May 26, 2016

RRB releases final rule doubling fraud penalties

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has released an interim final rule doubling penalties to health providers who submit false claims on a railroader’s behalf. Under the rule, the minimum penalty per false claim increases from $5,500 to $10,781. The maximum penalty per false claim increases from $11,000 to $21,563. The rule takes effect August 1, […]

RRB announces change in service hours for field offices

Effective at noon on June 1, 2016, U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) field offices around the country will be closed to the public on Wednesday afternoons. Field office representatives will not be available to assist walk-in customers or to answer the phones during Wednesday afternoons only. All RRB offices will remain open from 9 a.m. […]

Q&A: buy-outs and Railroad Retirement Benefits

Railroad employees frequently ask the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) how the acceptance of a buy-out from a railroad employer affects their future eligibility for benefits under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. The following questions and answers provide information on this subject. 1. Would leaving railroad work and accepting a buy-out mean that […]

Q & A – Comparison of benefits under Railroad Retirement and Social Security

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 […]

Railroad Retirement annuities not taxable by state

According to Section 14 (45 U.S.C. Section 231m) of the Railroad Retirement Act retirement annuities are not taxable for individual state income tax purposes. Bruce Rodman, of the Public Affairs/Office of Administration of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board says, “Both of our primary enabling statutes – the Railroad Retirement Act and the Railroad Unemployment Insurance […]

RRB announces 2016 conference schedule

The Railroad Retirement Board has announced the locations and dates of their informational conferences for Spring 2016. All conference registrations begin at 8:00 a.m., with the programs beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 12:15 p.m. These informational conferences are beneficial to newly elected officers, retirees, those planning to retire and spouses. Click here to […]

Longevity of Railroad Retirement beneficiaries

Every three years, the Railroad Retirement Board’s Chief Actuary conducts a study of the longevity of its annuitants, as part of a valuation of future revenues and benefit payments. The following questions and answers summarize the results of the most recent longevity study. 1. What were the study’s findings on the life expectancy of retired […]

RRB releases 2016 tax rates

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) released its annual tax rates, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, for the upcoming 2016 year.  The Tier II tax rates are determined annually from a tax rate schedule based on an average account benefits ratio reflecting railroad retirement fund levels. Employer tax rates can range from 8.2 percent to 22.1 percent. […]

Medicare Part B premiums for 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced that the standard monthly Part B premium will be $121.80 in 2016. However, most Medicare beneficiaries will not see an increase in their monthly Part B premiums because of a “hold harmless” provision in the law. Under that provision, Part B premiums cannot increase for current […]

Railroad Retirement Board releases actuarial report

Chicago – The railroad retirement system will experience no cash-flow problems during the next 32 years; barring a sudden, unanticipated, large drop in railroad employment or substantial investment losses, according to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) in its report to the President and Congress. The news gets better. This 32-year estimate is based on […]