Railroad Retirement Board

844 Rush Street, Chicago 11, Ill.
WHitehall 5500

Chairman Murray W. Latimer
Member F.C. Squire
Member (Vacancy)
Secretary of the Board Mary B. Linkins
Administrative Assistant to the Chairman John F. Collins
Administrative Assistant to Mr. Squire Charles L. Culkin
Administrative Assistant to Member Kathryn B. Wells
General Counsel Myles F. Gibbons
Director, Research Walter Matscheck
Washington Representative1 Charles L. Hodge
General Auditor Carl W. Benecke, Acting
Librarian David Kessler
Executive Officer Robert H. LaMotte
Chief Liaison Officer William A. Rooksbery
Chief Administrative Analyst Frank J. McKenna, Acting
Director, Bureau of Employment and Claims H.L. Carter
Director, Bureau of Retirement Claims John W. Callender
Director, Bureau of Wage and Service Records George F. Pusack
Chairman, Appeals Council Frank H. Hursey
Director, Finance Paul R. Langdon
Director, Personnel V. Paul Carney
Purchasing Agent Harvey O. Lytle

Creation and Authority.--The Railroad Retirement Board was established by the Railroad Retirement Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 967; 42 U.S.C. 410a; 45 U.S.C. 215-28), approved August 2, 1935, which, as amended by part I of the act of June 24, 1937 (50 Stat. 307; 45 U.S.C. 228-28r), is cited as the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937. Additional authority is derived from the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (52 Stat. 1094; 42 U.S.C. 503, 1104, 1107; 45 U.S.C. 351-67), approved June 25, 1938, as amended by the act approved June 20, 1939 (53 Stat. 845; 42 U.S.C. 503; 45 U.S.C.), and by act approved October 10, 1940 (54 Stat. 1094; 45 U.S.C. 351-62), from public resolution of October 9, 1940 (54 Stat. 1088; 45 U.S.C. 228j), and by act approved April 8, 1942 (56 Stat. 204).

Purpose.--The Board administers a retirement system for the payment of annuities and pensions to aged and disabled railroad employees and a correlated unemployment insurance-employment service system for paying benefits to and securing the reemployment of railroad employees who become unemployed. The systems encompass the railroad industry of the United States as a functional and economic unit, and thus cover employees of carriers by railroad and express and sleeping-car operations subject to the provisions of part I of the Interstate Commerce Act; affiliated companies and


joint associations directly connected with the industry; and employees of national railway labor organizations and employee representatives.

Organization.--The Board is composed of three members appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate--one upon recommendations of representatives of employees, one upon recommendations of representatives of carriers, and one, the Chairman, without designated recommendation.

The Secretary of the Board maintains all the official records of the Board, drafts precedent orders, interprets rules and orders, and acts as the Board's examiner on appeals by applicants from decisions of the Appeals Council.

The Washington Representative is the Board's official representative in Washington and handles contacts for the Board with Government agencies, companies, organizations, and individuals located in Washington.

The administrative organization of the Board is designed to integrate the duties prescribed by the acts administered without duplication of facilities or operation. The Executive Officer, the General Counsel, the General Auditor, the Washington Representative, and the Director of Research report and are administratively responsible to the Board. The heads of all other subdivisions of the Board organization, except the Appeals Council, report to the Executive Officer, and, with the Appeals Council, are administratively responsible to the Executive Officer. The Appeals Council functions as an independent unit in conducting and scheduling its hearings and in formulating its decisions.


The activities of the Board are concerned solely with administering the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. The benefit provisions of these acts are, briefly, as follows:

Railroad Retirement Act of 1937.--The Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 provides for the payment of annuities to individuals who qualify because of age 65 and any service in covered employment, age 60 and 30 years of service, age 60 and total and permanent disability, or 30 years of service and total and permanent disability; monthly pensions not in excess of $120 to individuals who were on the pension rolls of covered employers on specified dates, one preceding and one immediately following the enactment of the act; death benefits to survivors of employees in covered employment after December 31, 1936; and survivor annuities to the surviving spouse of an annuitant who has made an election.

The annuities payable to individuals because of the combination of age and years of service and of age and disability are reduced by one-one hundred eightieth for each month any such individual is under 65 at the time his annuity begins. The annuities are computed by a formula set out in the act based on years of service and average compensation not in excess of $400 for any month. Service in covered employment subsequent to December 31, 1936, except service rendered after June 30, 1937, by an individual 65 years of age,


is creditable toward annuities. Service prior to January 1, 1937, is creditable up to an over-all aggregate of 30 years' service for individuals who had an "employee" status on August 29, 1935. An "employee" status existed on that date if an individual was then either in the active service of, or in an employment relation to, an employer under the act, or was an employee representative. Under certain circumstances active service in the land or naval forces of the United States is also creditable. The maximum annuity payable, based in whole or in part on service prior to January 1, 1936, is $120; a minimum annuity provision operates with respect ot individuals who, at age 65, are employees under the act and have completed 20 years of service and who, under the principal formula, would receive less than $40 a month.

