September 16, 2014

RRB announces pre-retirement seminars

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Railroad employees and their spouses closing in on retirement will be able to learn the latest benefit information and application requirements as part of a new program announced by Labor Member of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board Walter A. Barrows. Designed for railroad employees and spouses planning to retire within five years, the new Pre-Retirement [...]

When Railroad Medicare pays first or second

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When Medicare began in the 1960s, it was the primary payer for all services except those covered by workers compensation. In 1980, Congress enacted provisions to shift costs from the Medicare program to private insurers, when possible. This legislation stopped Medicare from making payment if the payment had already been made, or would be expected [...]

Retired general chairperson L.L. Nelson dies

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Lewis Lavon Nelson, 74, retired general chairperson of former Union Pacific General Committee of Adjustment GO 957 (Northwest District), died Jan. 10 from complications related to lung cancer. A member of SMART Transportation Division Local 1574 at Portland, Ore., Nelson retired Sept. 1, 2001, following 35 years of continuous membership and railroad service. He assumed [...]

After 90 years, no more Corgiats aboard

On the first day of November, Bruce Corgiat tried to log on to the Union Pacific Railroad’s employee web page just as he’d done most other mornings. “They’d already blocked me,” he said. Wow, that was quick. On Halloween, Bruce officially retired from the railroad, as did his father and three brothers before him. But [...]

SMART TD partners with KUMC in hearing loss study

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Sixty percent of the U.S. population has hearing loss and most of those incidences are the result of exposure to noise. The University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) and the SMART Transportation Division have launched a partnership that could benefit you if you are suffering from this disability. The partnership between KUMC and the SMART [...]

RRB: Compensation subject to tax to increase in 2014

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The amounts of compensation subject to railroad retirement tier I and tier II payroll taxes will increase in 2014, while the tier I and tier II tax rates will remain the same on both railroad employers and employees, the Railroad Retirement Board announced. Also, railroad unemployment insurance contribution rates paid by employers will not include [...]

Former general chairperson Tim Smith dies

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Funeral services were held Tuesday, Dec. 3, for Timothy J. Smith, 66, who died Nov. 28 after a hard fought battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Smith worked 30 years as an engineer for Lake Terminal Railroad in Lorain, Ohio, with 22 of those years serving as general chairperson. He was a member of the former UTU [...]

RRB explains dual benefit payments

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The payment of a railroad retirement annuity can be affected by entitlement to social security benefits, as well as certain other government benefits. Such dual entitlement, if not reported to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), can result in benefit overpayments that have to be repaid, sometimes with interest and penalties. The following questions and answers [...]

Early rail retiree insurance cap rises in 2014

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UTU members and their dependents insured under the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit (ERMA) Plan (GA-46000) will have their lifetime maximum amount of coverage increased, effective Jan. 1. ERMA is a comprehensive benefits plan for employees who retire at or after age 60 with 30 years of service. The plan covers qualified [...]

A railroad dinosaur is coming back to life

It’s been sitting around in Pomona for nearly 53 years, but now the beast they call Big Boy is making tracks for Wyoming. Officially known as Union Pacific steam engine No. 4014, the locomotive has been parked at the RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona since 1962, a displaced piece of the past. Read the complete [...]