Railroad Retirement Board August 2007 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Correction to Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for Comments
Document Number: E7-17273
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-31
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In the document appearing on page 47086, FR Doc. E7-16592, Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for Comments dated August 22, 2007, the Railroad Retirement Board is making a correction to the Item titled ``Changes Proposed''. As published, the document contains an error that may be misleading to the public.
Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for Comments
Document Number: E7-16843
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-24
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request an extension to a currently approved collection of information: 3220-0079, Certification Regarding Rights to Unemployment Benefits consisting of Form UI-45, Claimant's StatementVoluntary leaving of Work. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and approval by OIRA ensures that we impose appropriate paperwork burdens. The RRB invites comments on the proposed collection of information to determine (1) the practical utility of the collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information that is the subject of collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of collections on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments to RRB or OIRA must contain the OMB control number of the ICR. For proper consideration of your comments, it is best if RRB and OIRA receive them within 30 days of publication date. Under Section 4 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA), an employee who leaves work voluntarily is disqualified for unemployment benefits unless the employee left work for good cause and is not qualified for unemployment benefits under any other law. RRB Form UI-45, Claimant's StatementVoluntary Leaving of Work, is used by the RRB to obtain the claimant's statement when it is indicated by the claimant, the claimant's employer, or another source that the claimant has voluntarily left work. Completion of Form UI-45 is required to obtain or retain benefits. One response is received from each respondent. The RRB proposes a very minor non-burden impacting editorial change to Form UI-45. Previous Requests for Comments: The RRB has already published the initial 60-day notice (72 FR 9363 on March 1, 2007) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That request elicited no comments.
Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for Comments
Document Number: E7-16803
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-24
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request a revision to a currently approved collection of information: 3220-0057, Placement Service consisting of Form(s) ES-2, ES-21, ES-21c, UI-35, and Job Vacancies Reports. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and approval by OIRA ensures that we impose appropriate paperwork burdens. The RRB invites comments on the proposed collection of information to determine (1) the practical utility of the collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information that is the subject of collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of collections on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments to RRB or OIRA must contain the OMB control number of the ICR. For proper consideration of your comments, it is best if RRB and OIRA receive them within 30 days of publication date. Section 12(i) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA), authorizes the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) to establish, maintain, and operate free employment offices to provide claimants for unemployment benefits with job placement opportunities. Section 704(d) of the Regional Railroad Reorganization Act of 1973, as amended, and as extended by the consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, required the RRB to maintain and distribute a list of railroad job vacancies, by class and craft, based on information furnished by rail carriers to the RRB. Although the requirement under the law expired effective August 13, 1987, the RRB has continued to obtain this information in keeping with its employment service responsibilities under Section 12(k) of the RUIA. Application procedures for the job placement program are prescribed in 20 CFR 325. The procedures pertaining to the RRB's obtaining and distributing job vacancy reports furnished by rail carriers are described in 20 CFR 346.1. The RRB currently utilizes four forms to obtain information needed to carry out its job placement responsibilities. Form ES-2, Supplemental Information for Central Register, is used by the RRB to obtain information needed to update a computerized central register of separated and furloughed railroad employees available for employment in the railroad industry. Form ES-21, Referral to State Employment Service, and ES-21c, Report of State Employment Service Office, are used by the RRB to provide placement assistance for unemployed railroad employees through arrangements with State Employment Service offices. Form UI-35, Field Office Record of Claimant Interview, is used primarily by RRB field office staff to conduct in-person interviews of claimants for unemployment benefits. Completion of these forms is required to obtain or maintain a benefit. In addition, the RRB also collects Railroad Job Vacancies information received voluntarily from railroad employers. Previous Requests for Comments: The RRB has already published the initial 60-day notice (72 FR 18283-18284 on April 11, 2007) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That request elicited no comments.
