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Low Cost Retirement Benefits, and the National Railroad Pension Forum, Inc. These activities have even resulted in a vast change of opinion being made by the railroad labor executives. As little as a year ago their brotherhood members were being told that they had the best pension plan in the country. Today the story is entirely different. The Honorable Mr. Crosser has proposed two bills, namely, H. R. 5875 and H. R. 5993. These bills were introduced with the thought of taking the play away from the two employee sponsored groups previously mentioned, who were financed by union and nonunion employees to fight the sham that had been forced upon them by enactment of H. R. 1362 on July 31, 1946. My interest in appearing was not intended to protect the credit my group, or any other group, deserves in righting the wrong which resulted in the passing of H. R. 1362. I say this: let those who appear here in the interest of receiving the credit, have it, but in all fairness, gentlemen, listen to the pleas of over 500,000 rail employees, who are a part of the lawabiding citizens who, by strength of number, selected you to protect their American way of life. Protect it for them by giving them a better pension plan. Thank you, gentlemen. The CHAIRMAN. We thank you, Mr. Haas, for the statement that you have presented to the committee. Rest assured that all of these matters are the subject of consideration by the committee. The bill which we hope will be passed by this session of the Congress is at least a step forward and we hope that you will recognize it as such. Mr. HAAs. That is true, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. With reference to the statement that you made as to benefits, that is taken care of in this bill, as you know. Mr. HAAs. That is right. The CHAIRMAN. So that I assume that it will have your support, that is, the point to which it goes. Mr. HAAs. As I said, Mr. Chairman, the committee has gone into and brought up 6766 as their direct analysis of what benefits we really can receive with the funds that are there, why, I am wholeheartedly in support of it. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. That is all. It had been originally intended that these hearings would take 2 days, but it would seem as if we have covered it sufficiently. There were some witnesses who probably might expect to appear tomorrow, but they will, so far as I am able to see, speak for the same group. Is that true? I refer to Mr. W. E. Young of Dallas, Tex., Mr. F. A. Ross, Minneapolis, Minn., Mr. Walt Sands, Chicago, Ill., Ms. George K. Wenig, Chicago, Ill., Mr. Clarence B. Carter, New Haven, Conn. I assume they will speak for the pension forum; is that correct? Mr. STACK. Wo. the exception of Mr. Carter. He is not connected with us in any way, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. He is designated as secretary of the Railroad Pension Conference. And these gentlemen did not receive their notification until yesterday. Mr. STAck. I flew down last night myself. The CHAIRMAN. There will be no advantage taken of them. If they wish to file their statements as a part of the hearings, that will be permitted. Mr. HAAs. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Then that will conclude the hearings, gentlemen. There is a statement that I have just received from Congressman John C. Kunkel, of the Eighteenth District of Pennsylvania which will be made a part of the record.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
StATEMENT of HoN. John C. KUNKEL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN Congress FROM THE STATE OF PENNs YLVANIA
Mr. Chairman, ever since the start of the present Congress I have been urging action to grant sorely needed relief to retired railroaders and to liberalize the present Railroad Retirement Act in every way consistent with maintaining the retirement fund in a thoroughly sound financial condition. I realize that the hundreds of thousands of railroaders still in service, and those already on retirement, must be assured that the retirement fund will be thoroughly able to pay their claims when they are ready to retire and during their period of retirement. At the same time, the balance sheet of the fund clearly indicates that increases can be granted.
I had hoped that these increases would be more liberal than provided for in H. R. 6766. However, this bill is the result of an agreement between the railway labor organizations and the management of the railroad companies. Consequently, there should be no opposition to its enactment because both interested parties have agreed to its terms and because the payments will be made out of the existing fund created by taxes levied on the R. R. employees and the R. Rs. Therefore, action on this during the present Congress can be expected. I presume that the agreement reached accords with the findings of the actuaries as to what can be done. With the drive now on for adjournment on June 19, any bill involving controversy would probably be lost in the final shuffle. That is a risk we must not take. This 20 percent increase is desperately needed by the retired railroaders. Consequently, I urge with all my power the quickest possible action by your committee in order to assure final enactment by the present Congress of this important bill. If any further adjustments can be made, they can be considered during the Eighty-first Congress. Meanwhile, we must make sure that the railroad men receive this benefit to which they are entitled as of today from the present fund. I intend to do all in my power, in every way, to hasten passage.
