Retiring With More Than 360 Months of Service

RETIRING  with 360+ months of service, 60+ years of age


An Employee with 360+ months of service and with the age of 60, can retire anytime.  The rule states that the first month a person is eligible for retirement would be the month after a person attains the age of 60, unless that person’s birthday is the 1st of the month, in which case they can retire on their birthday.

EXAMPLE - You turn 60 on December 5th.  The first date you can retire is January 1st.  If you wanted to take your 11 Personal Leave days in January and retire on January 12th, your retirement would be pro-rated for the month, with 18 days of retirement on February 1st.

After the first month a rail is entitled to retire, you can retire on any day of the month.

With 360 months of service, there is NO age reduction to either your tier 1 or tier 2 retirement.


Railroad Retirement is paid in two parts: 

Tier 1 is the same as Social Security.  This is based on your best 35 years of earnings, regardless of where you worked.  Railroad, Military, delivering papers, etc.  The 35 year total of compensation is indexed to the year you are going to retire, then divided by 420 to give a monthly average.  Then computations are made from that number.

  • The first $1,115 will have 90% put through to the monthly Tier 1 Benefit
  • $1,115 to $6,721 will have 35% put through to the monthly Tier 1 Benefit
  • $6,721 and above, will have 15% put through to the monthly Tier 1 Benefit


Tier 2 is based on your best 5 years of Tier 2 Earnings.  If you are making the maximum Tier 2 earnings, then you would multiply your months of service by about $5.00 per monthly credit.

Example. 400 months of service X $5.00 = $2000 a month in Tier 2 Benefits.

Go online at WWW.RRB.GOV to set up an account and get a good estimate of your RR Retirement annuity.


Here is what you need to do to get retired:

The RRB needs Original, or Certified Copies of your Birth Certificate, your significant others Birth Certificate, your marriage certificate and your DD-214 (if military).  These documents can be taken to ANY RRB Office where they will be scanned.  Or, take them to a place where the RRB is having meetings about Retirement, or you can call the RRB and they will tell you how and where to send your documents.   Your documents will be copied and returned.  -   You can do this any time you are vested in the RRB (60 months), at ANY age.  Get your documentation in the system EARLY!! -

Once you have chosen a date to retire, you can contact an RRB Office near you and arrange for an appointment to have an interview, either by phone or in person (post Covid).  The RRB will take your information, set your date for retirement and send you a form AA-1.  (If you have procrastinated about getting your documents to the RRB, you can arrange a way to get them scanned into the system at this time.)  

In addition to the AA-1, You will also need your latest BA-6, which is mailed to you from the RRB every June.  This document shows your latest amount of Railroad Retirement months of service, as of the previous December 31st.  These 2 documents show you qualify for either the 60-30  Iron Road Health Insurance policies or the National Plan GA-46000 and your spouse qualifies for the National Plan GA-46000.


Retiree has Iron Road Health Care (UPREHS)

The working Iron Road Health Insurance challenger plan will continue for one month after a month in which you had 7 work events, on 7 different days.  You will have 2 choices for health insurance until you turn 65.

The 60-30 plan is free, pays at the 80% rate and is capped at $188,000 from 60 until 65 years of age.

The 60-30+ plan costs $315 a month, pays just like your working challenger plan and is capped at $500,000 between 60 and 65 years of age.

Depot drug covers Pharmaceuticals for either plan.  The $1700 yearly cap is gone, but pharmaceuticals add to the totals for cap purposes.


Retiree has the National Plan Health care (BC/BS - UHC - AETNA)

The working National Health Insurance plan will continue for one month after a month in which you had 7 work events, on 7 different days.  The GA-46000 will be available to the retiree until the age of 65.  This policy pays at the 80% rate and has a $188,000 lifetime cap.

A Supplemental for the GA-46000 can be purchased for $315 per month that pays 80% of the 20% that the GA-46000 does not pay, making this a 94% policy.  The Supplemental also adds $500,000 to the lifetime cap.

Express Scripts covers Pharmaceuticals for this plan.


Vision is NOT covered.  You can COBRA this coverage for 18 months at $3.88 per month.

Dental is NOT covered.  You can COBRA this coverage for 18 months at $27.37 per month.

