New Services Available Via the ERSNet System --- Sign-Up Now!!!
The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) continues to add new forms to the Employer Reporting System (ERSNet). Available now on the ERSNet system are the Forms G-88A.1, Request for Verification of Last Date Carried on Payroll and G-88A.2, Notice of Retirement and Request for Service Needed for Eligibility. Based on retirement applications filed by employees, the G-88A.1 is sent to verify the employee's date last worked while the G-88A.2 is released to determine benefit eligibility. Currently employers reply to these inquiries either via fax or mail. Prompt and accurate reply to these forms from employers ensures proper payment of benefits to employees. We urge all employers who currently receive these forms via paper to sign-up for these services. It's fast, simple, accurate and efficient.
To sign-up for these new services download the latest Form BA-12, Application for Employer Reporting Internet Access.
Elimination of Paper Form BA-3
The RRB will eliminate the use of the paper Form BA-3, "Annual Report of Credible Compensation", beginning with the 2013 service and compensation reports that are due to the RRB no later than February 28, 2014. Paper filers should now use the Employer Reporting System (ERSNet) to file the annual BA-3 report. ERSNet offers users benefits not available to employers using other filing methods including automatic system edits to identify errors, pre-filled data fields, the ability to create summary reports, automated email form/file receipt responses and file upload capability. If you use the ERSNet system, you do not need to file Form G-440 because the system authenticates the report. Note - We previously expanded the BA-3 to allow address information to be included on this report. Including addresses on the BA-3 report allows you to combine the information on one report and eliminates the need to file a separate BA-6a, Address Report.
For more information about this change, please see Program Letter 2013-05, "Elimination of the Use of Paper Form BA-3, Annual Report of Creditable Compensation".
No Surcharge in RUIA Contribution Rate For 2014
The RUIA Experience Rating System provides for the addition of a surcharge to the RUIA contribution rate if the accrual balance in the RUI Account falls below certain levels as of June 30 of each year. On June 30, 2013, that account had an accrual balance of $204.2 million. The current thresholds are $144.8 million for the 1.5 percent surcharge and $72.4 million for the 2.5 percent surcharge. Since the RUI Account balance is greater than the indexed amount for $100 million there will be no surcharge for calendar year 2014.
Form ID-40R/S Released
In early October, we released Form ID-40R/S, "Annual Notice under the RUIA". The Form ID-40R/S notifies employers of their Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) contribution rate to be used during the period of January 1 through December 31, 2014. If you have not received the form by late October, please contact the Quality Reporting Service Center at the telephone number or email address shown above. This notice is also available on the ERSNet system.
Reminder: RUIA Deposits
Please remember to use your new 2013 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 2012. The maximum earnings subject to RUIA contribution for 2013 is $1,405 per month. If you did not receive the notification please contact us at the number or e-mail above.
Online RRB Services for UI Benefits
In order to obtain benefits as quickly as possible, claimants should file their applications for unemployment (UI) benefits, as well as their subsequent biweekly UI and sickness claims, online. We ask that you encourage your employees to establish an online account while still employed so an account is ready if they ever need to apply for benefits or use other Internet services.
To establish an RRB Internet Service account, go to the RRB's website at www.rrb.gov and click on the "Benefit Online Services" link and follow the directions. Establishing an online account will minimize the possibility for delay in the event an employee files for unemployment or sickness benefits.
Optional Service Month Codes
The RRB releases Forms GL-99, "Employer's Deemed Service Months Questionnaire", to employers seeking information about employment relationships. To eliminate our need to request the information, employers can provide it by using optional service month codes on their Form BA-3, "Annual Report of Creditable Compensation", to report employment relation information in non-worked months. The optional service month codes to be used including "0" are as follows:
1 = worked
8 = not worked but has employment relation
9 = not worked and has no employment relation
0 = not worked and employment relation is unknown
Please refer to the Part V, Chapter 3 of the Employer Reporting Instructions for additional information on how to use the codes.
The RRB Annuity EStimate OPeration (AESOP) was released earlier this month. AESOP provides annuity estimates for all of the eligible employees for railroad employers and their subsidiaries. This type of information can be very helpful with retirement planning. If you do not currently receive AESOP for your organization and you want to receive it in the coming years, contact QRSC at the number or e-mail address listed above.
RRB Job Placement Service
The RRB operates a free job placement service with the primary purpose of helping experienced railroad workers find new employment. We encourage employers who have no web site to send their current job vacancies to the nearest RRB office for listing on the RRB website. Employers that have a website with a job vacancy listing should consider establishing a link with the RRB site.
The RRB also maintains a Central Register listing of experienced railroad workers by craft. Contact your nearest RRB Field Office at 1-877-772-5772 for a list.
RRBVision Training Videos
The RRB's Quality Reporting Service Center has a series of training videos to enhance your reporting knowledge in our video library called RRBVision. The video topics address numerous issues including: basic information for new employers and Secretary-Treasurers: creditable compensation and service months; vacation pay; and pay-for-time-lost.
These as well as others can be found on the RRB's website at http://www.rrb.gov/rrbvision/employers.asp. Next click on the name of the video you want to view. If you have video topic suggestions, please call or e-mail QRSC with you suggestion.