Proposed Collection; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-16797
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-24
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506 (c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 which provides opportunity for public comment on new or revised data collections, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will publish periodic summaries of proposed data collections. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the RRB's estimate of the burden of the collection of the information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden related to the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Title and Purpose of Information Collection: Representative Payee Monitoring; OMB 3220-0151. Under Section 12 of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA), the RRB may pay annuity benefits to a representative payee when an employee, spouse or survivor annuitant is incompetent or a minor. The RRB is responsible for determining if direct payment to an annuitant or a representative payee would best serve the annuitant's best interest. The accountability requirements authorizing the RRB to conduct periodic monitoring of representative payees, including a written accounting of benefit payments received, are prescribed in 20 CFR 266.7. The RRB utilizes the following forms to conduct its representative payee monitoring program. Form G-99a, Representative Payee Report, is used to obtain information needed to determine whether the benefit payments certified to the representative payee have been used for the annuitant's current maintenance and personal needs and whether the representative payee continues to be concerned with the annuitant's welfare. RRB Form G-99c, Representative Payee Evaluation Report, is used to obtain more detailed information from a representative payee who fails to complete and return Form G-99a, or in situations when the returned Form G-99a indicates the possible misuse of funds by the representative payee. Form G-99c contains specific questions concerning the representative payee's performance and is used by the RRB to determine whether or not the representative payee should continue in that capacity. Completion of the forms in this collection is required to retain benefits. The RRB proposes no changes to Form G-99a. Non-burden impacting editorial and formatting changes are proposed for Form G-99c. The completion time for Form G-99a is estimated at 18 minutes per response. The completion time for Form G-99c is estimated at between 24 to 31 minutes per response. The RRB estimates that approximately 6,000 Form G-99a's and 535 G-99c's are completed annually. Additional Information or Comments: To request more information or to obtain a copy of the information collection justification, forms, and/or supporting material, please call the RRB Clearance Officer at (312) 751-3363 or send an e-mail request to Charles.Mierzwa@RRB.GOV. Comments regarding the information collection should be addressed to Ronald J. Hodapp, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092 or send an e-mail to Ronald.Hodapp@RRB.GOV. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.
Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for Comments
Document Number: E7-16592
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-22
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request an extension of a currently approved collection of information: 3220-0097, consisting of Form UI-1e, Pay Rate Report. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and approval by OIRA ensures that we impose appropriate paperwork burdens. The RRB invites comments on the proposed collection of information to determine (1) the practical utility of the collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information that is the subject of collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of collections on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments to RRB or OIRA must contain the OMB control number of the ICR. For proper consideration of your comments, it is best if RRB and OIRA receive them within 30 days of publication date. Under Section 2(a) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, the daily benefit rate for unemployment and sickness benefits depends on the claimant's last daily rate of pay in the base year. The procedures pertaining to the use of a claimant's daily pay rate in determining the daily benefit rate are prescribed in 20 CFR part 330. The RRB utilizes Form UI-1e, Request for Pay Rate Information, to obtain information from a claimant about their last railroad employer and pay rate, when it is not available from other RRB records. Form UI- 1e also explains the possibility of receiving a higher daily benefit rate if claimants report their daily rate of pay for railroad work in the base year. Completion is required to obtain or retain benefits. One response is requested of each respondent. Previous Requests for Comments: The RRB has already published the initial 60-day notice (72 FR 9594 on March 2, 2007) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That request elicited no comments.
