October 25, 2014

New year for rail unemployment, sickness claims

A new year under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act for unemployment and sickness benefits begins July 1. The maximum daily benefit rate payable remains at $66 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. Thus, the maximum benefits for [...]

Rail Retirement, Social Security benefits go electronic

Effective May 1, Social Security and Railroad Retirement checks for new recipients no longer will be mailed. Instead, all benefits payments — retirement, survivor and disability — will go electronically to the recipients’ bank accounts via electronic direct deposit. Those already receiving Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits via check through the postal service will [...]

Don’t let them fool you about Railroad Retirement

An opinion article recently published by the Financial Times and Fox News, written by conservative financial columnist Liz Peek, takes a nasty and incorrect swipe at Railroad Retirement, saying Railroad Retirement should be eliminated and folded into Social Security. The argument begins with a major falsehood — that Railroad Retirement is costing the American taxpayer. [...]

Preserving Amtrak: A perennial effort

WASHINGTON — Since its creation four decades ago, Amtrak has perennially teetered on the edge of financial extinction, annually fighting down to the wire for minimal funds to keep it operating.This year is no exception. And while UTU member and retiree phone calls — along with tens of thousands of others from Amtrak supporters nationwide [...]

Treasurers’ payroll tax update

Railroad Retirement, Social Security, Medicare and Railroad Unemployment Insurance payroll taxes have changed for 2011. Following are the tax rates:  Railroad Retirement Tier I: Paid by employer: 6.20% on wages up to $106,800. Paid by employee: 4.2% on wages up to $106,800. Social Security (non-railroad employment): Paid by employer: 6.2% on wages up to $106,800. Paid [...]

Payroll tax cut will NOT weaken trust funds

The 2 percentage point reduction in payroll taxes for railroad workers covered by Railroad Retirement, and bus and aviation workers covered by Social Security, will NOT have a negative impact on either the Railroad Retirement or Social Security trust funds, as has been wrongly alleged by some. Beginning Jan. 1, all workers will see an [...]

SS, Rail Retirement benefits go electronic

Come May 1, Social Security and Railroad Retirement checks for new recipients no longer will be mailed. The Social Security Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board are going paperless — sending payment electronically (direct deposit) to those receiving retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Those already receiving Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits will have until March [...]

Rail Retirement payroll tax set for 2011

Railroad Retirement payroll taxes will remain at 2010 levels in 2011, reports the Railroad Retirement Board. For Tier I, carriers and employees each will pay 6.20 percent on a maximum of $106,800 of wages. For Medicare, carriers and employees each will pay 1.45 percent on all wages. For Tier II, carriers will pay 12.10 percent [...]