Railroad Retirement Board November 7, 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for Comments
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is forwarding three Information Collection Requests (ICR) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 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 collections of information to determine (1) the practical utility of the collections; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the collections; (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 the RRB or OIRA must contain the OMB control number of the ICR. For proper consideration of your comments, it is best if the RRB and OIRA receive them within 30 days of the publication date. 1. Title and purpose of information collection: Application for Employee Annuity Under the Railroad Retirement Act; OMB 3220-0002. Section 2a of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) provides for payments of age and service, disability, and supplemental annuities to qualified employees. An annuity cannot be paid until the employee stops working for a railroad employer. In addition, the age and service employee must relinquish any rights held to such a job. A disabled employee does not need to relinquish employee rights until attaining Full Retirement Age, or if earlier, when their spouse files for a spouse annuity. Benefits become payable after the employee meets certain other requirements, which depend on the type of annuity payable. The requirements for obtaining the annuities are prescribed in 20 CFR 216 and 220. To collect the information needed to help determine an applicant's entitlement to, and the amount of, an employee retirement annuity the RRB uses Forms AA-1, Application for Employee Annuity; AA-1d, Application for Determination of Employee Disability; G-204, Verification of Workers Compensation/Public Disability Benefit Information and electronic Form AA-1cert, Application Summary and Certification. The AA-1 application process obtains information from an applicant about their marital history, work history, military service, benefits from other governmental agencies, railroad pensions and Medicare entitlement for either an age and service or disability annuity. An RRB representative interviews the applicant either at a field office (preferred), an itinerant point, or by telephone. During the interview, the RRB representative enters the information obtained into an on-line information system. Upon completion of the interview, the on-line information system generates, for the applicant's review and traditional pen and ink ``wet'' signature, Form AA-1cert, Application Summary and Certification, which summarizes the information that was provided or verified by the applicant. When the RRB representative is unable to contact the applicant in person or by telephone, for example, the applicant lives in another country, a manual version of Form AA-1 is used. Form AA-1d, Application for Determination of Employee's Disability, is completed by an employee who is filing for a disability annuity under the RRA, or a disability freeze under the Social Security Act, for early Medicare based on a disability. Form G-204, Verification of Worker's Compensation/Public Disability Benefit Information, is used to obtain and verify information concerning a worker's compensation or a public disability benefit that is or will be paid by a public agency to a disabled railroad employee. Consistent with 20 CFR 217.17, upon completion of the AA-1 interview process, the RRB proposes to provide, in addition to the current Form AA-1cert pen and ink ``wet'' signature, an alternate signing method called ``Attestation,'' which will be documented by new Form AA-1sum, Application Summary. Attestation refers to an action taken by the RRB representative to confirm and annotate in the RRB records (1) the applicant's intent to file an application; (2) the applicant's affirmation under penalty of perjury that the information provided is correct; and (3) the applicant's agreement to sign the application by proxy. The information collected as part of the AA-1 interview process will be the same irrespective of whether the application is signed by a pen and ink ``wet'' signature or by attestation. The only difference will be the method of signature. In addition, consistent with Department of Treasury guidelines, the RRB proposes revisions to Forms AA-1 and AA-1cert to provide claimants a debit card payment option. Other non-burden-impacting editorial and formatting changes are proposed. One response is requested of each respondent. Completion of the forms is required to obtain a benefit. Previous Requests for Comments: The RRB has already published the initial 60-day notice (77 FR 1093 on January 9, 2012) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That request elicited no comments.
2013 Railroad Experience Rating Proclamations, Monthly Compensation Base and Other Determinations
Pursuant to section 8(c)(2) and section 12(r)(3) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (Act) (45 U.S.C. 358(c)(2) and 45 U.S.C. 362(r)(3), respectively), the Board gives notice of the following: 1. The balance to the credit of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance (RUI) Account, as of June 30, 2012, is $184,918,694.78; 2. The September 30, 2012, balance of any new loans to the RUI Account, including accrued interest, is zero; 3. The system compensation base is $3,792,951,628.64 as of June 30, 2012; 4. The cumulative system unallocated charge balance is ($348,280,856.36) as of June 30, 2012; 5. The pooled credit ratio for calendar year 2013 is zero; 6. The pooled charged ratio for calendar year 2013 is zero; 7. The surcharge rate for calendar year 2013 is zero; 8. The monthly compensation base under section 1(i) of the Act is $1,405 for months in calendar year 2013; 9. The amount described in sections 1(k) and 3 of the Act as ``2.5 times the monthly compensation base'' is $3,512.50 for base year (calendar year) 2013; 10. The amount described in section 4(a-2)(i)(A) of the Act as ``2.5 times the monthly compensation base'' is $3,512.50 with respect to disqualifications ending in calendar year 2013; 11. The amount described in section 2(c) of the Act as ``an amount that bears the same ratio to $775 as the monthly compensation base for that year as computed under section 1(i) of this Act bears to $600'' is $1,815 for months in calendar year 2013; 12. The maximum daily benefit rate under section 2(a)(3) of the Act is $68 with respect to days of unemployment and days of sickness in registration periods beginning after June 30, 2013.