45 U.S.C. § 231a Annuity Eligibility Requirements

LibraryUnited States Statutes
Edition2023
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-34 (published on www.congress.gov on 12/26/2023), except for [P. L. 118-31]
Year2023
Citation45 U.S.C. § 231a

(a) Individuals eligible for annuities; disability standards; proof of continued disability

(1) The following-described individuals, if they shall have completed ten years of service (or, for purposes of paragraphs (i), (iii), and (v), five years of service, all of which accrues after December 31, 1995) and shall have filed application for annuities, shall, subject to the conditions set forth in subsections (e), (f), and (h), be entitled to annuities in the amounts provided under section 231b of this title-

(i) individuals who have attained retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 416(l) ]);

(ii) individuals who have attained the age of sixty and have completed thirty years of service;

(iii) individuals who have attained the age of sixty-two and have completed less than thirty years of service, but the annuity of such individuals shall be reduced by 1/180 for each of the first 36 months that he or she is under retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 416(l) ]) when the annuity begins to accrue and by 1/240 for each additional month that he or she is under retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act) when the annuity begins to accrue;

(iv) individuals who have a current connection with the railroad industry, whose permanent physical or mental condition is such as to be disabling for work in their regular occupation, and who (A) have completed twenty years of service or (B) have attained the age of sixty; and

(v) individuals whose permanent physical or mental condition is such that they are unable to engage in any regular employment.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (iv) of subdivision (1), the Board, with the cooperation of employers and employees, shall secure the establishment of standards determining the physical and mental conditions which permanently disqualify employees for work in the several occupations in the railroad industry, and the Board, employers, and employees shall cooperate in the promotion of the greatest practicable degree of uniformity in the standards applied by the several employers. An individual's condition shall be deemed to be disabling for work in his regular occupation if he will have been disqualified by his employer for service in his regular occupation in accordance with the applicable standards so established; if the employee will not have been so disqualified by his employer, the Board shall determine whether his condition is disabling for work in his regular occupation in accordance with the standards generally established; and, if the employee's regular occupation is not one with respect to which standards will have been established, the standards relating to a reasonably comparable occupation shall be used. If there is no such comparable occupation, the Board shall determine whether the employee's condition is disabling for work in his regular occupation by determining whether under the practices generally prevailing in industries in which such occupation exists such condition is a permanent disqualification for work in such occupation. For purposes of this subdivision and paragraph (iv) of subdivision (1), an employee's "regular occupation" shall be deemed to be the occupation in which he will have been engaged in more calendar months than the calendar months in which he will have been engaged in any other occupation during the last preceding five calendar years, whether or not consecutive, in each of which years he will have earned wages or salary, except that, if an employee establishes that during the last fifteen consecutive calendar years he will have been engaged in another occupation in one-half or more of all the months in which he will have earned wages or salary, he may claim such other occupation as his regular occupation.

(3) Such satisfactory proof shall be made from time to time as prescribed by the Board, of the disability provided for in paragraph (iv) or (v) of subdivision (1) and of the continuance of such disability (according to the standards applied in the establishment of such disability) until the employee attains retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 416(l) ]). If the individual fails to comply with the requirements prescribed by the Board as to proof of the continuance of the disability until he attains retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act), his right to an annuity by reason of such disability shall, except for good cause shown to the Board, cease, but without prejudice to his rights to any subsequent annuity to which he may be entitled.

(4) An individual who is entitled to an annuity under paragraph (v) of subdivision (1), but who does not have at least ten years of service, shall, prior to the month in which the individual attains age 62, be entitled only to an annuity amount computed under section 231b(a) of this title (without regard to section 231b(a)(2) of this title) or section 231b(f)(3) of this title. Upon attainment of age 62, such an individual may also be entitled to an annuity amount computed under section 231b(b) of this title, but such annuity amount shall be reduced for early retirement in the same manner as if the individual were entitled to an annuity under subsection (a)(1)(iii).

(b) Individuals eligible for supplemental annuities

An individual who-

(i) has attained age 60 and completed thirty years of service or attained age 65;

(ii) has completed twenty-five years of service;

(iii) is entitled to the payment of an annuity under subsection (a)(1);

(iv) had a current connection with the railroad industry at the time such annuity began to accrue; and

(v) has performed compensated service in at least one month prior to October 1, 1981;

shall, subject to the conditions set forth in subsections (e) and (h), be entitled to a supplemental annuity in the amount provided under section 231b of this title: Provided, however, That in cases where an individual's annuity under subsection (a)(1) begins to accrue on other than the first day of the month, the amount of any supplemental annuity to which he is entitled for that month shall be reduced by one-thirtieth for each day with respect to which he is not entitled to an annuity under subsection (a)(1).

(c) Spouses eligible for annuities

(1) The spouse of an individual, if-

(i) such individual (A) is entitled to an annuity under subsection (a)(1) and (B) has attained the age of 60 and has completed thirty years of service or has attained the age of 62, and

(ii) such spouse (A) has attained retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 416(l) ]), or (B) has attained the age of 60 and such individual has completed thirty years of service, or (C), in the case of a wife, has in her care (individually or jointly with her husband) a child who meets the qualifications prescribed in paragraph (iii) of subsection (d)(1) (without regard to the provisions of clause (B) of such paragraph),

shall, subject to the conditions set forth in subsections (e), (f), and (h), be entitled to a spouse's annuity, if he or she has filed application therefor, in the amount provided under section 231c of this title.

(2) A spouse who would be entitled to an annuity under subdivision (1) or a divorced wife who would be entitled to an annuity under subdivision (4) if he or she had attained retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 416(l) ]) may elect upon or after attaining the age of 62 to receive such annuity, but the annuity in any such case shall be reduced by 1/144 for each of the first 36 months that the spouse or divorced wife is under retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act) when the annuity begins to accrue and by 1/240 for each additional month that the spouse or divorced wife is under retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act) when the annuity begins to accrue, except that the annuity of a divorced wife who was previously entitled to a spouse annuity which was reduced under this subdivision shall be reduced by the same percentage as was applicable to the spouse annuity.

(3) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term "spouse" shall mean the wife or husband of an annuitant under subsection (a)(1) who (i) was married to such annuitant for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day on which the application for a spouse's annuity is filed, or in the month prior to his or her marriage to such annuitant was eligible for an annuity under paragraph (i) or (iv) of subsection (d)(1) or, on the basis of disability, under paragraph (iii) thereof, or is the parent of such annuitant's son or daughter; and (ii) in the case of a husband, was receiving at least one-half of his support from his wife at the time his wife's annuity under subsection (a)(1) began.

(4) The "divorced wife" (as defined in section 216(d) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 416(d) ]) of an individual, if-

(i) such individual has attained the age 62;

(ii) such divorced wife (A) has attained retirement age (as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 416(l) ] 1 and (B) is not married; and

(iii) such divorced wife would have been entitled to a benefit under section 202(b) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 402(b) ] as the divorced wife of such individual if all of such individual's service as an employee after December 31, 1936, had been included in the term "employment" as defined in that Act [ 42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.];

shall, subject to the conditions set forth in subsections (e), (f), and (h), be entitled to a divorced wife's annuity, if she has filed an application therefor, in the amount provided under section 231c of this title.

(d) Survivors eligible for annuities

(1) The following described survivors of a deceased employee who will have completed ten years of service (or five years of service, all of which accrues after December 31, 1995) and will have had a current connection with the railroad industry at the time of his death shall, subject to the conditions set forth in subsections (g) and (h), be entitled to annuities, if they have filed application therefor, in the amounts provided under section 231c of this title-

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