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Why Is My Ex-Spouse Already Receiving Her Award From My Pension Plan If I Am Not Retired?

Q. Mario S. from KY: "I worked for the United States Railroad for nearly 40 years. I am eligible for retirement benefits as of last year, however; I chose to remain on my salary for ancillary income. Why is my ex-spouse already receiving her award from my pension plan if I am not retired? Also, can my Tier II pension benefit be reached via QDRO, as I shall keep the marital residence?"

A. Spencer from Pension Evaluators®at Troyan, Inc.®answers: "In August of 2007, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) changed the world for the Alternate Payees of this time. The Tier 1 category of the RRB is the equivalent of Social Security System for Railroad. Every eligible worker is entitled to Tier 1 benefits, as is their qualified former spouse. On August 17, 2007 The Pension Protection Act mandated that an ex-spouse will be entitled to begin receiving their award of Tier 1 benefits at the earliest retirement age of the Participant, regardless if the Participant retired or not. What requires a pension evaluation is the Tier II benefit. Such is the actual pension of the RRB. This Pension information is provided to the Member's via the G-25 form. The pension component is also reachable via QDRO. Here at Pension Evaluators® at Troyan, Inc.®, we have performed numerous ACCUCALCTM Evaluations, ACCUQDRO Domestic Relations Orders and established many contacts within the Railroad Retirement Board. If you should require our services, consider filling out the applicable State of divorce PenEval form or RRB ACCUQDRO® form or Contact our Office for further details."

Spencer Olsen,

Lead Pension Analyst

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.