45 USC 231f - Railroad Retirement Board

(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

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(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 Secretarys 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

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(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.
(8) Any department or agency of the United States maintaining records of military service, at the request of the Board, shall certify to the Board, with respect to any individual, the number of months of military service which such department or agency finds the individual to have had during any period or periods with respect to which the Boards request is made, the date and manner of entry into such military service, and the conditions under which such service was continued. Any department or agency of the United States which is authorized to make awards of pensions, disability compensation, or any other gratuitous benefits or allowances payable, on the periodic basis or otherwise, under any other Act of Congress on the basis of military service, at the request of the Board, shall certify to the Board, with respect to any individual, the calendar months for all or part of which any such pension, compensation, benefit, or allowance is payable to, or with respect to, the individual, the amounts of any such pension, compensation, benefit, or allowance, and the military service on which such pension, compensation, benefit, or allowance is based. Any certification made pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision shall be conclusive on the Board: Provided, however, That if evidence inconsistent with any such certification is submitted, and the claim is in the course of adjudication or is otherwise open for such evidence, the Board shall refer such evidence to the department or agency which made the original certification and such department or agency shall make such recertification as in its judgment the evidence warrants. Such recertification, and any subsequent recertification, shall be conclusive, made in the same manner, and subject to the same conditions as an original certification.
(9) The Board shall maintain such offices, provide such equipment, furnishings, supplies, services, and facilities, and employ such individuals and provide for their compensation and expenses as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its functions. All positions to which such individuals are appointed, except one administrative assistant to each member of the Board, shall be in and under the competitive civil service and shall not be removed or excepted therefrom. In the employment of such individuals under the civil service laws and rules the Board shall give preference over all others to individuals who have had experience in railroad service, if, in the judgment of the Board, they possess the qualifications necessary for the proper discharge of the duties of the positions to which they are to be appointed. For purposes of its administration of this subchapter or the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act [45 U.S.C. 351 et seq.], or both, the Board may place, without regard to the numerical limitations contained in section 5108 (c)(9)2 of title 5, four positions in grade GS16 of the General Schedule established by that Act, four positions in grade GS17 of such schedule, and one position in grade GS18 of such schedule.
(c) Sources of payments; adjustments 

