The deadline for filing your 2015 Form BA-3, Annual Report of Creditable Compensation and BA-11, Report of Gross Earnings is February 29, 2016. If you do not use the Employer Reporting System (ERSNet), and are submitting your reports through an alternative automated process, you must complete a Form G440, "Report Specifications Sheet" with these (and all other) reports submitted to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Employers who do not have creditable service and compensation to report for 2015; or who have no employees with social security numbers ending with the digits "30" to report on the BA-11 must also file an electronic "No Employee" for either or both reports to advise the RRB.
Note - If you report new employee addresses or employee address changes on the Form BA-3, you do not need to submit a separate Form BA-6a, Form BA-6 Address Report.
Reminder: Paper Forms BA-4, BA-6a & BA-11 Have Been Eliminated
The RRB has eliminated the use of the paper Forms BA-4, Report of Creditable Compensation Adjustment, BA-6a, Form BA-6 Address Report, and BA-11, Report of Gross Earnings. Paper filers should now use the Employer Reporting System (ERSNet) or another automated process to file those reports.
Form BA-9 Added to the Employer Reporting System (ERSNet)
The RRB is pleased to announce Form BA-9, 'Report of Separation Allowance & Severance Pay', has been added to the ERSNet system. We are rolling out the new application gradually, starting with a limited number of employers so that we can work closely with you in using it and preparing accurate responses. If you want to be among the first to participate, contact QRSC.
Creditable Sick Pay Compensation
Creditable Sick Pay is compensation paid under a plan or agreement available on the same basis to employees in a like class and payable for days not worked on account of injury, illness, pregnancy, or childbirth. The term "Creditable Sick Pay" refers to an RRB-approved Supplemental Sick Pay Plan such that these sickness benefit payments are: limited to Tier I tax; creditable as Tier I compensation only (No Tier II); does not yield service months; and is not creditable as compensation under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
If you are making sickness payments to your employees through a plan that is not approved by the RRB, it should be reported as Tier I, Tier II and RUIA compensation on your annual reports. To have a plan approval determination, submit the plan to: Railroad Retirement Board, Director of Policy & Systems, 844 N. Rush Street, Chicago IL, 60611-1275. If you have questions, contact a QRSC Specialist.
Reminder: RUIA Deposits
Please remember to use your new 2016 contribution rates when calculating your RUIA deposits. We notified you of your rates on Forms ID-40R/S which were sent out to all employers in October 2015. The maximum earnings subject to RUIA contribution for 2016 is $1,455 per month. If you did not receive the notification please contact us at the number or e-mail above.
Return to Railroad Service
Annuitants who return to work for employers covered under the Railroad Retirement Act are not entitled to retirement annuities from the RRB. If you are incorrectly crediting former employees with service for any payment not associated with actual work or a negotiated agreement, you may be subjecting them to overpayments. Compensation is creditable when paid, regardless of when the employee retires or resigns. However, no additional service months can be credited after the employee stops working and relinquishes his/her rights to work for your company. If service is reported for a former employee after his /her retirement annuity began, you will receive a Form GL-132, "Notice of Service After Annuity Beginning Date".
RRB Employment Services
There are three basic employment services operated by the RRB: 1) the Central Register, 2) the Job Vacancy Listing, and 3) the RRB online listing of available railroad jobs with links to employer employment websites. For an explanation of each employment service as well as how these services can benefit you as an employer, see Program Letter UI-C-214.
Requests for Employee Information
The RRB has received several requests for employee information that we are prohibited from releasing without the employee's consent because it is Personally Identifiable Information (PII). One exception to the rule is when the RRB determines the release of the requested information is clearly in the interest of the employee or their estate. Any request for employee information must be received in writing and include an explanation of the reason for the request and how the information will be used. Contact the Quality Reporting Service Center (QRSC) for more information.
RRB Review of Settlement Agreements
Employers who negotiate Pay-for-Time-Lost settlements with their employees must adhere to federal regulations in order for the service and compensation to become creditable under the RRA. The RRB requests that employers submit copies of all settlement agreements to QRSC for review so that we can ensure that the agreement meets the minimum requirements.
Deemed Service Optional Codes
In order to eliminate Form GL-99, 'Employer's Deemed Service Months Questionnaire', from being sent to your company for manual handling, you have the option of reporting the employment relationship on Form BA-3, by using these service month codes:
8 = Employee did not work but has an employment relationship
9 = Employee did not work and has no employment relationship
See the Employer & Labor Reporting Instructions for Form BA-3 on the proper reporting of these codes.
2016 U.S. RRB Tax Rates and Compensation Bases
|Employee Tier I
|Employer Tier I
|Employee Tier I
|Employer Tier II
|Employer Unemployment (RUIA)
|$1,455.00 per month
|Employer Unemployment (RUIA) Maximum
|$1,879.00 per month
USPS Changes RRB's Zip plus Four
The Railroad Retirement Board's zip code plus four has been changed by the United States Postal Service. Instead of '2092', the new number is now '1275'. Effective immediately, correspondence addressed to the Quality Reporting Service Center and other Departments of the RRB should contain the new zip plus four number (60611-1275).