I was furloughed and sat down with the RRB. I encourage everyone who is concerned about being furloughed or questioning their future in general on the railroad to sit with the RRB. They will pull up your profile and show you the amount you will be paid in retirement even if you never worked another day on the railroad. Given you probably don’t have 30 years, once you leave the railroad you will start paying into SSI again and your retirement age will be governed by SSI guidelines which is your date of birth. At best you would be eligible for early retirement at age of 62 and take a 30% hit. Now, the money that you begin paying again into SSI will not increase your retirement figure and will be absorbed by the RRB once you retire. Unless you don’t have many years in and your SSI is more than what you would get from RRB. The biggest drawback is survivorship benefits. If you retire from a job paying into SSI, not railroad, once you die your connection with the railroad is broken and your benefits will not go to your wife. She will continue to get only her half or SSI, whichever is greater in lieu of getting your whole.
Very informative post from @12fXazHB-3ses, I thought it belonged on top.