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Notice

Proposed Data Collection(s) Available for Public Comment and Recommendations

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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 collections are 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 for 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

Public Service Pension Questionnaires; OMB 3220-0136

Public Law 95-216 amended the Social Security Act of 1977 by providing, in part, that spouse or survivor benefits may be reduced when the beneficiary is in receipt of a pension based on employment with a Federal, State, or local governmental unit. Initially, the reduction was equal to the full amount of the government pension.

Public Law 98-21 changed the reduction to two-thirds of the amount of the government pension. Public Law 108-203 amended the Social Security Act by changing the requirement for exemption to public service offset, that Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes be deducted from the public service wages for the last 60 months of public service employment, rather than just the last day of public service employment.

Sections 4(a)(1) and 4(f)(1) of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) provides that a spouse or survivor annuity should be equal in amount to what the annuitant would receive if entitled to a like benefit from the Social Security Administration. Therefore, the public service pension (PSP) provisions apply to RRA annuities. RRB Regulations pertaining to the collection of evidence relating to public service pensions or worker's compensation paid to spouse or survivor applicants or annuitants are found in 20 CFR 219.64c.

The RRB utilizes Form G-208, Public Service Pension Questionnaire, and Form G-212, Public Service Monitoring Questionnaire, to obtain information used to determine whether an annuity reduction is in order. Completion of the forms is voluntary. However, failure to complete the forms could result in the nonpayment of benefits. One response is requested of each respondent.

The RRB proposes a non-burden impacting editorial change for clarification purposes to Form G-208 and no changes to Form G-212. The completion time for the G-208 is estimated at 16 minutes and the G-212 is estimated at 15 minutes. The RRB estimates that approximately 70 Form G-208's and 1,100 Form G-212's are completed annually.

2. 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 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 Start Printed Page 51118the form could result in the nonpayment of benefits.

The RRB estimates the completion time for the AA-4 is estimated at between 40 and 70 minutes and that approximately 600 AA-4s are completed annually. The RRB proposes no changes to Form AA-4.

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 Patricia A. Henaghan, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092 or send an e-mail to Patricia.Henaghan@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. 2010-20549 Filed 8-17-10; 8:45 am]

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