April 19, 2015

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 [...]

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 [...]

Q&As regarding Railroad Retirement spouse benefits

In addition to the retirement annuities payable to employees, the Railroad Retirement Act, like the Social Security Act, also provides annuities for the spouses of retired employees. Payment of a spouse annuity is made directly to the wife or husband of the employee. Divorced spouses may also qualify for benefits. The following questions and answers [...]

RRB releases statement on 2015 tax rates

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The amounts of compensation subject to railroad retirement Tier I and Tier II payroll taxes will increase in 2015, with the Tier I tax rates remaining the same while Tier II tax rates will increase for both railroad employers and employees. Also, railroad unemployment insurance contribution rates paid by employers will include a surcharge of [...]

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 [...]

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 submits annual financial reports to Congress

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The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is required by law to submit annual financial reports to Congress on the financial condition of the railroad retirement system and the railroad unemployment insurance system. These reports must also include recommendations for any financing changes which may be advisable in order to ensure the solvency of the systems. In [...]