TN 6 (05-02)

RS 01601.135 Annuity Amounts in Survivor Claims

A. POLICY – TIER I

The RRB survivor annuity consists of one or two tiers and, if the particular survivors are eligible, additional annuity components may be payable.

The amount is based on the deceased's combined RR and SS earnings. It is generally equivalent to the amount that would have been payable under SS. It may be reduced for a survivor's entitlement to SS benefits payable on his/her own or any other person's SS earnings record, or receipt of a government pension.

B. POLICY – Tier II

The tier II portion of each individual annuity is generally based on the following percentages of the tier II that the RR employee would have received if he/she were alive and began receiving RR retirement benefits on the survivor beginning date:

  • 50% for a widow(er) or young mother/father;

  • 35% for a parent; and

  • 15% for a child.

There is both a minimum and maximum percentage, which will be paid in each case. The minimum percentage is 35% and the maximum percentage is 80%. The actual percentage used to compute the tier II for each annuitant depends on the number of people who are entitled to receive benefits.

C. POLICY - WIDOW(ER) GUARANTEE

The benefits payable cannot be less than the amount received as a spouse if the widow(er) had been receiving a spouse's annuity before the employee's death.

There is a special annuity that covers widow(er)s who worked for a RR if either the survivor or the deceased had 10 or more years of RR service prior to 1975. The guaranty produces an amount similar to the windfall benefit.

D. POLICY - WIDOW(ER) INITIAL MINIMUM AMOUNT (WIMA) GUARANTY – EFFECTIVE 02/01/2002

The Railroad Retirement and Survivor Improvement Act (RRSIA) of 2001 allows the widow(er) tier II to be based on 100 percent of the employee's tier II that produces a rate higher than the regular widow(er) calculation. This amount is considered the WIMA. The guarantee is effective 02/01/2002.

The WIMA is computed as a component of the 1981 Amendment tier II. Therefore, only widow(er)s and young mother/father paid under the 1981 Amendment are eligible for the guarantee. Widow(er)s and young mother/father who have zero 1981 Amendment tier II will not receive the guarantee. Remarried widow(er) and surviving divorced spouses do not receive the guarantee.

E. SURVIVOR VESTED DUAL BENEFIT

This windfall benefit was provided for vested widows and dependent widowers. (See RS 01601.125, item 5.)

NOTE: Only RRB can provide information concerning benefit amounts payable by their Agency.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0301601135
RS 01601.135 - Annuity Amounts in Survivor Claims - 08/08/2002
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:08/08/2002