Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board

Overview

Below are the websites where employees can learn more regarding the Social Security Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board. The Railroad Retirement Board information is applicable to employees of railroad-employers.

Social Security Administration

http://www.ssa.gov/

Railroad Retirement Board

https://secure.rrb.gov

The Railroad Retirement Board's website (www.rrb.gov) illustrates prospective benefits.

Employees with at least 10 years (120 months) of creditable railroad service, or at least five years (60 months) of creditable railroad service after 1995, are vested in Railroad Retirement and eligible for retirement and disability annuities.

How it Works

Railroad employees and employers pay a Tier I tax which is the same as the Social Security tax. Employees and employers also pay a Tier II tax which contributes to financing railroad retirement benefit payments in excess of coverage provided under Social Security. Employees and employers also pay a Tier III tax which is the same as the Medicare tax for those under Social Security. Earnings subject to these taxes are determined annually.

2015 Employee Tax Withholding:

Tier I – 6.2 percent (Maximum earnings taxed is $118,500)

Tier II – 4.9 percent (Maximum earnings taxed is $88,200)

Medicare (Tier III is a term that only UPRR uses internally) – 1.45 percent (All earnings taxed).

Additional Medicare - 0.9 percent on all earnings greater than $200,000

2015 Employer Tax Withholding:

Tier I – 6.2 percent (Maximum earnings taxed is $118,500)

Tier II – 13.1 percent (Maximum earnings taxed is $88,200)

Medicare - 1.45 percent (no earnings limit).