The CHAIRMAN. I also have a statement from Congressman Francis J. Love, First District, West Virginia, which will also be made a part of the record.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT of HoN. FRANCIs J. LovE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CoNGREss FROM THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, I should like to take this opportunity to speak to you in behalf of our retired railroad workers. I am appealing to the committee to report suitable legislation to the floor of the House of Representatives providing for a cost-ofliving increase in retirement annuities. Today the average monthly annuity for these retired employees is approximately $70. Due to the increased cost of living, $70 now buys what $40 bought when the annuities were granted. Seventy dollars per month is certainly inadequate to purchase the necessities of life today. This amount should be substantially increased, in my opinion. It is apparent that necessary increases could be granted without additional assessments and without impairment of the retirement fund. Gentlemen, we may expect the Congress to adjourn within the next few weeks. I respectfully urge the committee to forth with report legislation for adequate increases in railroad retirement annuities so that the same may be enacted into law and provide a decent livelihood for our retired railroaders.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will go into executive session.
(Thereupon, at 1:35 p. m., the hearings were concluded and the committee proceeded to the consideration of other business, after which it adjourned.)
(The following statements were submitted for the record:)
STATEMENT of HoN. MELviN C. SNYDER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN Congress FROM THE STATE of WEST VIRGINIA
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my purpose in appearing before the committee is to ask for your favorable consideration of H. R. 6361, which amends the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 in order to permit disabled employees to receive annuities irrespective of any earnings in service for hire or in selfemployment. The amendment is very simple in that it deletes from section 205, Public Law 572, the following sentence: “An employee, in receipt of such annuity, who earns more than $75 in service for hire, or in self-employment, in each of any six consecutive calendar months, shall be deemed to cease to be so disabled in the last of such six months; and such employee shall report to the Board immediately all such service for hire, or such self-employment.’ The passage of this proposed legislation would permit disabled railway employees to receive their annuities, notwithstanding the fact that they earn more than $75 a month through self-employment or other employment. Today, the cost of living is high and the limitations of the existing law should be removed in order to help the disabled employees meet the high prices. I do not believe that management, labor, or any other group or individual, will contend that the removal of this restriction is not in order. It is certainly in order to increase the annuities of railway workers who are retired and those to be retired in the future. This is a step in the right direction. Likewise, the removal of the limitation as proposed in H. R. 6361 is in order.
STATEMENT of Hon. ELLsworth B. Foote, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CoNGRESS FROM THE STATE of CoNNECTICUT
Gentlemen of the committee, the present Congress has revised the Civil Service Retirement Act for the benefit of Federal employees. There is the same justification for the revision of the Railroad Retirement Act to improve the sickness, unemployment, and pension benefits of railroad workers. Everyone recognizes that the present pensions are inadequate to meet the present living costs. H. R. 5993 and H. R. 5875 appear to have the endorsement of the majority of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad employees, residents of my congressional district, and some of them have endorsed H. É. 4695. I have not as yet received their official reaction to H. R. 6766 as introduced by your chairman. I know that the committee will give this matter very serious consideration and will report out what it believes to be a bill fair to all parties concerned. No statistics are required to prove the necessity for action at this session of the Congress. I am attaching hereto an analysis of the situation as prepared by Ernest F. Ackerman, 103 Winchester Avenue, New Haven, Conn., a prominent employee of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., which I believe this committee will find of interest. You will note that he concludes that the increase provided by H. H. 5993 is considerably less than that granted by the present Congress to civil-service employees.
ANALYSIS AS PREPARED BY ERNEST F. ACKERMAN, New Haven, Conn. Retirement fund—Statement showing tax collections and benefit payments for 3 months
as reported by the Railroad Retirement Board
NOTE.-Tax returns for class I railroads covering both carriers and employees contributions are made quarterly.
Remarks. --The long-term reserve fund is equal to 47 percent of receipts, whereas the current reserve rate is equal to 58 percent of receipts.
The 20 percent increase provided by H. R. 5993, if applied to the 3-month period, would boost total payments to $68,726,611, leaving $66,556,538 available for the reserve fund, which represents a 49 percent rate, or 2 percent better than the long-term rate.
The figures used for this exhibit were obtained from the Railroad Retirement Board's official reports published in the February, March, and April, 1948, issues of the Monthly Review. Unemployment insurance fund-Statement showing tax collections and benefit
payments for 3 months as reported by the Railraod Retirement Board
Total receipts, July 1, 1939 to Feb. 29, 1948.