The death benefit is payable in an amount equal to 4 percent of the total earnings of an individual in covered employment (excluding any in excess of $300 in 1 month) after December 31, 1936, less any amounts paid or accrued in annuities. In the determination of the amount of death benefit payable, there is added to the total earnings of an individual in covered employment compensation in the amount of $160 for each calendar month in which the individual was in creditable military service after December 31, 1936. The election of a joint and survivor annuity results in the payment of a reduced annuity during life to the employee making the election, and the payment of a survivor annuity during life to the surviving spouse. The combined actuarial value of the two annuities is the same as the actuarial value of a single life annuity to which the employee would otherwise be entitled.

Railroad Retirement Act of 1935.--Section 202 of the act of June 24, 1937, provides for the adjudication under the 1935 act of claims of individuals (and the claims of their spouses and next of kin) who relinquished their rights to return to service and became eligible for annuities under the 1935 act prior to the enactment of the 1937 act. The death benefit under the 1935 act is a monthly payment for 12 months, each payment being equal to one-half the annuity which an individual was receiving or was entitled to receive at the time of his death.

Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.--The original Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended June 20, 1939, became effective July 1, 1939, and the amendments to the act approved October 10, 1940, became effective, with minor exception, on November 1, 1940. Except that the Board may enter into agreements with State agencies for the payment of benefits for services covered by either or both the Railroad and the respective State acts, exclusive provision is made for the payment of unemployment benefits based upon covered employment. Benefits are payable in a uniform benefit year beginning July 1 of each year on the basis of earnings (excluding any in excess of $300 in 1 month) in covered employment in the calendar year, termed the base year, preceding the beginning of the benefit year. Basic eligibility for receipt of benefits is created by the earning of $150 in covered employment in the appropriate base year.

Benefits are payable with respect to days of unemployment in periods--termed registration periods--of 14 days, except that change


in place of registration terminates one and begins another registration period. In any benefit year, after an individual has had a registration period containing 7 or more days of unemployment in which benefits are payable for all days of unemployment in excess of 7, benefits are payable for each day of unemployment in excess of 4 in any registration period beginning in the same benefit year. The daily benefit rate is scaled from $1.75 to $4, according to earnings in the base year, and the maximum benefits payable in a registration period of 14 days vary from 10 times $1.75 to 10 times $4, or from $17.50 to $40. The maximum amount of benefits payable in a benefit year is 100 times the daily benefit rate, or from $175 to $400. Benefits do not accrue for any period if the accrual would result in duplication of payments made under other specified social insurance laws. Disqualifications for varying number of days result under several circumstances. The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act also authorizes the Railroad Retirement Board to establish and maintain a free employment service.


Office of the Executive Officer.--The Executive Officer is responsible for the proper performance, in conformity with the policies and rules of the Board, of the administrative units of the Board adjudicating and certifying for payment all claims for unemployment insurance and retirement benefits; operating an employment service; managing the business affairs of the Board; maintaining and controlling records of service and compensation of employees covered by the acts; conducting liaison activities with covered employees and employers; and developing plans for, and assisting with problems relating to, organization and operating procedures. Office of the General Counsel.--The General Counsel renders legal assistance to the Board and to the executive of the administrative organization with respect to all matters requiring precedent interpretation under the acts, and is responsible for the handling of all litigation involving the Board.

Office of the Director of Research.--The Director of Research provides the economic, statistical, actuarial, and informational services required by the Board and the administrative organization.

Bureau of Employment and Claims.--The Director of Employment and Claims, as head of the Bureau, is responsible for the main functions of unemployment insurance claims processing--receipt, adjudication, and certification for payment--and for the operation of an employment service.

The Bureau of Employment and Claims is the coordinating center for the Nation-wide system for administering the Unemployment Insurance Act, the primary operations of which are conducted in 9 regional offices. The regional organization includes district and other offices found necessary in the administration of the act. The field force also performs certain duties under the Railroad Retirement Act with respect to retirement claims, including the receipt of applications in the field and the investigation of service records.

In order to receive unemployment insurance benefits, an individual, who otherwise is qualified, must register as unemployed in conformity with regulations prescribed by the Board. He may register and make


claim for benefits before an unemployment claims agent at any office of the Board or before a designated employee of a covered employer who is cooperating with the Board in the administration of the unemployment insurance system. Claims for benefits are forwarded to a regional office of the Board, where they are adjudicated. Claims which are found to be conpensable are certified to a local disbursing office of the United States Treasury for payment of benefits. Each claimant is required, within two business days after making his first registration in a benefit year, to make application for employment service On the basis of the information furnished in such application, the Board endeavors to place the registrant in suitable employment.

