Railroad Retirement Board December 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Proposed Collection; Comment Request
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: Self-Employment and Substantial Service Questionnaire; OMB 3220-0138. Section 2 of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) provides for payment of annuities to qualified employees and their spouses. In order to receive an age and service annuity, Section 2(e)(3) states that an applicant must stop all railroad work and give up any rights to return to such work. However, applicants are not required to stop nonrailroad work or self-employment. The RRB considers some work claimed as ``self-employment'' to actually be employment for an employer. Whether the RRB classifies a particular activity as self-employment or as work for an employer depends upon the circumstances of each case. These circumstances are prescribed in 20 CFR 216. Under the 1988 amendments to the RRA, an applicant is no longer required to stop work for a ``Last Pre-Retirement Nonrailroad Employer'' (LPE). However, Section 2(f)(6) of the RRA requires that a portion of the employee's Tier II benefit and supplemental annuity be deducted for earnings from the ``LPE'' employer. ``LPE'' is defined as the last person, company, or institution with whom the employee or spouse applicant was employed concurrently with, or after, the applicant's last railroad employment and before their annuity beginning date. If a spouse never worked for a railroad, the LPE employer is the last person for whom he or she worked. The RRB utilizes Form AA-4, Self-Employment and Substantial Service Questionnaire, when an applicant claims to be self-employed to obtain information needed to determine if the applicant's work is LPE, railroad service or self-employment. If the work is self-employment, the questionnaire identifies any months in which the applicant did not perform substantial service. One response is requested of each respondent. Completion is voluntary. However, failure to complete the form could result in the nonpayment of benefits. The RRB proposes no changes to Form AA-4.