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of this bill to attack these problems in at least one area, that of the retired and unemployed railroad worker. The effect of this bill would be
1. To increase pensions, insurance lump-sum payments, and annuities by 10 percent.
2. To liberalize the work clause for disability annitants.
3. To reduce the age requirement for annuities for women employees with less than 30 years of service from 65 to 62, but such annuity to be on a reduced basis.
4. To reduce the age requirement for annuities for spouses from 65 to 62, such annuity to be on a reduced basis.
5. To authorize the payment of insurance lump sums up to a maximum $750, even if monthly survivor annuities are payable in the month of the employee's death.
6. To increase the maximum creditable monthly compensation from $350 to $400. While these increases are most desirable, it is equally important to maintain the railroad retirement system on a sound financial basis. To that end, this bill provides for certain increases in the tax basis, in the tax rates on employers and employees, and for an increase with respect to compensation paid beginning January 1, 1970, conditioned upon increases in social security tax rates. (This conditional increase is to compensate the account for increased charges under the financial interchange arrangement.)
As to the problems of the unemployed railroad worker, this bill would increase the daily benefit rate from 50 to 60 percent, and the maximum from $8.50 to $10.20. It would increase from 7 to 10 the number of days for which unemployment benefits may be paid in the first registration period. It would extend for a career railroad employee in the period during which he may receive benefits. Here, too, these increases would be offset by an increase in the contribution rate to a maximum of 4 percent, depending upon the balance in the railroad unemployment insurance account.
Considering the number of people affected by these problems and the importance of this legislation to them, I commend this bill to the consideration of your committee, and hope that it may be favorably received. With all good wishes, I am, Very sincerely yours,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., March 5, 1957. Hon. PETER F. MACK, Jr.,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Commerce and Finance, Committee on Inter
state and Foreign Commerce, House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : You have very kindly given me the opportunity to testify before your subcommittee on my bill, H. R. 2033.
This bill is identical with H. R. 594 which I introduced in the 83d Congress, and H. R. 182, which I introduced in the 84th Congress. I testified on H. R. 594 June 2, 1954, and the testimony appears on pages 45 and 46 of the published hearings on Bills to Amend the Railroad Retirement Act.
I shall appreciate it very much if that testimony is incorporated in the hearings scheduled for March 11 as my statement favoring H. R. 2033. Very sincerely yours,
KATHARINE ST. GEORGE. (Mrs. St. George's statement of June 2, 1954, is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF Hon. KATHARINE ST. GEORGE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to appear before you in favor of my bill, H. R. 594.
This bill is to provide that railroad employees may—and I stress the mayretire on a full annuity at the age of 60 or after serving 30 years; and to provide that such annuity for any month shall be not less than one-half of the individual's average monthly compensation for the 5 years of highest earnings.
I have long felt that it was an injustice to compel railroad employees to wait until the age of 65, regardless of the length of service. It seems to me for a great many reasons that while we realize full well that many men, and women may I add, can give valuable service after the age of 60, yet they should be given the right of retirement at that age.
I feel particularly strongly on that because in most legislation women are given the right to retire at the age of 60, and it therefore seems an injustice that male employees should be discriminated against.
I do not know if any of you gentlemen have studied insurance statistics, but those statistics show that women have a better change of longevity than men. They show the average longevity of men to be 63 years, and of women 68 years; and I have long been a believer in the saying that the female of the species is more deadly than the male..
I also think for the good of the service it might be an excellent thing if some of the older employees might be permitted to retire at the age of 60, thus making room for the employment of younger people. , I have discussed this bill with many of my railroad friends, and I find most of them are very strongly in favor of it. I therefore hope it may receive consideration by your committee, and I hope for its ultimate passage,
I do not think there is anything more I can say. The bill is very simple, and it just takes up that one question.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mrs. St. George. The next witness is Hon. Victor Wickersham.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., March 11, 1957. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. HARRIS: I am enclosing several letters from constituents relative to their views on H. R. 4353 and H. R. 4354.
