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the present value of the annuity apply to the payment of a reduced annuity to the employee during life and an annuity during the life of a surviving spouse. The present values and amounts of the annuity payments shall be determined on the basis of the combined annuity tables with interest at 3 per centum per annum.
PERSONNEL Sec. 6. (a) There is hereby established as an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government a Railroad Retirement Board, to be composed of three members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each member shall hold office for a term of five years, except that any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of the term and the terms of office of the members first taking office after the date of enactment of this Act shall expire, as designated by the President, one at the end of two years, one at the end of three years, and one at the end of four years, after the date of enactment of this Act. One member shall be appointed from recommendations made by representatives of the employees and one member shall be appointed from recommendations made by representatives of the carriers, in both cases as the President shall direct, so as to provide representation on the Board satisfactory to the largest number, respectively, of employees and carriers concerned. One member, who shall be the chairman of the Board, shall be appointed initially, for a term of two years without recommendation by either carriers or employees and shall not be in the employment of or be pecuniarily or otherwise interested in any carrier or organ. ization of employees. Vacancies in the Board shall not impair the powers nor affect the duties of the Board nor of the remaining members of the Board of whom a majority of those in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Each of said members shall receive a salary of $10,000 per year, together with necessary traveling expenses and subsistence expenses, or per diem allowance in lieu thereof, while away from the principal office of the Board on duties required by this Act.
DUTIES (b) The Board shall have and exercise all the duties and powers necessary to administer this Act. The Board shall take such steps as may be necessary to enforce this Act and make and certify awards and payments.
The Board shall from time to time certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the name and address of each person entitled to receive a payment under this Act, the amount of such payment, and the time at which it should be made, and the Secretary of the Treasury through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department, and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, shall make payment in accordance with the certification by the Board.
The Board shall establish and promulgate rules and regulations and provide for the adjustment of all controversial matters, with power as a Board or through any member or subordinate designated thereof, to require and compel the attendance of witnesses, admin. ister oaths, take testimony, and make all necessary investigations in any matter involving annuities or other payments, and shall main. tain such offices, provide such equipment, furnishings, supplies, services, and facilities, and employ such persons and provide for their compensation and expenses, as may be necessary to the proper discharge of its functions. All rules, regulations, or decisions of the Board shall require the approval of at least two members and shall be entered upon the records of the Board which shall be a public record The Board shall gather keep, compile, and publish in con. venient form such records and data as may be necessary, and at intervals of not more than two years shall cause to be made actuarial surveys and analyses, to determine from time to time the payments to be required to provide for all annuities, other disbursements, and expenses, and to assure proper administration and the adequacy and permanency of the retirement system hereby established. The Board shall have power to require all carriers and employees and any officer, board, commission, or other agency of the United States to furnish such information and records as shall be necessary for the administration of this Act. The Board shall make an annual report to the President of the United States to be submitted to Congress. Witnesses summoned before the Board shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.
SPECIAL REPORT SEC. 7. Not later than four years from the effective date, the Board, in a special report to the President of the United States to be submitted to Congress, shall make specific recommendations for such changes in the retirement system hereby created as shall assure the adequacy of said retirement system on the basis of its experience and all information and experience then available. For this pur. pose the Board shall from time to time make such investigations and actuarial studies as shall provide the fullest information practi. cable for such report and recommendations. The Board shall in a like special report to be made at the earliest practicable time, make specific recommendations with regard to the desirability and practi. cability of substituting the provisions for annuities and other benefits to employees under this Act for any obligation for prior service or for any existing provisions for the voluntary payment of pensions to employees subject to this Act by a carrier or any employees subject to this Act, so as to relieve such carrier from its obligations for ago retirement benefits under its existing pension systems and transfer such obligations to the retirement system herein established.
It is recognized that. existing individual carrier pension plans are wholly at the option of the carriers unless in any case express provision is made otherwise, and no restriction is imposed under this Act upon such plans; nor is it expected that carriers will modify existing pension plans on account of this Act beyond a reduction of current pension payments under such existing plans in amounts equal to the annuity payments currently received by the employee under this Act.
