45 U.S.C. § 231f Railroad Retirement Board

LibraryUnited States Statutes
Edition2023 Edition
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-19 (published on www.congress.gov on 10/06/2023)

(a) Administration

This subchapter shall be administered by the Railroad Retirement Board established by the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 [ 45 U.S.C. 228a et seq.] as an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government and composed of three members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each member shall hold office for a term of five years, except that any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of the term and any member holding office pursuant to appointment under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 when this subchapter becomes effective shall hold office until the term for which he was appointed under such Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 expires. One member shall be appointed from recommendations made by representatives of the employees and one member shall be appointed from recommendations made by representatives of employers as defined in paragraph (i) of section 231(a)(1) of this title, in both cases as the President shall direct, so as to provide representation on the Board satisfactory to the largest number, respectively, of employees and employers concerned. One member, who shall be the chairman of the Board, shall be appointed without recommendation by either employers or employees and shall not be in the employment of or be pecuniarily or otherwise interested in any employer or organization of employees. Vacancies in the Board shall not impair the powers or affect the duties of the Board or of the remaining members of the Board, of whom a majority of those in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Upon the expiration of his term of office a member shall continue to serve until his successor is appointed and shall have qualified.

(b) Powers and duties

(1) The Board shall have and exercise all the duties and powers necessary to administer this subchapter. The Board shall take such steps as may be necessary to enforce such subchapter and make awards and certify payments. Decisions by the Board upon issues of law and fact relating to annuities or death benefits shall not be subject to review by any other administrative or accounting officer, agent, or employee of the United States.

(2) In the case of-

(A) an individual who will have completed ten years of service (or five or more years of service, all of which accrues after December 31, 1995) creditable under this subchapter,

(B) the wife or divorced wife or husband of such an individual,

(C) any survivor of such an individual if such survivor is entitled, or could upon application become entitled, to an annuity under section 231a of this title, and

(D) any other person entitled to benefits under title II of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.] on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of such an individual (except a survivor of such an individual where such individual did not have a current connection with the railroad industry at the time of his death);

the Board shall provide for the payment on behalf of the Managing Trustee of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund of monthly benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.] which are certified by the Secretary to it for payment under the provisions of title II of the Social Security Act.

(3) If the Board finds that an applicant is entitled to an annuity or death benefit under the provisions of this subchapter then the Board shall make an award fixing the amount of the annuity or benefit, as the case may be, and shall certify the payment thereof as hereinafter provided; otherwise the application shall be denied. For purposes of this section, the Board shall have and exercise such of the powers, duties and remedies provided in subsections (a), (b), (d), and (n) of section 12 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act [ 45 U.S.C. 362 ] as are not inconsistent with the express provisions of this subchapter. The Board is authorized to delegate to any member, officer, or employee of the Board any of the powers conferred upon the Board by this subchapter, excluding only the power to prescribe rules and regulations, including the power to make decisions on applications for annuities or other benefits: Provided, however, That any person aggrieved by a decision on his application for an annuity or other benefit shall have the right to appeal to the Board. Notice of a decision of the Board, or of an employee thereof, shall be communicated to the applicant in writing within thirty days after such decision shall have been made.

(4)

(A) The Secretary of the Treasury shall serve as the disbursing agent for benefits payable under this subchapter, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary may in the Secretary's discretion prescribe.

(B) The Board shall from time to time certify-

(i) to the Secretary of the Treasury the amounts required to be transferred from the Social Security Equivalent Benefit Account and the Dual Benefits Payments Account to the disbursing agent to make payments of benefits and the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer those amounts;

(ii) to the Board of Trustees of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust the amounts required to be transferred from the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust to the disbursing agent to make payments of benefits and the Board of Trustees shall transfer those amounts; and

(iii) to the disbursing agent the name and address of each individual entitled to receive a payment, the amount of such payment, and the time at which the payment should be made.

(5) The Board shall establish and promulgate rules and regulations to provide for the adjustment of all controversial matters arising in the administration of this subchapter. All rules, regulations, or decisions of the Board shall require the approval of at least two members, and they shall be entered upon the records of the Board, which shall be a public record.

(6) The Board shall gather, keep, compile, and publish in convenient form such records and data as may be necessary to assure proper administration of this subchapter, including subdivision (2) of this subsection. The Board shall have power to require all employers and employees and any officer, board, commission, or other agency of the United States to furnish such information and records as shall be necessary for the administration of this subchapter, including subdivision (2) of this subsection. The several district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction upon suit by the Board to compel obedience to any order of the Board issued pursuant to this section. The orders, writs, and processes of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in such suits may run and be served anywhere in the United States. Witnesses summoned before the Board shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the district courts of the United States. The Board shall make an annual report to the President of the United States to be submitted to Congress.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall furnish the Board certified reports of wages, self-employment income, and periods of service and of other records in his possession, or which he may secure, pertinent to the administration of this subchapter, the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act [ 45 U.S.C. 351 et seq.],,1 the Milwaukee Railroad Restructuring Act [ 45 U.S.C. 901 et seq.], and the Rock Island Railroad Transition and Employee Assistance Act [ 45 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.]..1 The Board shall furnish the Secretary of Health and Human Services certified reports of records of compensation and periods of service reported to it pursuant to section 231h of this title, of determinations under section 231a of this title, and of other records in its possession, or which it may secure, pertinent to subsection (c) of this section or to the administration of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] as affected by section 231q of this title. Such certified reports shall be conclusive in adjudication as to the matters covered therein: Provided, however, That if the Board or the Secretary of Health and Human Services receives evidence inconsistent with a certified report and the application involved is still in course of adjudication or otherwise open for such evidence such recertification of such report shall be made as, in the judgment of the Board or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, whichever made the original certification, the evidence warrants. Such recertification and any subsequent recertification shall be treated in the same manner and be subject to the same conditions as an original certification.

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