United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 19, 2020

§ 231n.
Railroad Retirement Account
(a)
Maintenance of account; authorization of appropriations

The Railroad Retirement Account established by section 15(a) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 [45 U.S.C. 228o(a)] shall continue to be maintained in the Treasury of the United States. There is hereby appropriated to such Account for each fiscal year, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1975, to provide for the payment of benefits to be made from such Account in accordance with the provisions of section 231f(c)(1) of this title, and to provide for expenses necessary for the Board in the administration of all provisions of this subchapter, an amount equal to amounts covered into the Treasury (minus refunds) during each fiscal year under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act [26 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.].

(b)
Authorization of appropriations; military service costs and administrative expenses

In addition to the amount appropriated in subsection (a) of this section, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Railroad Retirement Account for each fiscal year, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1975, such amount as the Board determines to be necessary to meet (A) the additional costs, resulting from the crediting of military service under this subchapter, of benefits payable under section 231a of this title, but only to the extent that such Account is not reimbursed for such costs under section 231f(c)(2) of this title, (B) the additional administrative expenses resulting from the crediting of military service under this subchapter, and (C) any loss in interest to such Account resulting from the payment of additional benefits based on military service credited under this subchapter: Provided, however, That, in determining the amount to be appropriated to the Railroad Retirement Account for any fiscal year pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, there shall not be considered any costs resulting from the crediting of military service under this subchapter for which appropriations to such Account have already been made pursuant to section 4(l) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 [45 U.S.C. 228c–1(l)]. Any determination as to loss in interest to the Railroad Retirement Account pursuant to clause (C) of the first sentence of this subsection shall take into account interest from the date each annuity based, in part, on military service began to accrue or was increased to the date or dates on which the amount appropriated is credited to the Account. The cost resulting from the payment of additional benefits under this subchapter based on military service determined pursuant to the preceding provisions of this subsection shall be adjusted by applying thereto the ratio of the total net level cost of all benefits under this subchapter to the portion of such net level cost remaining after the exclusion of administrative expenses and interest charges on the unfunded accrued liability as determined under the last completed actuarial valuation pursuant to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section. At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1975, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Board shall, as promptly as practicable, determine the amount to be appropriated to the Account pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, and shall certify such amount to the Secretary of the Treasury for transfer from the general fund in the Treasury to the Railroad Retirement Account. When authorized by an appropriation Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the Railroad Retirement Account from the general fund in the Treasury such amounts as, from time to time, may be determined by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this subsection and certified by the Board for transfer to such Account. In any determination made pursuant to section 231f(c)(2) of this title, no further charges shall be made against the Trust Funds established by title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.] for military service rendered before January 1, 1957, and with respect to which appropriations authorized by clause (2) of the first sentence of section 4(l) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 shall have been credited to the Railroad Retirement Account, but the additional benefit payments incurred by such Trust Funds by reason of such military service shall be taken in account in making any such determination.

