July 22, 2014

SSA, RRB benefits to rise by only 1.5 percent

WASHINGTON – Social Security benefits for nearly 58 million people will increase by 1.5 percent next year, the government announced Wednesday. The increase is among the smallest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. It is small because consumer prices haven’t gone up much in the past year. Read the complete story at the Associated [...]

Importance of a current connection for RRB benefits

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Under the Railroad Retirement Act, a “current connection” with the railroad industry is one of the eligibility requirements for occupational disability annuities and supplemental annuities, and is one of the factors that determine whether the Railroad Retirement Board or the Social Security Administration has jurisdiction over the payment of monthly benefits to survivors of a [...]

RRB offices remain open, conferences canceled

The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has announced that during the lapse in federal funding for certain government operations which began Oct. 1, ongoing benefit payments will continue and all RRB offices are expected to remain open. RRB field offices, operating with reduced staffs, may also accept new claims for unemployment and sickness benefits, but [...]

RRB unemployment, sickness benefits to increase

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Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will reduce railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by 7.2 percent due to federal budget cuts first implemented in March 2013. The original reduction had been 9.2 percent since March. The adjusted reduction amount is based on revised projections of benefit claims and payments under [...]

Anthony nominated as RRB management member

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President Barack Obama Sept. 24 nominated Steven Anthony as the management member of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, replacing Jerome F. Kever, whose term is expiring. Anthony’s appointment will require Senate confirmation. Anthony most recently served as senior general counsel and secretary for the Norfolk Southern Corporation from 2007 to 2012. Previously, he was a [...]

RRB benefit reductions by retirement age

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Railroad retirement benefits are subject to reduction if an employee with less than 30 years of service retires before attaining full retirement age. While employees with less than 30 years of service may still retire at age 62, the age at which full retirement benefits are payable has been gradually increasing since the year 2000, [...]

RRB issues financial report

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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 [...]

RRB’s Barrows: ‘We are entitled…we worked for it’

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On July 29, Railroad Retirement Board Labor Member Walt Barrows addressed attendees at the SMART Transportation Division’s Anaheim, Calif., regional meeting. He spoke about the beginnings of the RRB, pensions and retirement plans, attacks on workers in both the public and private sectors. “We are entitled because we worked for it. We are entitled because [...]

RRB labor member announces staff appointments

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Walter A. Barrows, the labor member of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), recently announced two senior-level staff appointments within his immediate office. Michael J. Collins, who has been an assistant to the labor member since April 2003, will assume the position of legislative assistant. In that capacity, he will advise the labor member on [...]

Applying for a Railroad Retirement annuity

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Railroad employees who are planning to retire should be aware of what steps to take and what documents are required when applying for an annuity from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Being prepared can prevent needless delays and ensure that payments from the RRB begin as soon as possible after retirement. The following questions and [...]