Cobra is continued thru United Health Care and must be paid monthly or quarterly to UHC.


First Retirement check will come the 1st of the month after the first full month you retire in.

Example - You retire on March 31.  Your first check will come on May 1st.

Example - You retire on March 15th.  Your first check would usually come on May 1st, for 16 days of pro-rated retirement and the month of April's retirement pay.   Although You may get a check on April 1st for 16 days.  It can work either way.



Have a spouse?

At the age of 60, and with at least one year of marriage, the spousal Retirement Annuity would be 50% of your tier 1 and 45% of your tier 2. 


Health Insurance on your Spouse?

When you retire, your spouse is entitled to the National Plan GA-46000, under United Health Care.  It will start the month after you had a month with 7 work events, on 7 different dates in it.

The spouse can go on this GA-46000, as long as spouse is younger than 65, when the employee with 360+ Months retires.  The spouse can stay on this policy until the employee qualifies for Medicare, or would have qualified for Medicare.

Example:  Employee retires on birthday at age 60, passes on 2 months later. A 45 year old spouse can stay on the GA-46000 for another 4 years and 10 months.

The GA-46000 pays at 80% and has a $188,000 lifetime cap.

There is a Supplemental to the GA-46000 that costs $315 per month.  It will pay 20% of the 80% that the GA-46000 does not pay.  This makes the Health Insurance pay at 94%.  The Supplemental adds $500,000 to the lifetime cap, for $688,000.

Prescriptions are provided through Express Scripts. 




Want to work in Retirement?

Once retired, you cannot make any money from any job that pays Railroad Retirement, either for Railroad or Union work.

If you want to work between the age of 60 and your full Retirement Age (66 -67), you can make up to $21,240 per year.  If you make more than that, you will lose $1 for every $2 you make.  You can make all $21,240 in one month, then not work again and have NO effect on your Retirement.

After your full retirement age (FRA), you can make all you can and it will NOT affect your Retirement at all, as long as you do not work for a Railroad, Union or your last Non-railroad previous employer.


Spouse wants to work in Retirement?

Rules are the same.  Will lose $1 of retirement for every $2 they make over $21,240 per year, until at full retirement age (FRA).  Must not work at their last non-railroad employer before retirement.


Can Retired Employee or Spouse work the last job they had - pre-retirement:

YES, but there is a stiff penalty to your and your spouses Tier 2 retirement.

Example:  Your wife worked for Joann's Fabric shop before retirement.  After retirement she wants to occasionally work for Joann's.  The penalty will be to lose $1 for every $2 from the first dollar made on her Railroad annuity, up to ½ of the Tier 2 Compensation.

Employee would be the same.  Say an employee started working for Ace Hardware occasionally, before they retired.  If the employee works for Ace after he retires, they will lose $1 for every $2 made, from the first Dollar.  In addition, the spouse would lose $1 for every $2 the rail received in pay, up to ½ of Tier 2 compensation.

However if the wife went to Target and the husband went to True Value after retirement, then they both could work up to the $21,240 per year, without losing any retirement.

Working over the $21,240 per year, results in a reduction of the Tier 1 benefit

Working for a previous Non-Railroad employer, results in a reduction of the Tier 2 benefit

Previous Non-Railroad employer, is defined as an employer that a rail worked for within the last 6 months of being retired.  To be sure, a rail should NOT work for a previous employer during the same year they retire to keep from being investigated.

Do not try to make sense of this, it is just the rules.


Can a Widow work at their last pre-retirement non railroad employer?

Yes they can and with no retirement reductions as long as they stay under the $21,240 per year.



With Iron Road Health Insurance, you have to part with the UP on good terms or you do not qualify for the 60-30 or 60-30+ Insurance plans.  You can get your retirement money, just not the GREAT rates on Health Insurance for the employee.  Spouse Insurance availability is not affected because they are on the National Plan.

With the National Plan, the requirements are to have applied for a 60-30 retirement, you applied no earlier than 3 months before your 60 birthday and are covered by employee health care on the day immediately before the date you applied for the retirement annuity




Larry J. Romine

Reliable Retirement Solutions



updated 1-1-2023