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12/26/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

President Bush inks retirement reform bill


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President Bush Dec. 21 signed into law Railroad Retirement and
Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001 (H.R. 10).

The legislation will provide full retirement annuity at age 60 (instead of age 62) after 30 years of service, eliminate artificial caps on benefits, establish new-employee vesting in the Railroad Retirement System after five years (instead of 10 years), and raise a widow’s Tier II annuities to equal those paid by Social Security (current law sets a widow’s Tier II annuity at 50 percent of a retiree’s Tier II annuity).

The law also would allow the retirement system to invest the railroad pension in a mix of public and private securities.

"Railroads, their labor unions, Democrats and most Republicans worked together for two years to make this day possible," United Transportation Union International President Byron Boyd Jr. said in a prepared statement, adding that he hoped "that the same spirit of cooperation" would be present in January when UTU resumes wage and rule negotiations with rail carriers.


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