The tier I amount is based on the deceased employee's combined railroad retirement and social security credits. The tier I you will receive is equal to a percentage of the amount that the employee would have received if he or she had retired under the social security system only. The percentage depends on the type of benefit you are receiving and the number of annuitants who are qualified to receive a benefit. If there are fewer than three qualified family members, the percentages are as follows:
If there are three or more qualified family members, an amount called the "family maximum" applies to the tier I amount. The "family maximum" amount is divided proportionately among the family members to determine the individual annuity tier I amounts.
The tier I portion of the annuity is reduced for:
- the entire amount of any social security benefit which you are entitled to receive on your own account or on the account of another person;
- a portion of any railroad retirement annuity based on your own railroad industry work;
- two-thirds of the amount of any public service pension based on your earnings if you are receiving a widow(er) type benefit and you do not meet one of the exceptions given in the section "Public Service Pension."
If you are not entitled to a tier II, you cannot receive an annuity if the amount of any social security benefit you receive is greater than the amount of the maximum tier I which could be paid on the employee's account.