(1) Benefit payments determined by the Board to be payable under this subchapter shall be made by the disbursing agent under subsection (b)(4) of this section from money transferred to it from the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust or the Social Security Equivalent Benefit Account, as the case may be, except that payments of annuity amounts made under sections 231b (h), 231c (e), and 231c (h) of this title and under sections 204(a)(3), 204(a)(4), 206(3), and 207(3) of Public Law 93445 shall be made by the disbursing agent under subsection (b)(4) of this section from money transferred to it from the Dual Benefits Payments Account. In any fiscal year, the total amounts paid under such sections shall not exceed the total sums appropriated to the Dual Benefits Payments Account for that fiscal year. The Board shall prescribe regulations for allocation of annuity amounts which would without regard to such regulations be payable under sections 231b (h), 231c (e), and 231c (h) of this title and sections 204(a)(3), 204(a)(4), 206(3), and 207(3) of Public Law 93445 so that the sums appropriated to the Dual Benefits Payments Account for a fiscal year so far as practicable, are expended in equal monthly installments throughout such fiscal year, and are distributed so that recipients are paid annuity amounts which bear the same ratio to the annuity amounts such recipients would have received but for such regulations as the ratio of the total sums appropriated to pay such annuity amounts bear to the total sums necessary to pay such annuity amounts without regard to such regulations. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the entitlement of an individual to an annuity amount under section 231b (h), 231c (e), or 231c (h) of this title or section 204(a)(3), 204(a)(4), 206(3), or 207(3) of Public Law 93445 for any month in which the amount payable to such individual is allocated under the regulations prescribed by the Board under this subsection shall not exceed the amount so allocated for that month to such individual.
(2) At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1975, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Board and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine the amounts, if any, which if added to or subtracted from the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, and the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund would place each such Trust Fund in the same position in which it would have been if
(A)  service as an employee after December 31, 1936, had been included in the term employment as defined in the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] and in the Federal Insurance Contributions Act [26 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.] and
(B)  this subchapter had not been enacted. Such determination with respect to each such Trust Fund shall be made no later than June 15 following the close of the fiscal year. If, pursuant to any such determination, any amount is to be added to any such Trust Fund, the Board shall, within ten days after the determination, certify such amount to the Secretary of the Treasury for transfer from the Railroad Retirement Account to such Trust Fund. If, pursuant to any such determination, any amount is to be subtracted from any such Trust Fund, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, within ten days after the determination, certify such amount to the Secretary of the Treasury for transfer from such Trust Fund to the Railroad Retirement Account. Any amounts so certified shall further include interest (at the rate determined in subdivision (3) for the fiscal year under consideration) payable from the close of such fiscal year until the date of certification. The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to transfer to the Railroad Retirement Account from the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund or to any such Trust Fund from the Railroad Retirement Account, as the case may be, such amounts as, from time to time, may be determined by the Board and the Secretary of Health and Human Services pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision and certified by the Board or the Secretary of Health and Human Services for transfer from any such Trust Fund or from the Railroad Retirement Account.
(3) For purposes of subdivision (2), for any fiscal year, the rate of interest to be used shall be equal to the average rate of interest, computed as of May 31 preceding the close of such fiscal year, borne by all interest-bearing obligations of the United States then forming a part of the public debt; except that where such average rate is not a multiple of one-eighth of 1 per centum, the rate of interest shall be the multiple of one-eighth of 1 per centum next lower than such average rate.
(4) After the end of each month beginning with the month of October 1983, the Board shall determine the net amount, if any, which if added to or subtracted from the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, and the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund would, with respect to such month, place those Trust Funds, taken as a whole, in the same position in which they would have been if
(A)  service as an employee after December 31, 1936, had been included in the term employment as defined in the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] and in the Federal Insurance Contributions Act [26 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.], and
(B)  this subchapter had not been enacted. If for any month the net amount so determined would be subtracted from those Trust Funds, the Board shall, within ten days after the end of such month, report such amount to the Secretary of the Treasury for transfer from the general fund to the Railroad Retirement Account. Any amount so reported shall further include interest (at an annual rate equal to the rate of interest borne by a special obligation issued to the Railroad Retirement Account in the month in which the transfer is made to the Account) payable from the close of the month for which the transfer is made until the date of transfer. The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to transfer to the Railroad Retirement Account from the general fund such amounts as, from time to time, may be determined by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision and reported by the Board for transfer. For such purpose the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to use as a public debt transaction the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued after August 12, 1983, under section 3102 of title 31, and the purpose for which securities may be issued under section 3102 of title 31 are extended to include such purpose. Each such transfer shall be made by the Secretary of the Treasury within five days after a report of the amount to be transferred is received. Not later than December 31 following the close of each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year ending September 30, 1984, the Board shall certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the total of all amounts transferred pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision for months in such fiscal year. Within ten days after a transfer, or transfers, pursuant to subdivision (2) for a particular fiscal year, the Board shall request the Secretary of the Treasury to retransfer from the Railroad Retirement Account to the general fund an amount equal to
(A)  the total of all amounts, exclusive of interest, transferred to such Account pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision for months in such fiscal year, plus
(B)  interest (at the rate determined in subdivision (3) for such fiscal year) payable with respect to each amount transferred for a month during such fiscal year from the close of the month for which the transfer of the amount was made until the date of retransfer of such amount. The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to retransfer from the Railroad Retirement Account to the general fund such amounts as, from time to time, may be determined by the Board pursuant to the provisions of the preceding sentence of this subdivision and reported by the Board for retransfer.
(d) Hospital insurance benefits; certified beneficiaries; disability insurance benefits; services in Canada; exchange of information 

(1) The Board shall, for purposes of this subsection, have the same authority to determine the rights of individuals described in subdivision (2) to have payments made on their behalf for hospital insurance benefits consisting of inpatient hospital services, posthospital extended care services, home health services, hospice care, and outpatient hospital diagnostic services (all hereinafter referred to as services) under section 226 [42 U.S.C. 426], and parts A and E of title XVIII [42 U.S.C. 1395c et seq., 1395x et seq.], of the Social Security Act as the Secretary of Health and Human Services has under such section and such parts with respect to individuals to whom such sections and such parts apply. For purposes of section 231g of this title, a determination with respect to the rights of an individual under this subsection shall, except in the case of a provider of services, be considered to be a decision with respect to an annuity.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, every person who
(i) has attained age 65 and (A) is entitled to an annuity under this subchapter or (B) would be entitled to such an annuity had he ceased compensated service and, in the case of a spouse or divorced wife, had such spouses husband or wife ceased compensated service or (C) bears a relationship to an employee which, by reason of section 231b (f)(2) of this title, has been, or would be, taken into account in calculating the amount of the annuity of such employee; or
(ii) has not attained age 65 and (A) has been entitled to an annuity under section 231a of this title, or under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 [45 U.S.C. 228a et seq.] and section 231a of this title, or could have been includible in the computation of an annuity under section 231b (f)(2) of this title, for not less than 24 months and (B) could have been entitled for 24 calendar months, and could currently be entitled, to monthly insurance benefits under section 223 of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 423] or under section 202 of that Act [42 U.S.C. 402] on the basis of disability if service as an employee after December 31, 1936, had been included in the term employment as defined in that Act and if an application for disability benefits had been filed,

