July 23, 2014

Social Security closes offices as boomers age

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WASHINGTON – Even as millions of baby boomers approach retirement, the Social Security Administration has been closing dozens of field offices, forcing more and more seniors to seek help online instead of in person, according to a congressional report being released Wednesday. The agency blames budget constraints. Read the complete story at the Associated Press.

RRB explains benefits under Railroad Retirement, SSA

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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 [...]

UTU political strength praised in retirement fight

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Among the numerous political challenges facing working families is preservation of Railroad Retirement and Social Security, which are both under attack by political conservatives. As the UTU’s Portland, Ore., regional meeting commenced June 18, the labor member of the Railroad Retirement Board, Walt Barrows (pictured at left) told attendees, “You can be very proud of your [...]

Vigilance key to protecting pension benefits

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By UTU International President Mike Futhey –  Railroaders should not lose sleep over a rumor that Congress will cut Railroad Retirement benefits. The rumor began after language was inserted in a budget report by conservative Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) suggesting the federal deficit could be cut by eliminating certain Railroad Retirement benefits. He did not [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

UTUIA helps provide secure retirements

How long will you live after you retire, and will you have enough money to live on comfortably? Good question. That’s why – before you retire – you should think about post-retirement economic security, because few things could be worse than money running out during what are supposed to be carefree years. A balanced retirement [...]