(c)
Repealed. Pub. L. 107–90, title I, § 106(b), Dec. 21, 2001, 115 Stat. 887
(d)
Dual Benefits Payments Account
(1)
There is hereby created an account in the Treasury of the United States to be known as the Dual Benefits Payments Account. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated to such account for each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year ending September 30, 1982, such sums as are necessary to pay during such fiscal year the amounts of annuities estimated by the Board to be paid under sections 231b(h), 231c(e), and 231c(h) of this title and under sections 204(a)(3), 204(a)(4), 206(3), and 207(3) of Public Law 93–445. Not more than 30 days prior to each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year ending September 30, 1982, the Board may request the Secretary of the Treasury to transfer from the Railroad Retirement Account to the credit of the Dual Benefits Payments Account any amount not exceeding the amount that the Board estimates will be necessary to pay on the first day of the next succeeding month the annuity amounts under sections 231b(h), 231c(e), and 231c(h) of this title and under sections 204(a)(3), 204(a)(4), 206(3), and 207(3) of Public Law 93–445, taking into account any reduction in such annuity amounts as determined under section 231f(c)(1) of this title, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall make such transfer, but at no time shall the total amount of money outstanding to the Dual Benefits Payments Account from the Railroad Retirement Account exceed the amount necessary to pay the annuity amounts under sections 231b(h), 231c(e), and 231c(h) of this title and sections 204(a)(3), 204(a)(4), 206(3), and 207(3) of Public Law 93–445 for one month. Not more than 10 days after the funds appropriated to the Dual Benefits Payments Account for each such fiscal year are received into such Account, the Board shall request the Secretary of the Treasury to retransfer from the Dual Benefits Payments Account to the credit of the Railroad Retirement Account an amount equal to the amount transferred to the Dual Benefits Payments Account prior to or during such fiscal year under the preceding sentence, together with such additional amount determined by the Board to be equal to the loss of interest to the Railroad Retirement Account resulting from such transfer, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall make such retransfer. The Secretary of the Treasury shall from time to time transfer from the Dual Benefits Payments Account to the disbursing agent under section 231f(b)(4) of this title amounts necessary to pay benefits payable from that Account.
(2)
The Secretary of the Treasury—
(i)
shall transfer from the general fund as a loan to the Board on January 1, 1984, one-third of the special amount described in subdivision (3) of this subsection;
(ii)
shall transfer from the general fund as a loan to the Board on January 1, 1985, one-third of the special amount described in subdivision (3) of this subsection, plus an amount equal to the interest that one-third would have earned had it been in the Railroad Retirement Account since January 1, 1984; and
(iii)
shall transfer from the general fund as a loan to the Board on January 1, 1986, the final one-third of the special amount described in subdivision (3) of this subsection, plus an amount equal to the interest that one-third would have earned had it been in the Railroad Retirement Account since January 1, 1984.
(3)
The special amount referred to in subdivision (2) of this subsection is the amount which, as of January 1, 1984, would place the Railroad Retirement Account in the same position it would have been on that date if no annuity amounts had been paid during the period beginning January 1, 1975 and ending September 30, 1981, under sections 231b(h), 231c(e), and 231c(h) of this title and under sections 204(a)(3), 204(a)(4), 206(3), and 207(3) of Public Law 93–445, and no sums had been appropriated as authorized in this subsection.
(4)
For the purposes of subdivision (2) of this subsection, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to use as a public debt transaction the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued after August 12, 1983, under section 3102 of title 31 and the purposes for which securities may be so issued are extended to include such purposes.
(5)
The amounts transferred to the Board as loans under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be deposited in the Railroad Retirement Account.
(6)
The amounts transferred as loans under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be repaid to the general fund to the extent sums are appropriated for that purpose, and there are hereby authorized to be appropriated, in addition to any other sums authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of this subchapter and from any sums in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as may be necessary to make such repayments.
(e)
Investments

At the request and direction of the Board, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury (hereinafter referred to as the “Secretary”) to invest such portion of the amounts credited to the Railroad Retirement Account and the Dual Benefits Payments Account as are not transferred to the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust as the Board may determine in interest-bearing obligations of the United States or in obligations guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the United States. For such purpose such obligations may be acquired (A) on original issue at the issue price; or (B) by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price. The purposes for which obligations of the United States may be issued under chapter 31 of title 31, are hereby extended to authorize the issuance at par of special obligations exclusively to the accounts. Such obligations issued for purchase by the accounts shall have maturities fixed with due regard for the needs of the accounts, and shall bear interest at a rate equal to the average market yield, computed as of the end of the calendar month next preceding the date of such issue, borne by all marketable interest-bearing notes of the United States then forming a part of the public debt that are not due or callable until after the expiration of three years from the end of such calendar month, except that where such rate is not a multiple of one-eighth of 1 per centum, the rate of interest on such obligation shall be the multiple of one-eighth of 1 per centum nearest such rate: Provided, That the rate of interest on such obligations shall in no case be less than 3 per centum per annum. At the request of the Board the Secretary shall purchase other interest-bearing obligations of the United States, or obligations guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the United States, or other obligations which are lawful investments for trust funds of the United States, on original issue or at the market price: Provided, That the interest yield of such obligations shall not be less than the interest rate determined in accordance with the preceding sentence. At the request of the Board, the Secretary shall sell at the market price such obligations in the accounts (other than special obligations issued exclusively to the accounts) as the Board designates. The Board shall from time to time request the Secretary to redeem such special obligations issued exclusively to the accounts as the Board designates and upon such request the Secretary shall redeem such obligations at par plus accrued interest. All requests of the Board to the Secretary, provided for in this subsection, shall be mandatory upon the Secretary. It shall be the duty of the Board to determine at all times what proportion of the accounts shall be invested in other than special obligations issued to the accounts and further to determine which of such obligations available to the accounts consistent with the requirements of this subsection will provide the greatest rate of return on the funds invested.

