May 25, 2016

Railroad Retirement benefits not in danger

Railroad retirees and current rail workers should not be losing sleep over the much-hyped rumor that Congress is going to abolish Railroad Retirement, cut Railroad Retirement benefits or otherwise do harm to a system supported financially entirely by carriers and labor since its inception during the 1930s. Recent language in a House Budget Committee report — […]

Conservatives pressing attack on working families

Public transportation funding, transportation jobs, workplace safety, Railroad Retirement and Medicare are under a mean-spirited and sustained attack by congressional conservatives who are trying to muscle their agenda through Congress prior to the November elections. The UTU and Sheet Metal Workers International Association – now combined into the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) – […]

Help stop this bill: Contact Congress

Never underestimate the impact of your communications to Congress. Combined with the tens of thousands of messages from others, the House Republican leadership has pulled back a planned vote Feb. 17 on a draconian transportation bill that would cost jobs, menace transportation safety and threaten the future of Railroad Retirement. As phone call, email and […]

Soc. Sec., Rail Retirement payments to rise in 2012

Retirees receiving Railroad Retirement Tier I or Social Security benefits will see their payments rise by 3.6 percent beginning Jan. 1 – the first increase in those benefit payments in two years. Increases in Railroad Retirement and Social Security benefits are tied to the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index. For railroad retirees, Tier II […]

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 […]