Railway workers receive retirement benefits through the Railroad Retirement program, which has Tier 1 benefits that are similar to Social Security benefits. The program bases Tier 2 benefits on the years of service and the 60 months of highest pay, according to the Office of Retirement and Disability Policy.
The program pays Tier 2 benefits that are similar to a private pension. As with Social Security, recipients receive cost of living increases; however, with Railroad Retirement, these adjustments apply to both tiers of benefits, reports the Office of Retirement and Disability Policy. The program transfers the accounts of railroad workers who do not meet the minimum number of qualifying years to the Social Security Administration.