(f)
Actuarial Advisory Committee

The Board is hereby authorized and directed to select two actuaries, one from recommendations made by representatives of employees and the other from recommendations made by representatives of employers as defined in paragraph (i) of section 231(a)(1) of this title. These actuaries, along with a third who shall be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be known as the Actuarial Advisory Committee with respect to the Railroad Retirement Account. The actuaries so selected shall hold membership in the American Academy of Actuaries and shall be qualified in the evaluation of pension plans: Provided, however, That these requirements shall not apply to any actuary who served as a member of the Committee prior to January 1, 1975. The Committee shall examine the actuarial reports and estimates made by the Board and shall have authority to recommend to the Board such changes in actuarial methods as they may deem necessary. The compensation of the members of the Committee, exclusive of the member designated by the Secretary, shall be fixed by the Board on a per diem basis.

(g)
Annual report

The Board shall include in its annual report a statement of the status and the operations of the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Retirement Supplemental Accounts, and the Dual Benefits Payments Account. At intervals not longer than three years the Board shall make an estimate of the liabilities created by this subchapter and shall include such estimate in its annual report.

(h)
Authorization of appropriations; administrative expenses of subchapter

There are hereby authorized to be appropriated from time to time such sums as may be necessary to provide for the expenses of the Board in administering the provisions of this subchapter.

(i)
Crediting of accounts for unnegotiated benefit checks
(1)
The Secretary of the Treasury shall implement procedures to permit the identification of each check issued for benefits under this subchapter that has not been presented for payment by the close of the sixth month following the month of its issuance.
(2)
The Secretary of the Treasury shall, on a monthly basis, credit each account established in the Treasury for the payment of benefits under this subchapter for the proportionate amount of benefit checks (including interest thereon) drawn on each such Account more than six months previously but not presented for payment and not previously credited to such Account, to the extent provided in advance in appropriation Acts.
(3)
If a benefit check is presented for payment to the Treasury and the amount of the appropriate portion thereof has been previously credited pursuant to paragraph (2) to an Account or Accounts, the Secretary of the Treasury shall nevertheless pay such check, if otherwise proper, recharge such Account or Accounts for the amount of such check attributable to such Account or Accounts and notify the Board.
(4)
A benefit check bearing a current date may be issued to an individual who did not negotiate the original benefit check and who surrenders such check for cancellation if the Secretary of the Treasury determines it is necessary to effect proper payment of benefits.
(j)
National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust
(1)
Establishment

The National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust (hereinafter in this subsection referred to as the “Trust”) is hereby established as a trust domiciled in the District of Columbia and shall, to the extent not inconsistent with this subchapter, be subject to the laws of the District of Columbia applicable to such trusts. The Trust shall manage and invest its assets in the manner set forth in this subsection.

(2)
Not a Federal agency or instrumentality

The Trust is not a department, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of the United States and shall not be subject to title 31.

(3)
Board of Trustees
(A)
Generally
(i)
Membership

The Trust shall have a Board of Trustees, consisting of 7 members. Three shall represent the interests of labor, 3 shall represent the interests of management, and 1 shall be an independent Trustee. The members of the Board of Trustees shall not be considered officers or employees of the Government of the United States.

(ii)
Selection
(I)
(II)
The 3 members representing the interests of management shall be selected by the joint recommendation of carriers as defined in section 151 of this title employing at least ⅔ of all active employees covered under this subchapter.
(III)
The independent member shall be selected by a majority of the other 6 members of the Board of Trustees.
 A member of the Board of Trustees may be removed in the same manner and by the same constituency that selected that member.
(iii)
Dispute resolution

In the event that the parties specified in subclause (I), (II), or (III) of the previous clause cannot agree on the selection of Trustees within 60 days of the date of enactment or 60 days from any subsequent date that a position of the Board of Trustees becomes vacant, an impartial umpire to decide such dispute shall, on the petition of a party to the dispute, be appointed by the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia.

(B)
Qualifications

Members of the Board of Trustees shall be appointed only from among persons who have experience and expertise in the management of financial investments and pension plans. No member of the Railroad Retirement Board shall be eligible to be a member of the Board of Trustees.