The operation of an employment service is, during the present emergency, a very important function of the Bureau of Employment and Claims. It is the Board's responsibility to carry out those provisions of the War Manpower Commission's stabilization program which are applicable to the railroad industry. Referrals of registrants to job openings are made, in accordance with War Manpower Commission regulations, upon receipt of orders from employers covered by the Unemployment Insurance Act, or from the United States Employment Service. Special programs designed to relieve the railroad manpower shortage include the Mexican importation program; the recruitment of students for track maintenance and other work during the summer; the recruitment of agricultural workers for seasonal work; the development of training schools for individuals desiring railroad employment which involves special training and skills; and investigation of housing conditions in areas where inadequate or insufficient housing facilities appear to be deterrent factors in supplying railroad manpower needs.

Statistics on employment and needs in the industry are compiled and released periodically for the purpose of presenting, to the Selective Service, War Manpower Commission, Office of Defense Transportation, and other Government agencies the railroad industry's wartime manpower problems.

Bureau of Retirement Claims.--Headed by the Director of Retirement Claims, this Bureau adjudicates claims for annuities and death benefits under the Retirement Acts. All payments, except the certification of pension payments, are made only on the basis of a written application after its receipt and adjudication by the Bureau of Retirement Claims. An application may be officially filed by its receipt in the Chicago, Ill., office or the Washington, D.C. office of the Board or any regional office, or by any authorized person in the field organization.

Bureau of Wage and Service Records.--Headed by the Director of Wage and Service Records, this Bureau maintains records as to identification, wages, and months of service of all individuals who are in employment covered by the acts after December 31, 1936. Annual statements of service and wages of covered employees are prepared and transmitted to employers for distribution to the respective employees. The Bureau generally serves as the machine-tabulating agency in connection with actuarial, statistical, and research studies required by the Board.


Office of the Director of Finance.--This Office is supervised by the Director of Finance and constitutes the chief fiscal agency of the Board. It is responsible for the fiscal control, including pre-audit of all payments except unemployment insurance benefits, certification for payment of administrative expenditures, and for the collection of contributions levied by the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act on covered employers to support the unemployment insurance system. The contributions levied for unemployment insurance benefits is an amount equal to 3 percent of the compensation, excluding any over $300 a month, payable to an employee. Of the contributions collected, 90 percent is credited for the payment of benefits to a special account established for the purpose in the Unemployment Trust Fund in the Treasury of the United States. The remaining 10 percent is deposited in a special administrative fund to meet the expenses of administering the act and, as of June 30 each year, any balance of this fund in excess of $6,000,000 is transferred to the benefit account. The act also directed the transfer, to the benefit account from State accounts maintained in the Unemployment Trust Fund, of certain amounts related to the taxes paid into such accounts by employers and their employees and not paid out in benefits prior to the effective date of the Insurance act.

Benefit payments under the Railroad Retirement Acts are made from an account in the Treasury of the United States known as the Railroad Retirement Account, the 1937 act having authorized annual appropriations to the account to support the retirement system. The Carriers Taxing Act of 1937, which is now incorporated in the Internal Revenue Code, levies taxes which, although not directly related to the retirement system by statutory language, are intended to support the retirement system, including administrative costs. The tax rate paid in by each employee and each employer with respect to the employee's compensation not in excess of $300 for any month started at 2.75 percent in 1937 and increases by .25 percent every 3 years until it reaches the maximum of 3.75 percent effective beginning in 1949. The taxes are collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and are paid into the Treasury of the United States as internal-revenue collections.

Office of the General Auditor.--The General Auditor is responsible for two services, post-audit and administrative surveys. In making regular and special post-audits, the organization procedure and functions of the various units of the Board are studied and reported upon.

Appeals Council.--The Appeals Council serves as the appellate body, next below the Board, in considering and rendering decisions on appeals of claimants under the acts.

Office of the Director of Personnel.--The Director of Personnel, as head of the Office, is responsible for the administration of all personnel matters within the Board and for dealing with the Civil Service Commission.

Office of Supply and Service.--The Purchasing Agent, as head of the Office, is responsible for the following services: the procurement of necessary equipment and supplies; the procurement, allocation, and maintenance of necessary office and storage space; the furnishing of duplicating and stenographic services; the maintenance and operation of central files; and the supplying of necessary messenger and mail-handling services.


Regional Offices--Railroad Retirement Board
Region Director Address
Atlanta 3, Ga. H.H. Dashiell 32 Peachtree Street
Chicago 11, Ill. R.T. Taylor 844 Rush Street
Cleveland 13, Ohio P.F. Murphy 4253 New Post Office Building
Dallas 2, Tex. F.E. Fleener 424 United States Terminal Annex Building
Denver 2, Colo. F.H. Stapleton 1706 Welton Street
Kansas City 8, Mo. H.K. Sorensen 30 Union Station Plaza
Minneapolis 4, Minn. H.G. Pett 122 E. Grant Street
New York 1, N.Y. R.R. McCurry 341 Ninth Avenue
San Francisco 3, Calif. W.J. Macklin 833 Market Street


Murray W. Latimer


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1. Located in the Barr Building, 910 Seventeenth Street NW.; REpublic 1780.

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