Reserve fund balance, Feb. 29, 1948
1,063, 014, 484
152, 985, 654
910, 028, 830
Remarks.-The 25 percent increase proposed by H. R. 5875 would boost benefit payments for the 3-month period to $21,305,105, leaving a balance of $6,100,408 for addition to the reserve fund.
The figures used for this exhibit were obtained from the Railroad Retirement Board's official reports published in the February, March, and April, 1948, issues of the Monthly Review.
GENERAL COMPARISON OF RETIREMENT PROVISIONS OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT WITH THE CIVIL
SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT OF 1948
Civil service retirement 1. Annuity at age 65.
1. Annuity at 62 with 15 years' service. 2. Annuity at 60 after 30 years' service, but reduced 2. Annuity at 60 with 30 years' service. one-fifteenth for each year under 65. There is no 3. Employees may retire at age 55 with 30 years' reduction, however, for women employees.
service on a reduced annuity. 3. Annuity at 60 with no reduction if totally dis 4. Employees who are involuntarily separated abled, regardless of amount of service.
after 25 years of service may retire and receive an 4. Annuity after 10 years'
service if totally disabled. annuity reduced by one-fourth of 1 percent a month 5. Annuity at 60 if disabled for regular railroad for each month the employee is under age 60. occupation and currently connected with railroad 5. Employees who leave the Federal Government industry.
prior to retirement age may not start receiving an6. Annuity after 20 years' service if disabled for nuities
until 62 years of age. regular railroad occupation and currently connected 6. Retirement is compulsory at age 70 if employee with railroad industry.
has 15 years of service. NOTE: 1 Discrimination or inequity now exists under the Railroad Retirement Act inasmuch as women with 30 years of service may retire on full annuities at age 60, whereas men with 30 years of service who retire at age 6n receive an annuity reduced by one-fifteenth
for each year under age 65, equivalent to one-third of the annuity.
Retirement yield of an average annual salary of $3,000 under the present Railroad
Retirement Act, under H. Ř. 5993, and under the Civil Service Retirement Act
Note.-The increase provided by H. R. 5993 is considerably less than the increase Congress has granted civil-service employees.
TESTIMONY OF RAILROAD PENSION CONFERENCE, SUBMITTED AT HEARING IN
WASHINGTON, D. C. On H. R. 4695
TESTIMONY AT SUBCOMMITTEE WITH REFERENCE TO BILLS S. 2055-H. R, 4695
The Railroad Pension Conference, which is an organization of railroad workers of every craft on the major railroad systems, is deeply concerned in having the Railroad Retirement Act amended so as to provide retirement benefits of one half pay after 30 years of service. For that purpose we support and urge enactment of bills S. 2055-H. R. 4695.
Bills S. 2055-H. R. 4695 would establish a comprehensive system, calculated to keep the younger men steadily employed, with the prospect of reasonable, steady, merited promotions, with the older men acquiring pension rights in time for reasonable benefit and enjoyment.
There are various pension systems in different industries in which managements assume all of the major obligations by contributing a total or 3 or percent to every 1 percent of the employees. This supplementary to the social security benefits.) There are also many civil-service pension systems, (municipal, State, firemen, police, etc.), which give the employee an optional retirement of 20, 25 years of service, or age 55 or thereabouts, depending upon the rate of contribution chosen by the employee. Such retirement systems are comparaitively costly, and fund deficits incident thereto are absorbed by taxpayers. The employees thereunder are, however, beneficiaries of early retirement benefits. A railroader's occupation is as hazardous, and of such public value as to deserve, too, reasonably early retirement benefits, although we have not and do not propose benefits equal to the Civil Service standards mentioned.
The railroad retirement system has several times increased retirement deductions made from the employee's wage without however, proportionately increasing the retirement benefits to the employee, except for a negligible number of women in industry whose retirement age was cut to 60. Several valuable benefits were gained under H. R. 1362 but did not affect the present retirement age1946: Rail workers earning $300 per month paid 342 percent-$10.50 per month. 1947: Rail workers earning $300 per month paid 534 percent-$17.25 per month. 1949: Rail workers earning $300 per month will pay 6 percent-$18.00 per month. 1952: Rail workers earning $300 per month will pay 6 percent-$18.75 per month.
The railroad worker earning $300 per month whose tax has increased from 34 to 534 percent still receives no more than the maximum sum of $120 per month until 1967.