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7/16/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Retirement bill clears House committee, awaits floor vote date


The House Ways and Means Committee recently approved and released The Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001 (H.R. 1140), nearly two months after House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's May 16 approval, according to American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA).
H.R. 1140 — which as of July 2 gained 369 House co-sponsors — now awaits scheduling for a floor vote, possibly before Congress' summer district work-period recess between Aug. 4 and Sept. 4.
H.R. 1140 proposes full retirement annuity at age 60 (instead of 62) after 30 years of service, the elimination of artificial caps on benefits, vesting of new employees in the Railroad Retirement System after five years (instead of 10), and raising a widow’s Tier II annuities to equal those annuities paid by Social Security (current law sets a widow’s Tier II annuity at 50 percent of a retiree’s Tier II annuity).
Meanwhile, Senate sister bill S. 697 — which by July 2 garnered 71 co-sponsors — remains on the agenda of the Senate Committee on Finance, where the bill was referred after its April 4 introduction.
Last year, the House passed similar legislation by an overwhelming margin, but the measure remained stalled in the Senate while Congress adjourned in the fall. The White House hasn't yet taken a position on the retirement bill, ASLRRA says.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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