(C)
Terms

Except as provided in this subparagraph, each member shall be appointed for a 3-year term. The initial members appointed under this paragraph shall be divided into equal groups so nearly as may be, of which one group will be appointed for a 1-year term, one for a 2-year term, and one for a 3-year term. The Trustee initially selected pursuant to clause (ii)(III) shall be appointed to a 3-year term. A vacancy in the Board of Trustees shall not affect the powers of the Board of Trustees and shall be filled in the same manner as the selection of the member whose departure caused the vacancy. Upon the expiration of a term of a member of the Board of Trustees, that member shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed.

(4)
Powers of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall—
(A)
retain independent advisers to assist it in the formulation and adoption of its investment guidelines;
(B)
invest assets of the Trust in a manner consistent with such investment guidelines, either directly or through the retention of independent investment managers;
(C)
adopt bylaws and other rules to govern its operations;
(D)
employ professional staff, and contract with outside advisers, including the Railroad Retirement Board, to provide legal, accounting, investment advisory or management services (compensation for which may be on a fixed contract fee basis or on such other terms as are customary for such services), or other services necessary for the proper administration of the Trust;
(E)
sue and be sued and participate in legal proceedings, have and use a seal, conduct business, carry on operations, and exercise its powers within or without the District of Columbia, form, own, or participate in entities of any kind, enter into contracts and agreements necessary to carry out its business purposes, lend money for such purposes, and deal with property as security for the payment of funds so loaned, and possess and exercise any other powers appropriate to carry out the purposes of the Trust;
(F)
pay administrative expenses of the Trust from the assets of the Trust; and
(G)
transfer money to the disbursing agent or as otherwise provided in section 231f(b)(4) of this title, to pay benefits payable under this subchapter from the assets of the Trust.
(5)
Reporting requirements and fiduciary standards
The following reporting requirements and fiduciary standards shall apply with respect to the Trust:
(A)
Duties of the Board of Trustees
The Trust and each member of the Board of Trustees shall discharge their duties (including the voting of proxies) with respect to the assets of the Trust solely in the interest of the Railroad Retirement Board and through it, the participants and beneficiaries of the programs funded under this subchapter—
(i)
for the exclusive purpose of—
(I)
providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries; and
(II)
defraying reasonable expenses of administering the functions of the Trust;
(ii)
with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims;
(iii)
by diversifying investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses and to avoid disproportionate influence over a particular industry or firm, unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so; and
(iv)
in accordance with Trust governing documents and instruments insofar as such documents and instruments are consistent with this subchapter.
(B)
Prohibitions with respect to members of the Board of Trustees
No member of the Board of Trustees shall—
(i)
deal with the assets of the Trust in the Trustee’s own interest or for the Trustee’s own account;
(ii)
in an individual or in any other capacity act in any transaction involving the assets of the Trust on behalf of a party (or represent a party) whose interests are adverse to the interests of the Trust, the Railroad Retirement Board, or the interests of participants or beneficiaries; or
(iii)
receive any consideration for the Trustee’s own personal account from any party dealing with the assets of the Trust.
(C)
Exculpatory provisions and insurance
Any provision in an agreement or instrument that purports to relieve a Trustee from responsibility or liability for any responsibility, obligation, or duty under this subchapter shall be void: Provided, however, That nothing shall preclude—
(i)
the Trust from purchasing insurance for its Trustees or for itself to cover liability or losses occurring by reason of the act or omission of a Trustee, if such insurance permits recourse by the insurer against the Trustee in the case of a breach of a fiduciary obligation by such Trustee;
(ii)
a Trustee from purchasing insurance to cover liability under this section from and for his own account; or
(iii)
an employer or an employee organization from purchasing insurance to cover potential liability of one or more Trustees with respect to their fiduciary responsibilities, obligations, and duties under this section.
(D)
Bonding
Every Trustee and every person who handles funds or other property of the Trust (hereafter in this subsection referred to as “Trust official”) shall be bonded. Such bond shall provide protection to the Trust against loss by reason of acts of fraud or dishonesty on the part of any Trust official, directly or through the connivance of others, and shall be in accordance with the following:
(i)
The amount of such bond shall be fixed at the beginning of each fiscal year of the Trust by the Railroad Retirement Board. Such amount shall not be less than 10 percent of the amount of the funds handled. In no case shall such bond be less than $1,000 nor more than $500,000, except that the Railroad Retirement Board, after consideration of the record, may prescribe an amount in excess of $500,000, subject to the 10 per centum limitation of the preceding sentence.
(ii)
It shall be unlawful for any Trust official to receive, handle, disburse, or otherwise exercise custody or control of any of the funds or other property of the Trust without being bonded as required by this subsection and it shall be unlawful for any Trust official, or any other person having authority to direct the performance of such functions, to permit such functions, or any of them, to be performed by any Trust official, with respect to whom the requirements of this subsection have not been met.
(iii)
It shall be unlawful for any person to procure any bond required by this subsection from any surety or other company or through any agent or broker in whose business operations such person has any control or significant financial interest, direct or indirect.
(E)
Audit and report
(i)
The Trust shall annually engage an independent qualified public accountant to audit the financial statements of the Trust.
(ii)
The Trust shall submit an annual management report to the Congress not later than 180 days after the end of the Trust’s fiscal year. A management report under this subsection shall include—
(I)
a statement of financial position;
(II)
a statement of operations;
(III)
a statement of cash flows;
(IV)
a statement on internal accounting and administrative control systems;
(V)
the report resulting from an audit of the financial statements of the Trust conducted under clause (i); and
(VI)
any other comments and information necessary to inform the Congress about the operations and financial condition of the Trust.
(iii)
The Trust shall provide the President, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget a copy of the management report when it is submitted to Congress.
(F)
Enforcement
The Railroad Retirement Board may bring a civil action—
(i)
to enjoin any act or practice by the Trust, its Board of Trustees, or its employees or agents that violates any provision of this subchapter; or
(ii)
to obtain other appropriate relief to redress such violations, or to enforce any provisions of this subchapter.
(6)
State and local taxes

