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Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for Comments

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Summary: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request a revision to a currently approved collection of information: 3220-0138, Self-Employment and Substantial Service Questionnaire consisting of Form AA-4, Self-Employment and Substantial Service Questionnaire.

The RRB invites comments on the proposed collection of information to determine (1) The practical utility of the collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information that is the subject of collection; and (4) ways to Start Printed Page 37805minimize the burden of collections on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments to RRB or OIRA must contain the OMB control number of the ICR. For proper consideration of your comments, it is best if RRB and OIRA receive them within 30 days of publication date.

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 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. The RRB proposes editorial and formatting changes to Form AA-4. Other non-burden impacting changes proposed include dividing current items containing 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.

Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. If a respondent fails to complete Form AA-4, the RRB may be unable to pay them benefits. The completion time for the form is estimated at 40 to 70 minutes. One response is received from each respondent. Review and approval by OIRA ensures that we impose appropriate paperwork burdens.

Previous Requests for Comments: The RRB has already published the initial 60-day notice (72 FR 19555 on April 18, 2007) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That request elicited no comments.

Information Collection Request (ICR)

Title: Self-Employment and Substantial Service Questionnaire.

OMB Control Number: 3220-0138.

Form(s) submitted: AA-4.

Type of request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Affected public: Individuals or households.

Abstract: Section 2 of the Railroad Retirement Act provides for payment of annuities to qualified employees and their spouses. Work for a Last Pre-Retirement Nonrailroad Employer (LPE), and work in self-employment affect payments in different ways. This collection obtains information to determine whether claimed self-employment is really self-employment, and not work for a railroad or LPE.

Changes Proposed: The RRB proposes editorial and formatting changes to Form AA-4. Other non-burden impacting changes include dividing current items containing 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.

The burden estimate for the icr is as follows:

Estimated Completion Time for Form AA-4: 40 to 70 minutes.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 600.

Total annual responses: 600.

Total annual reporting hours: 415.

Additional Information or Comments: Copies of the forms and supporting documents can be obtained from Charles Mierzwa, the agency clearance officer (312-751-3363) or 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 Ronald.Hodapp@rrb.gov and to the OMB Desk Officer for the RRB, at the Office of Management and Budget, Room 10230, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

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Charles Mierzwa,

Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. E7-13413 Filed 7-10-07; 8:45 am]

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