Proposed Collection; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-16590
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-22
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 which provides opportunity for public comment on new or revised data collections, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will publish periodic summaries of proposed data collections. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the RRB's estimate of the burden of the collection of the information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden related to the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed collections; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-16212
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-17
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 which provides opportunity for public comment on new or revised data collections, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) publishes periodic summaries of proposed data collections. The information collections numbered below are pending at RRB and will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 60 days from the publication date of this notice. Comments are Invited on: (a) Whether the proposed information collection(s) is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the RRB's estimate of the burden of the collection of the information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden related to the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. 1. Title and Purpose of Information Collection; Railroad Service and Compensation Reports/System Access Application; OMB 3220-0008 Under Section 9 of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) and Section 6 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) maintains for each railroad employee, a record of compensation paid to that employee by all railroad employers for whom the employee worked after 1936. This record, which is used by the RRB to determine eligibility for, and amount of, benefits due under the laws it administers, is conclusive as to the amount of compensation paid to an employee during such period(s) covered by the report(s) of the compensation by the employee's railroad employer(s), except in cases when an employee files a protest pertaining to his or her reported compensation within the statue of limitations cited in Section 9 of the RRA and Section 6 of the RUIA. To enable the RRB to establish and maintain the record of compensation, employers are required to file with the RRB, in such manner and form and at such times as the RRB prescribes, reports of compensation of employees. Railroad Employers' Reports and Responsibilities are prescribed in 20 CFR 209. The RRB currently utilizes Form BA-3a, Annual Report of Compensation and Form BA-4, Report of Creditable Compensation Adjustments, to secure required information from railroad employers. Form BA-3a provides the RRB with information regarding annual creditable service and compensation for each individual who worked for a railroad employer covered by the RRA and RUIA in a given year. Form BA-4 provides for the adjustment of any previously submitted reports and also the opportunity to provide any service and compensation that had been previously omitted. Requirements specific to Forms BA-3a and BA-4 are prescribed in 20 CFR 209.8 and 209.9. Employers currently have the option of submitting the reports on the aforementioned forms, electronically via the Internet utilizing the RRB's Employer Reporting System (ERS) (for Form BA-4), or in like format on magnetic tape cartridges, CD-ROM's and PC diskettes. The RRB proposes major changes to the information collection. They are intended to streamline the employer reporting process, ensuring more accurate and timely reporting, while eliminating or reducing the employer reporting burden associated with several other RRB information collections. Form BA-3a will be significantly revised and renamed Form BA-3, Annual Report of Compensation. Revisions to proposed Form BA-3 include the expansion of existing data fields to allow for: the reporting of amounts for Tier I and Tier II compensation greater than $99,999.99 (the annual creditable maximum for Tier I will exceed that amount within the next two years), RUIA daily pay amounts of more than $99.99, 4-digit year fields and an employee's complete first and last name. New Items requesting information regarding sick pay and miscellaneous compensation, the employee's current address, maximum benefit RUIA compensation, and employment relationship status for months not worked will be added. Data fields for proposed Form BA-4 will be revised to allow for: the reporting of Tier I and Tier II compensation greater than $99,999.99 (the annual creditable maximum for Tier I will exceed that amount within the next two years), RUIA daily pay rate amounts of more than $99.99, 4-digit year fields and an employee's complete first and last name. New Items providing for the reporting of adjustments to the originally reported Tier I and Tier II amounts, sick pay, miscellaneous compensation, RUIA maximum benefit amounts, and an employee's daily pay rate will be added. The RRB proposes the implementation of two additional electronic equivalent methods of submission for Form BA-3 and Form BA-4 information: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and secure E-mail. The information collection also includes RRB Form BA-12, Application for Employer Reporting Internet Access. Form BA-12 is completed by railroad employers to obtain system access to the RRB's Employer Reporting System (ERS). Once access is obtained, authorized employees may submit reporting forms to