The Trust shall be exempt from any income, sales, use, property, or other similar tax or fee imposed or levied by a State, political subdivision, or local taxing authority. The district courts of the United States shall have original jurisdiction over a civil action brought by the Trust to enforce this subsection and may grant equitable or declaratory relief requested by the Trust.

(7)
Quorum

Five members of the Board of Trustees constitute a quorum to do business. Investment guidelines must be adopted by a unanimous vote of the Trustees then holding office. All other decisions of the Board of Trustees shall be decided by a majority vote of the quorum present. All decisions of the Board of Trustees shall be entered upon the records of the Board of Trustees.

(k)
Transfers to the Trust

The Board shall, upon establishment of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust and from time to time thereafter, direct the Secretary of the Treasury to transfer, in such manner as will maximize the investment returns to the Railroad Retirement system, that portion of the Railroad Retirement Account that is not needed to pay current administrative expenses of the Board to the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust. The Secretary shall make that transfer.

(l)
National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust

The National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust shall from time to time transfer to the disbursing agent described in section 231f(b)(4) of this title or as otherwise directed by the Railroad Retirement Board pursuant to section 231f(b)(4) of this title, such amounts as may be necessary to pay benefits under this subchapter (other than benefits paid from the Social Security Equivalent Benefit Account or the Dual Benefit Payments Account).

(Aug. 29, 1935, ch. 812, § 15, as restated June 24, 1937, ch. 382, pt. I, 50 Stat. 307, as restated Pub. L. 93–445, title I, § 101, Oct. 16, 1974, 88 Stat. 1346; amended Pub. L. 94–92, title II, § 201(a)–(d), Aug. 9, 1975, 89 Stat. 464, 465; Pub. L. 94–547, § 3(a), Oct. 18, 1976, 90 Stat. 2525; Pub. L. 97–34, title VII, § 742, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 348; Pub. L. 97–35, title XI, §§ 1124, 1127(a), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 639, 641; Pub. L. 98–76, title III, § 301(b), title IV, §§ 401(a), 417(a), Aug. 12, 1983, 97 Stat. 431, 433, 437; Pub. L. 107–90, title I, §§ 105(a), (b), 106(b), (c), 107(a), (b), (d), Dec. 21, 2001, 115 Stat. 882, 886–889; Pub. L. 108–203, title IV, § 426(a)–(d), (f), Mar. 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 537, 538.)
cite as: 45 USC 231n