BLE stands behind new Railroad Retirement legislation
CLEVELAND, January 11 -- After carefully reviewing the language contained in H.R. 180, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers announced today it is supporting the Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001.
The language in the bill, for the most part, is the same as H.R. 4844, which was introduced in the House of Representatives last year. H.R. 4844 passed the House by a huge bipartisan majority (391-25) and had 83 Senate co-sponsors; however, it was killed by three ultra-conservative Senators.
If enacted into law by the 107th Congress, the bill would reduce the vesting requirement under the Railroad Retirement system from 10 years to five, eliminate the actuarial reduction for those who retire prior to age 62, increase surviving spouses' annuities, and eliminate the Railroad Retirement maximum.
H.R. 180 was introduced in the House by Bud Shuster (R-PA), who earlier this month announced he would retire from public office on January 31.
Regardless of the fact that there are minor differences in wording between H.R. 180 and H.R. 4844, the BLE has agreed to support the bill because the intent of the legislation has not changed.
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© 2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers