Certain military service (M/S) may be used in the same way as railroad service months to provide eligibility for, or to increase the amount of benefits payable to railroad employees and their survivors. Credit is given only for active duty service in the Armed Forces of the United States.
For M/S to be Creditable
Before entering active duty, the employee must have performed some creditable railroad service in the same calendar year, or the year just prior to the year, that the term of M/S began. If a railroad employer has already reported a service month in which M/S also occurred, the compensation for the M/S is still credited, up to the maximum amount reportable, for that month.
Credit is given for any month during which an employee was required (inducted, drafted, called up) to leave a railroad job to enter federal active duty M/S and for the months thereafter that the individual was required to remain in active duty.
Restrictions on M/S credits apply for employees who voluntarily left railroad work and enlisted, re-enlisted, or were commissioned to active duty. The active duty must begin during a time declared to be a war, a war service period, or a state of national emergency. The dates of the latest declared creditable periods are:
- September 8, 1939, through June 14, 1948 (World War II war and post-war service period).
- December 16, 1950, through September 14, 1978 (Korean Conflict, Vietnam Era and post-Vietnam war service period.
- August 2, 1990, and continuing (Gulf Wars state of national emergency).
Other Restrictions if Entry was Voluntary
- M/S of an individual in active duty status December 31, 1946, is creditable through the end of that term of service.
- Voluntary M/S entered January 1, 1947, through June 14, 1948, is creditable only through June 14, 1948, when the national emergency ended.
- Voluntary M/S entered June 15, 1948, through December 15, 1950, is creditable only IF, upon completing M/S, the employee returned to railroad service in the same year, or the next calendar year immediately following, without any nonrailroad employment between the M/S and the return to railroad service.
- Voluntary M/S, including re-enlistment, which began after June 1973, is creditable only through September 14, 1978, when the national emergency ended.
Reservist Active Duty
An individual's call from reserve status to active duty is considered involuntary entry, and it may be credited whenever the employee was required (called or recalled) to enter, and continue in, active federal duty. A call to active duty for training is included in this rule.
Local or State National Guard duty activities and assembly for drills or reserve meetings are not creditable M/S.
M/S That Is Not Creditable As Railroad Service
An employee's active duty M/S that does not meet the requirements described above cannot be used for added railroad service, but the M/S earnings will be considered as wages under the Social Security Act, as allowed by law, in the calculation of RRB benefits.
How to Receive M/S Credit
The employee, or his survivors, must submit proof that the M/S meets the crediting requirements. Official military service documents may be submitted to an RRB office at any time. The RRB will record and store the vital information and, upon request, will advise the number of months of additional railroad service credit.
Original documents will be returned promptly. Always include the railroad employee's name and social security number, a daytime telephone number, and return address with any material mailed to an RRB office.