shall be certified to the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a qualified railroad retirement beneficiary under section 226 of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 426].

(3) If an individual entitled to an annuity under paragraph (iv) or (v) of section 231a (a)(1) of this title would have been insured for disability insurance benefits as determined under section 223(c)(1) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 423 (c)(1)] at the time such annuity began, he shall be deemed, solely for purposes of paragraph (ii) of subdivision (2), to be entitled to a disability insurance benefit under section 223 of the Social Security Act for each month, and beginning with the first month, in which he would meet the requirements for entitlement to such a benefit, other than the requirement of being insured for disability insurance benefits, if service as an employee after December 31, 1936, had been included in the term employment as defined in the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] and if an application for disability benefits had been filed.
(4) The rights of individuals described in subdivision (2) of this subsection to have payment made on their behalf for the services referred to in subdivision (1) but provided in Canada shall be the same as those of individuals to whom section 226 [42 U.S.C. 426] and part A of title XVIII [42 U.S.C. 1395c et seq.] of the Social Security Act apply, and this subdivision shall be administered by the Board as if the provisions of section 226 and part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act were applicable, as if references to the Secretary of Health and Human Services were to the Board, as if references to the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund were to the Railroad Retirement Account, as if references to the United States or a State included Canada or a subdivision thereof, and as if the provisions of sections 1862 (a)(4), 1863, 1864, 1868, 1869, 1874 (b), and 1875 [42 U.S.C. 1395y (a)(4), 1395z, 1395aa, 1395ee, 1395ff, 1395kk (b), 1395ll] were not included in such title. The payments for services herein provided for in Canada shall be made from the Railroad Retirement Account (in accordance with, and subject to, the conditions applicable under subsection (b) of this section, in making payment of other benefits) to the hospital, extended care facility, or home health agency providing such services in Canada to individuals to whom subdivision (2) of this subsection applies, but only to the extent that the amount of payments for services otherwise hereunder provided for an individual exceeds the amount payable for like services provided pursuant to the law in effect in the place in Canada where such services are furnished. For the purposes of section 231i of this title, any overpayment under this subdivision shall be treated as if it were an overpayment of an annuity.
(5) The Board and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall furnish each other with such information, records, and documents as may be considered necessary to the administration of this subsection or section 226 [42 U.S.C. 426], and part A of title XVIII [42 U.S.C. 1395c et seq.], of the Social Security Act.
(e) Acceptance of gifts and bequests 
The Board is authorized to accept on behalf of the United States money gifts and bequests made unconditionally to the Railroad Retirement Account, to the Railroad Retirement Supplemental Account, or to the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Account, or to the Board, or any member, officer, or employee thereof, for the benefit of such accounts or any activity financed through such accounts. Any such gift accepted pursuant to the authority granted in this subsection shall be deposited in the specific account designated by the donor or, if the donor has made no such specific designation, in the Railroad Retirement Account.
(f) Congressional copies of documents submitted or transmitted to President or Office of Management and Budget 
Whenever the Board submits or transmits any budget estimate, budget request, supplemental budget estimate, or other budget information, legislative recommendation, prepared testimony for congressional hearings, or comment on legislation to the President or to the Office of Management and Budget, it shall concurrently transmit a copy thereof to the Congress. No officer or agency of the United States shall have any authority to require the Board to submit its budget requests or estimates, legislative recommendations, prepared testimony for congressional hearings, or comments on legislation to any officer or agency of the United States for approval, comments, or review, prior to the submission of such recommendations, testimony, or comments to the Congress.
[1] So in original.
[2] See References in Text note below.