the RRB via the Internet. The form determines what degree of access (view/only, data entry/ modification or approval/submission) is appropriate for that employee. It is also used to terminate an employee's access to ERS. No changes are being proposed to Form BA-12. Lastly, the RRB proposes the addition of new Form G-440, Report Specifications Sheet, to the collection. Form G-440 will act as a certification document for various RRB employer reporting forms (Forms BA-3, BA-4, Form BA-6a, BA-6, Address Report (OMB 3220-0005), BA-9, Report of Separation Allowance or Severance Pay (OMB 3220-0173) and BA- 11, Report of Gross Earnings (OMB 3220-0132)). It will also be used to record the type of medium the report was submitted on, and as a summary recapitulation sheet for reports filed on paper. The estimated completion times for Form(s) BA-3, BA-4 and G-440 vary, depending on circumstances and the method of submission. The completion time for Form BA-3 is estimated at 46 hours and 15 minutes per response for electronic submissions to 116 hours and 51 minutes for manual responses. The completion time for Form BA-4 is estimated at 20 minutes for an ERS Internet-based response, 60 minutes for an electronic submission (magnetic tape cartridge, CD-ROM, diskette, secure E-mail, FTP) and 75 minutes for a manual response. The completion time for form BA-12 is estimated at 10 minutes when used to terminate system access and 20 minutes when used to obtain system access. The completion time for proposed Form G-440 is estimated at 15 minutes when submitted with a paper form and/or used to file a ``zero'' or ``no employees'' certification, 30 minutes when used as an electronic medium reporting/certification form, and 1 hour and 15 minutes when used as a certification and recapitulation form. Submission of Form BA-3, BA-4, and G-440 is mandatory. Completion of Form BA-12 is voluntary. It is completed only if an employer wants to submit reports via the Internet. One response is requested of each respondent for all of the forms in the collection. Depending on circumstances and method of submission chosen, multiple responses will be received from a respondent for Form BA-4 and G-440. The annual respondent burden for the information collection is estimated at 7,348 responses and 43,756 hours. 2. Title and Purpose of Information Collection; Employer Reporting, 3220-0005. Under Section 9 of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA), and Section 6 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA), railroad employers are required to submit reports of employee service and compensation to the RRB as needed for administering the RRA and RUIA. To pay benefits due on a deceased employee's earnings records or determine entitlement to, and amount of annuity applied for, it is necessary at times to obtain from railroad employers current (lag) service and compensation not yet reported to the RRB through the annual reporting process. The reporting requirements are specified in 20 CFR 209.6 and 209.7. The RRB currently utilizes Form G-88a.1, Notice of Retirement and Verification of Date Last Worked, Form G-88a.2, Notice of Retirement and Request for Service Needed for Eligibility, and Form AA-12, Notice of Death and Compensation, to obtain the required lag service and related information from railroad employers. Form G-88a.1 is a computer-generated listing sent by the RRB to railroad employers and used for the specific purpose of verifying information previously provided to the RRB regarding the date last worked by an employee. If the information is correct, the employer need not reply. If the information is incorrect, the employer is asked to provide corrected information. Form G-88a.2 is used by the RRB to secure lag service and compensation information when it is needed to determine benefit eligibility. Form AA-12 obtains a report of lag service and compensation from the last railroad employer of a deceased employee. This report covers the lag period between the date of the latest record of employment processed by the RRB and the date an employee last worked, the date of death or the date the employee may have been entitled to benefits under the Social Security Act. The information is used by the RRB to determine benefits due on the deceased employee's earnings record. The RRB proposes no changes to Form AA-12, Form G- 88a.1 and Form G-88a.2. In addition, 20 CFR 209.12(b) requires all railroad employers to furnish the RRB with the home addresses of all employees hired within the last year (new-hires). Form BA-6a, Form BA-6 Address Report, is used by the RRB to obtain home address information of employees from railroad employers that do not have the home address information computerized and who submit the information in a paper format. The form also serves as an instruction sheet to railroad employers who can also submit the information electronically by magnetic tape cartridge, CD- ROM, PC diskette, secure E-mail, or via the Internet utilizing the RRB's Employer Reporting System (ERS). The RRB proposes changes to Form BA-6a. An existing data field will be revised to allow for an employee's complete first and last name. A new item will be added to indicate the date an employee reported the address to his employer. Completion of the forms is mandatory. One response is requested of each respondent. The completion time for Form G-88a.1 is estimated at 5 to 20 minutes. Form G-88a.2 is estimated at 5 minutes per response. The completion time for Form AA-12 is estimated at 5 minutes per response. The completion time for Form BA-6a varies, depending on circumstances and the method of submission. An Internet-based BA-6a response utilizing the RRB's ERS system is estimated at 12 to 17 minutes. BA-6a responses submitted via magnetic tape, diskette, CD-ROM, secure E-mail and FTP are estimated at 15 minutes. BA-6a's responses submitted on manual form BA-6a are estimated at 32 minutes. The annual respondent burden for the information collection is estimated at 1,928 responses and 434 hours. 