SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1308. Pay for Railroad Work

1308.1 Does payment for railroad work generally count as wages for Social Security purposes?

Your pay for railroad work generally does not count as wages for Social Security purposes. Railroad employees have a separate retirement system administered by the Railroad Retirement Board (see Chapter 23 to find information on other benefit programs). However, if your railroad work does not qualify you for a railroad retirement benefit, your railroad work may count as Social Security wages.

1308.2 Are there any special cases where railroad work does count for Social Security purposes?

Your railroad credits count for Social Security purposes if you have less than 10 years of railroad service and less than 5 years of railroad service after December 31, 1995. In some survivor cases, regardless of the number of railroad service months you have, your railroad credits count for Social Security purposes. If you are insured based on the combined earnings, Social Security benefits are payable.

Last Revised: Aug. 8, 2011