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INVESTIGATION COMMISSION SEC. 8. (a) That a commission be appointed which shall be com. posed of three Members of the Senate designated by the President of the Senate; three Members of the House of Representatives desig. nated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and three members who shall be designated by the President of the United States. The President shall designate one member to be chairman and another to be vice chairman of the Commission. The Commission is hereby authorized and directed to make, and report through the President to the Congress of the United States not later than January 1, 1936, the results of, a thorough investigation of all pertinent facts relating to a retirement annuity system applicable by law to carriers by railroad engaged in interstate commerce and particularly any and all questions for the investigation of which provision is made under the preceding section. The Commission is also authorized to hold hearings respecting desirable provisions of a sound retirement and annuity system. In the making of such investigation the Commission may consider the experience of other industries and of governments, as well as of the railroad industry, and may avail itself of the assistance of all agencies of the Federal Government. Until January 1, 1936, the duties and authority of the Board under the preceding section are limited to cooperation with and action under the direction of the Commission. With its report setting forth the results of its investigation, the Commission shall include such recommendations for legislation, if any, as it may deem necessary to give effect to its conclusions.
(b) The Commission, in the performance of its duties, is authorized to sit and act at such times and places either in the District of Columbia or elsewhere during the sessions, recesses, and adjourned periods of the Seventy-fourth Congress, to require by subpena or otherwise the attendance of such witnesses and the production and impounding of such books, papers, records, files, and documents, to have access to such books, papers, records, files, and documents of any corporation or person, to administer such oaths and to take such testimony and to make such expenditures, as it may deem advisable. The several district courts of the United States and the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction upon appli. cation by the Commission through its attorneys to compel obedience to any order or subpena of the Commission issued pursuant to this section. The orders, writs, and processes of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in such matters may run and be served anywhere in the United States.
(c) The Commission shall maintain such offices, provide such equipment, furnishings, supplies, services, and facilities, and to employ, without regard to the provisions of the Civil Service Act such experts and clerical, stenographic, legal, and other assistance as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its duties, and without respect to the provisions of the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, fix the compensation of any person employed. The President shall fix the compensation to be paid the three members of the Commission to be appointed by the President. All expenses of the Commission for all time in which the Commission shall be actually engaged in this investigation shall be paid out of any funds in the Treasury of the United States, not otherwise appropriated, on a certificate of the chairman of the Commission, and the sum necessary for carrying out the provisions of this resolution is hereby authorized to be appropriated: Provided, That the total expense authorized for the purposes of the Commission shall not exceed the sum of $60,000 which shall include the compensation herein authorized.
COURT JURISDICTION SEC. 9. The several District Courts of the United States and the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, respectively, shall have jurisdiction to entertain an application and to grant appropriate relief in the following cases which may arise under the provisions of this Act:
(a) An application by an employee or other person aggrieved in or to the district court of any district wherein the Board may have established an office, to compel the Board to set aside an action or decision claimed to be in violation of a legally enforceable right of the applicant, or to take action, or to make a decision necessary for the enforcement of a legal right of the applicant.
(b) The jurisdiction herein specifically conferred upon the said Federal courts shall not be held exclusive of any jurisdiction otherwise possessed by said courts to entertain actions at law or suits in equity in aid of the enforcement of rights or obligations arising under the provisions of this Act.
(c) The Railroad Retirement Board, as hereinbefore established, shall be and constitute a body corporate and be capable of suing and being sued as such.
EXEMPTION SEC. 10. No annuity payment shall be assignable or be subject to any tax or to garnishment, attachment, or other legal process under any circumstances whatsoever, nor shall the payment thereof be anticipated.
PENALTIES SEC. 11. Any officer or agent of a carrier, as the word “ carrier" is hereinbefore defined, or any employee as such word is hereinbefore defined, or any person whether or not of the character hereinbefore defined, who shall willfully fail or refuse to make any report or furnish any information required by the Board in the administration of this Act, or who shall knowingly make any false or fraudulent statement or report in response to any report or statement required to be made for the purpose of this Act, or who shall knowingly make or aid in making any false or fraudulent statement or claim for the purpose of receiving any award or payment under this Act, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding one year.
SEPARABILITY Sec. 12. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid, the remainder of the Act or application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
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APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZED Sec. 13. The appropriation of such money from time to time out of the Treasury of the United States as may be necessary to carry this Act into effect, is hereby authorized.
SHORT TITLE Sec. 14. This Act may be cited as the “ Railroad Retirement Act of 1935 ”.
Sec. 15. The term “ employment", as defined in subsection (b) of section 210 of Title II of the Social Security Act, shall not include service performed in the employ of a carrier as defined in subdivision (a) of section 1 of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1935.
Approved, August 29, 1935.
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