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September 20, 2011

To apply for Railroad Retirement or Social Security benefits, you must provide certain information, and it is suggested you begin the process at least three months prior to your anticipated retirement date.
You will need the following information to register successfully for benefits:

  • Proof of age: An original birth certificate or a certified copy (not a photocopy). If a birth certificate is not available, the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security will advise you how to proceed.
  • Proof of marriage: An original or a certified copy (not a photocopy) of the marriage certificate.
  • Proof of military service. To be eligible for military credits, you will need a copy of your discharge papers (DD-214). Note: When you were discharged, you likely were encouraged to file a copy of your DD-214 with the recorder of deeds in your hometown.
  • A copy of your most recent IRS form W-2 from your employer (filed with your tax return).

Railroad employees contemplating retirement are eligible to receive a “Retirement Made Easy” kit from UnitedHealthcare. To obtain the kit, rail employees should call UnitedHealthcare at (800) 842-5252.
Also, if you have dependent children, you should have available original or certified copies of their birth certificates.