service application up to three months before the earliest annuity beginning date permitted by law. This will shorten the processing time of your annuity application.
Note that, if you delay filing for benefits, when items 4-5 apply, you may lose benefits for some or all of the period before the month in which you file.