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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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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.

1. Title and Purpose of Information Collection

Employee Non-Covered Service Pension Questionnaire; OMB 3220-0154. Section 215(a)(7) of the Social Security Act provides for a reduction in social security benefits based on employment not covered under the Social Security Act or the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA). This provision applies a different social security benefit formula to most workers who are first eligible after 1985 to both a pension based in whole or in part on non-covered employment and a social security retirement or disability benefit. There is a guarantee provision that limits the reduction in the social security benefit to one-half of the portion of the pension based on non-covered employment after 1956. Section 8011 of Public Law 100-647 changed the effective date of the onset from the first month of eligibility to the first month of concurrent entitlement to the non-covered service benefit and the RRA benefit.

Section 3(a)(1) of the RRA provides that the Tier I benefit of an employee annuity will be equal to the amount (before any reduction for age or deduction for work) the employee would receive if he or she would have been entitled to a like benefit under the Social Security Act. The reduction for a non-covered service pension also applies to a Tier I portion of employees under the RRA where the annuity or non-covered service pension begins after 1985. Since the amount of a Tier I benefit of a spouse is one-half of the employee's Tier I, the spouse annuity is also affected by the employee's non-covered service pension reduction of his or her Tier I benefit.

The RRB utilizes Form G-209, Employee Non-Covered Service Pension Questionnaire, to obtain needed information from railroad retirement employee applicants or annuitants about the receipt of a pension based on employment not covered under the Railroad Retirement Act or the Social Security Act. It is used as both a supplement to the employee annuity application, and as an independent questionnaire to be completed when an individual who is already receiving an employee annuity, becomes entitled to a pension. One response is requested of each respondent. Completion is required to obtain or retain benefits. The RRB proposes no changes to Form G-209.

Estimate of Annual Respondent Burden

The estimated annual respondent burden is as follows:

Form #(s)Annual responsesTime (min)Burden (hrs)
G-209 (partial questionnaire)10012
G-209 (full questionnaire)400853

2. Title and Purpose of Information Collection

Availability for Work; OMB 3220-0164. Under section 1(k) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, unemployment benefits are not payable for any day for which the claimant is not available for work. Under Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) regulation 20 CFR 327.5, “available for work” is defined as being willing and ready for work. This section further provides that a person is “willing” to work if that person is willing to accept and perform Start Printed Page 16528for hire such work as is reasonably appropriate to his or her employment circumstances. The section also provides that a claimant is “ready” for work if he or she: (1) Is in a position to receive notice of work and is willing to accept and perform such work, and (2) is prepared to be present with the customary equipment at the location of such work within the time usually allotted.

Under RRB regulation 20 CFR 327.15, a claimant may be requested at any time to show, as evidence of willingness to work, that he or she is making reasonable efforts to obtain work. In order to determine whether a claimant is: (a) Available for work, and (b) willing to work, the RRB utilizes Forms UI-38 and UI-38s to obtain information from the claimant and Form ID-8k from his union representative. One response is completed by each respondent. The RRB proposes no changes to Forms UI-38, UI-38s and ID-8k.

Estimate of Annual Respondent Burden

The estimated annual respondent burden is as follows:

Form #Annual responsesTime (min)Burden (hrs)
In person250625
By mail5001083

Additional Information or Comments: To request more information or to obtain a copy of the information collection justifications, 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 N. Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092 or send an e-mail to Ronald.Hodapp@RRB.GOV. Comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

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Charles Mierzwa,

Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 05-6337 Filed 3-30-05; 8:45 am]