When you work in the railroad industry, your earnings are reported to the Railroad Retirement Board, which keeps your records.

Effective January 1, 2002, you must have either a total of 10 or more years (120 service months) of railroad industry work or at least 5 years of such work after 1995 to qualify for a pension from the Railroad Retirement Board. If you:

  • Worked in the railroad industry for less than 10 years of railroad earnings and you have less than five years of railroad earnings after 1995, we will include your railroad earnings in counting your Social Security credits and calculating your Social Security benefit.

    Your Social Security Statement displays such earnings for years from 1973 to the present in the chart of your earnings. We don't show railroad earnings before 1973 on your Statement, but we do use them in calculating your credits and benefit estimates.

  • Have 10 or more years of railroad work or you have five or more years of work after 1995, you may qualify for a pension. We will not use those railroad earnings in determining your Social Security credits or benefit amount.

    You should contact a Railroad Retirement Board office or its toll-free telephone number for information about railroad pension benefits based on those earnings.