September 1, 2015

Medicare’s program integrity initiatives

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For many years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has funded programs to reduce claims payment errors (either paying too much, paying too little or payments being made when none should be).  Some of these programs are handled through systematic checks that look for anomalies and mismatched services, and some are handled through clinical [...]

DOL seeks nominations for ERISA Advisory Council

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting nominations to fill five, 3-year vacancies on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council. The deadline to submit nominations is July 31. The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit [...]

RRB: new benefit year began July 1

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A new benefit year under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act began July 1, 2015. The maximum daily benefit rate payable for claims under this Act increases to $72 in the new benefit year. Benefits are normally paid for the number of days of unemployment or sickness over four in 14-day registration periods, so maximum benefits [...]

Applying for a Railroad Retirement annuity

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Railroad employees who are planning to retire should be aware of what steps to take and what documents are required when applying for an annuity from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Being prepared can prevent needless delays and ensure that payments from the RRB begin as soon as possible after retirement. The following questions and [...]

Acting for impaired Railroad Retirement beneficiaries

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According to Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) policy, every annuitant has the right to manage his or her own benefits. However, when physical or mental impairments make a railroad retirement annuitant incapable of properly handling benefit payments, or where the RRB determines that the interests of the annuitant so require, the agency can appoint a representative [...]

Comparison of benefits under RRB, Social Security

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Employers and employees covered by the Railroad Retirement Act pay higher retirement taxes than those covered by the Social Security Act, so that railroad retirement benefits remain higher than Social Security benefits, especially for “career” employees who have 30 or more years of service. The following questions and answers show the differences in railroad retirement [...]

Oakland Old Rails Club planning April 12 dinner

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The Oakland Old Rails Club is planning its annual dinner and get together for Sunday, April 12, 2015, at the Elios Family Restaurant at 260 Floresta Blvd., San Leandro, Calif. The event will begin at noon with a no-host bar, with dinner to be served at 1:00 p.m. There are three dinner choices this year [...]

Railroad Retirement explain survivor benefits

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Monthly benefits may be payable under the Railroad Retirement Act to the surviving widow(er), children, and certain other dependents of a railroad employee if the employee was “insured” under that act at the time of death. Lump-sum death benefits may also be payable to qualified survivors in some cases. The following questions and answers describe [...]

African American railroaders forge history at museum

ROANOKE, Va. – Members of the African American Norfolk & Western Heritage Group in Roanoke stepped behind a curtain and took their first look at how the Virginia Museum of Transportation will present their history. “I think it’s great,” said Carroll Swain, 87, one of the group’s founding members. “Right now I think it’s something [...]

Obama to declare Pullman town national monument

President Barack Obama will visit Chicago next week to designate the historic Pullman neighborhood – one of the first “company towns” in the U.S. – as a national monument. Pullman was home to railroad baron George Pullman’s factory town in the 1880s, homes, shopping areas, churches, theaters, a hotel, a library, and other amenities for [...]