As of June 2021, Form BA-6 is now letter-sized to reduce printing and mailing costs. Because of this formatting change, guidance previously printed on the form detailing how to review your BA-6 is available below. This includes information explaining a new section on the form showing RUIA Earnings.
Form BA-6 (no fields entered)
How to review your Form BA-6:
When you receive your Form BA-6, first check your name, address, birth date, and sex shown on the top of the form. If your birthdate is 99-9999 and your sex code is U(nknown), we are verifying your SSN with the Social Security Administration. If the personal identification information or address is not correct, please contact the RRB field office serving your area as shown on your BA-6.
Second, check the section labeled Service and Compensation on Record for Review Period, which shows the year(s) of creditable compensation, separation allowance/severance payment, and service month profile.
- The Year represents the years in the current four-year review period.
- Creditable Compensation is the amount of your compensation, including sick pay and miscellaneous compensation, that is taxable under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) and creditable for tier I benefit purposes, under the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA). The tier I maximum for a given year limits the amount reportable for that year. The reportable tier I maximum for 2020 is $137,700.00. Tier II earnings are not shown on this form but are used for tier II benefit purposes. The reportable tier II maximum for 2020 is $102,300.00.
- Separation Allowance/Severance Payment is compensation paid by an employer to an employee who agrees to relinquish job rights to obtain employment. If you received a separation allowance or a severance payment, the Taxable Amount is the portion of the gross payment that is taxed by the IRS. The Compensation Amount is the amount of your separation allowance/severance payment included in regular compensation. We use the taxable and compensation amounts to calculate a special benefit called the Separation Allowance Lump-Sum Amount (SALSA). A SALSA payment may be made upon retirement if, among other factors, tier II taxes were withheld from the separation allowance payment but the full payment will not be used for tier II benefit credits.
- Service Months Profile – A reported service month is any part of a calendar month for which you received compensation for service performed for a railroad employer. We may credit or deem an additional service month(s) if you did not work in all 12 months of the year, however, you must have sufficient yearly tier II compensation and an employment relationship in the months not reported. Reported, deemed, and military service creditable as compensation months in any calendar year can never exceed a total of 12 months. You will not receive credit for reported or deemed service months after retirement, severance, separation, resignation, discharge, or death. If your employer later adjusts your amount of creditable compensation, the number of deemed service months may change.
Third, check the Career Total Retirement Record section, which shows your lifetime railroad service and compensation record, including any creditable military service months and employee contributions amount.
- The Military service months block shows the total number of active military service months in the armed forces that are creditable under the RRA, and have been counted as railroad service compensation. A credited or deemed service month cannot also be counted as a military service month that is creditable as compensation. Note: When a period of military duty cannot be credited as railroad service, those earnings may be used in the calculations as social security credits.
- The Employee Contributions amount is the difference between the railroad retirement payroll taxes you paid under the RRTA and the social security payroll taxes you would have paid if all of your creditable railroad service had been covered under the Social Security Act. When you retire, you may be able to use this amount to determine a tax-free portion of your railroad retirement annuity payment. If you retired during 2020, this certificate may have additional contributions not included in Item 3 of the last Form RRB-1009-R tax statement we sent you. We will provide any changes to your employee contributions amount on your 2021 Form RRB-1099-R. Note: The employee contributions amount does not represent a savings plan or an account from which you may withdraw funds for personal use.
Check the section labeled Your 2020 Reporting Employer(s), which can show up to three employers who reported 2020 service and compensation for you.
Finally, check the 2020 RUIA Earnings section, which shows whether you are qualified for unemployment or sickness benefits in benefit year 2021 (beginning on July 1, 2021) under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA). Your qualification status for benefit year 2021 is based upon your RUIA qualifying earnings from 2020. If you were first employed in the rail industry in 2020, you must also have at least five months of creditable railroad service in 2020 to qualify for benefit year 2021.
- Qualifying Earnings - To qualify for normal railroad unemployment or sickness benefits in the benefit year beginning July 1, 2021, an employee must have had railroad earnings of at least $4,137.50 in calendar year 2020, counting no more than $1,655 for any month.
The amounts on this BA-6 reflect the service and compensation that was in your record on the day that the BA-6 was certified. If your employer later adjusts your compensation and/or service months, the amounts shown on this form can change.
You can request a Service & Compensation Record online by clicking on the button labeled Request Documents at RRB.gov/myRRB.
Note: Compensation amounts on the BA-6 may be less than the amounts on your year-end payroll stub and Internal Revenue Service W-2. Those forms show your local taxable wages, which may be different from what is reportable to the RRB. If no service and compensation are listed for a year, none was reported.