Summary: In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 which provides opportunity for public comment on new or revised data collections, the Railroad Retirement Board (“RRB”) will publish periodic summaries of proposed data collections.
Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the RRB's estimate of the burden of the collection of the information; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways to minimize the burden related to the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Title and purpose of information collection:
Self-Employment and Substantial Service Questionnaire; OMB 3220-0138.
Section 2 of the Railroad Retirement Act (“RRA”) provides for payment of annuities to qualified employees and their spouses. In order to receive an age and service annuity, Section 2(e)(3) states that an applicant must stop all railroad work and give up any rights to return to such work. A disability applicant must give up all railroad work, but does not have to relinquish rights to return to railroad work until he or she attains full retirement age, or, if earlier, a spouse annuity or supplemental annuity becomes payable. Under the 1988 amendments to the RRA, an applicant is no longer required to stop work for a “Last Pre-Retirement Nonrailroad Employer”(“LPE”). LPE is defined as any non-railroad individual, company, or institution for whom an annuitant is working on the annuity beginning date, or for whom they stopped working in order to receive an annuity. Section 2(f)(6) of the RRA requires that a portion of the employee's Tier II benefit and supplemental annuity be deducted for earnings from an “LPE” employer.
The RRB currently utilizes Form AA-4, Self-Employment and Substantial Service Questionnaire, when an applicant claims to be self-employed to obtain information needed to determine if the applicant's work is LPE, railroad service, or self-employment. If the work is self-employment, the questionnaire identifies any months in which the Start Printed Page 50404applicant did not perform substantial service. One response is requested of each respondent. Completion is voluntary. However, failure to complete the form could result in the nonpayment of benefits.
The RRB proposes significant, burden-impacting, editorial, and formatting changes to Form AA-4. The addition of many new items of information regarding an applicant's self-employment, largely intended to provide clarification regarding whether an applicant is a self-employed independent contractor or an employee of his client corporation, is being proposed. Other changes include dividing items that currently contain multiple questions into separate Yes/No responses. Checklists have also been added to many items to obtain more detailed and standardized responses. The completion time for the AA-4 is estimated at between 45 and 75 minutes. The RRB estimates that approximately 600 AA-4's are completed annually.
Additional Information or Comments: To request more information or to obtain a copy of the information collection justification, forms, and/or supporting material, please call the RRB Clearance Officer at (312) 751-3363 or send an E-mail request to Charles.Mierzwa@RRB.GOV. Comments regarding the information collection should be addressed to Ronald J. Hodapp, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092 or send an E-mail to Ronald.Hodapp@RRB.GOV. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.Start Signature
[FR Doc. 04-18618 Filed 8-13-04; 8:45 am]
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