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Notice

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.

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. However, applicants are not required to stop non-railroad work or self-employment.

The RRB considers some work claimed as “self-employment” to actually be employment for an employer. Whether the RRB classifies a particular activity as self-employment or as work for an employer depends upon the circumstances of each case. These circumstances are prescribed in 20 CFR part 216.

Under the 1988 amendments to the RRA, an applicant is no longer required to stop work for a “Last Pre-Retirement Nonrailroad Employer” (LPE). However, 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 a “LPE” employer.

“LPE” is defined as the last person, company or institution with whom the employee or spouse applicant was employed concurrently with, or after, the applicant's last railroad employment and before their annuity beginning date. If a spouse never worked for a railroad, the LPE employer is the last person for whom he or she worked.

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 applicant 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 editorial and formatting changes to Form AA-4. Other non-burden impacting changes include dividing current items that currently contain multiple questions into separate items with Yes/No responses and skip patterns. Checklists have also been added to many items to obtain more standardized responses. Currently most items cite the possible options only as examples to prompt the applicant.

The completion time for the AA-4 is estimated at between 40 and 70 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 Start Printed Page 19556 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.

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Charles Mierzwa,

Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. E7-7303 Filed 4-17-07; 8:45 am]

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