3. Title and Purpose of Information Collection; Railroad Separation Allowance or Severance Pay Report; OMB 3220-0173. Section 6 of the Railroad Retirement Act provides for a lump-sum payment to an employee or the employee's survivors equal to the Tier II taxes paid by the employee on a separation allowance or severance payment for which the employee did not receive credits toward retirement. The lump-sum is not payable until retirement benefits begin to accrue or the employee dies. Also, Section 4(a-1)(iii) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act provides that a railroad employee who is paid a separation allowance is disqualified for unemployment and sickness benefits for the period of time the employee would have to work to earn the amount of the allowance. The reporting requirements are specified in 20 CFR 209.14. In order to calculate and provide payments, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) must collect and maintain records of separation allowances and severance payments which were subject to Tier II taxation from railroad employers. The RRB uses Form BA-9 to obtain information from railroad employers concerning the separation allowances and severance payments made to railroad employees and/or the survivors of railroad employees. Employers currently have the option of submitting a paper BA-9, or in like format, a magnetic tape cartridge, CD-ROM or PC diskette. Completion is mandatory. One response is requested of each respondent The RRB proposes changes to Form BA-9. Data fields for the proposed Form BA-9 will be revised to allow for: an employee's complete first and last name, 4-digit year fields, and expanded yearly compensation fields for Tier II taxed and Tier II credited amounts. The RRB also proposes the implementation of two additional electronic equivalent methods of submission for BA-9 information: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and secure E-mail. The completion time for Form BA-9 and all electronic equivalent methods of submission is estimated at 1 hour and 16 minutes. The annual respondent burden for the information collection is estimated at 360 responses and 458 burden hours. 4. Title and Purpose of Information Collection; Gross Earnings Report; OMB 3220-0132. In order to carry out the financial interchange provisions of section 7(c)(2) of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA), the RRB obtains annually from railroad employer's the gross earnings for their employees on a one-percent basis, i.e., 1% of each employer's railroad employees. The gross earnings sample is based on the earnings of employees whose social security numbers end with the digits ``30.'' The gross earnings are used to compute payroll taxes under the financial interchange. The gross earnings information is essential in determining the tax amounts involved in the financial interchange with the Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Besides being necessary for current financial interchange calculations, the gross earnings file tabulations are also an integral part of the data needed to estimate future tax income and corresponding financial interchange amounts. These estimates are made for internal use and to satisfy requests from other government agencies and interested groups. In addition, cash flow projections of the social security equivalent benefit account, railroad retirement account and cost estimates made for proposed amendments to laws administered by the RRB are dependent on input developed from the information collection. The RRB utilizes Form BA-11 or its electronic equivalent(s) to obtain gross earnings information from railroad employers. Employers currently have the option of preparing and submitting BA-11 reports on paper, or in like format on magnetic tape cartridges and PC diskettes. Completion is mandatory. One response is requested of each respondent. The RRB proposes changes to Form BA-11 to add an additional item for an employer's name and to expand an existing item to allow for the reporting of an employee's complete first and last name. The RRB also proposes the implementation of two additional electronic equivalent methods of submission for BA-11information: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and secure E-mail. The RRB estimates the completion time for BA-11 information as follows: 5 hours for BA-11 responses submitted via File Transfer Protocol and magnetic tape and 30 minutes for BA-11's submitted via paper, diskette, and secure E-mail. The annual respondent burden for the information collection is estimated at 168 responses and 107 burden hours. Additional Information or Comments: To request more information regarding any of the information collections listed above or to obtain copies of the information collection justifications, forms, and/or supporting material, please call the RRB Clearance Officer at (312) 751-3363 or send an e-mail request to Charles.Mierzwa@RRB.GOV. Comments regarding the information collections should be sent to Ronald J. Hodapp, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092 or via an e-mail to Ronald.Hodapp@RRB.GOV, and to the Office of Management Budget at ATTN: Desk Officer for RRB, FAX : (202) 395-6974 or via E-mail to OIRASubmission@omb.eop.gov. Comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.