I would personally appreciate your including these letters as a part of the proceedings of the hearings. Thanking you in advance, and with all best wishes, I am Sincerely yours,
J. FLOYD BREEDING, M. C.
BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY AND STEAMSHIP CLERKS,
LOCAL LODGE No. 314,
Hutchinson, Kans., March 4, 1957. Mr. FLOYD BREEDING, Kansas Representative,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR FLOYD: During the campaign I advised you that the railroad brotherhoods would be back this next session of Congress to increase the benefits of the Railroad Retirement Act and put it on a sound basis at the same time.
We are also asking for a tax exemption on what we pay into the retirement fund. As the railroads are exempt 52 percent on their taxes on retirement funds, we, the employees, feel that we are entitled to the same consideration on what we pay into the retirement fund.
There are two bills in the House sponsored by members of our party which I hope you will see fit to support.
When H. R. 4353 and H. R. 3665, Ways and Means, are brought to the floor for action, I hope that I might induce you to support them.
I hope that Mr. Hartman Barber (national legislative representative of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks) has called upon you and explained our position.
How do you and the missis like Washington by now? · We are getting a nice shower here today and sure helps the looks of things in our part of the country. It started last night sometime and has been sprinkling all day and it is all going in the ground.
Now stay in there and pitch for what you think is right and our people will back you. Respectfully;
GEO. V. KELLEY.
WELLINGTON, KANS., March 2, 1957.
Washington, D. C. SIR: Would appreciate it very much if you can give favorable consideration to bills H. R. 4353 or H. R. 4354, and H. R: 3665.
Feel that this is necessary due to fact present railroad retirement benefits have fallen behind the cost of living. Yours,
WM. H. WALLEB.
WINFIELD, KANS., March 2, 1957. Hon. FLOYD BREEDING.
KIND SIR: The last session of Congress, we railroad retired guys had a bill asking for 15 percent increase in pension, but we only got 10 percent increase. They pinched out 5 percent. I must say your Myron George, Kansas, sponsored the bill and I am sure he did what he could for the bill. They all know I am a Democrat. I used to be Democratic committeeman in the east part of Cowley County. I think it's time we get the House and Senate started after the 5 percent because it's for sure we need the 5 percent, also we want to ask you for 10 percent in social security.
I have 5 children and 3 grandchildren, all married and all paying railroad retirement or social security. I know they are getting plenty of money coming in to pay the increase. We retired folks have had increases in the past 10 yearsincreased to 100 percent. Yours truly,
OSCAR TOLMAN. Mr. MacK. I think that concludes the testimony here this morning.
I do not believe that we have any other Members of Congress here to testify.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Chairman, may I just suggest that there are some bills on which agency reports have not been received. I think it would be appropriate to include any other reports on any other bills that we may receive, so that they will be in the same place in the record and can be easily found. Mr. MACK. Yes.
The Chair would like to include any other reports and have them inserted at an appropriate place in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, since the members of the Railroad Retirement Board are here, I am sure they would like to know the procedure on next Thursday.
We will expect someone from the Railroad Retirement Board as the first witness on Thursday when we convene.
Mr. MacK. Yes. I stated that we were opening up the hearings this morning to hear the Members of Congress, and we had planned to take up the bills on Thursday. Mr. AVERY. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question?
I have not had time to examine all the reports here. Included in these reports is there a comparative scale here on the benefits of the railroad retirement plan and other similar retirement plans? Have we had the benefit of those reports?
Mr. Mack. I have seen some personally. I do not know whether any of them have been submitted by the committee, or not.
The CHAIRMAN. I might say for the information of the committee, about a week ago I asked our staff to prepare such information for us, and it is in the process of preparation now and will be available for, us on Thursday.
Mr. AVERY. All right.
The CHAIRMAN. In the meantime, I have asked the staff also to prepare for us a list of the bills, state what they will do very briefly, and then to provide the percent of payroll cost and the estimated millions of dollars per year for each bill.
That information has already been prepared.
I have a copy, myself, and I am sure you have a copy that you can make available to each member of the committee. Mr. Mack. We stand adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.
(Thereupon, at 11:05 a. m., the subcommittee was recessed, to re.convene subject to call of the Chair.)