November 20, 2014

Thank you, military veterans!

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations [...]

UnitedHealthcare holds enrollment under GA-23111

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During November and December 2014, UnitedHealthcare will hold an open enrollment under Group Policy GA-23111. During this period, any individual who is eligible for coverage under one of the GA-23111 plans can enroll and will be accepted for coverage without any medical underwriting or requirement of good health. There are no limitations for pre-existing conditions. [...]

Rail retiree earnings limits to rise in 2015

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Railroad retirement annuitants subject to earnings restrictions can earn more in 2015 without having their benefits reduced as a result of increases in earnings limits indexed to average national wage increases. Like Social Security benefits, some railroad retirement benefit payments are subject to deductions if an annuitant’s earnings exceed certain exempt amounts. These earnings restrictions [...]

Railroad Retirement benefits to increase in 2015

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Most railroad retirement annuities, like Social Security benefits, are scheduled to increase in January 2015 on the basis of the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the third quarter of 2013 to the corresponding period of the current year. Cost-of-living increases are calculated in both the Tier I and Tier II benefits included [...]

Medicare Part B premiums remain the same in 2015

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The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $104.90 in 2015, the same amount as in 2014. Some beneficiaries will continue to pay higher premiums based on their modified adjusted gross income, but these amounts are also remaining the same as in 2014. The monthly premiums that include income-related adjustments for 2015 will be [...]

Social Security benefits to go up by 1.7 percent

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Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today. The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015. Increased payments to more than 8 million [...]

Barrows named for second term as RRB labor member

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President Barack Obama announced Oct. 8 his intent to nominate Walter A. Barrows to a second term as the labor member to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. His nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Obama first nominated Barrows as the board’s labor member in 2011. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on [...]

Credit for military service under the RRA

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Many railroad employees have at some time served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Under certain conditions, their military service may be credited as rail service under the Railroad Retirement Act. The following questions and answers provide information on how military service may be credited towards railroad retirement benefits. 1. Under what conditions [...]

RRB unemployment, sickness benefits to decrease

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Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will reduce railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by 7.3 percent, up from the current 7.2 percent reduction, due to federal budget cuts first implemented in March 2013. The adjusted reduction amount is based on revised projections of benefit claims and payments under the Railroad [...]

Tribute to late John Denver takes ‘country boy’ home

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For conductor and Norfolk Southern GO 680 Vice General Chairperson Robert C. “Bubba” Chandler III, the rhythm of the rails is in his bones. Long before he began riding the rails, the rhythm of the music was in his soul. A self-taught six-string guitar picker for more than 35 years, Chandler is an accomplished professional [...]