Welcome to our 2017 Informational Conference Program.
You are an essential part of our efforts to help railroad workers and their families understand the many important benefits available to them under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts, and we greatly appreciate you being here today.
This year we mark the 60th anniversary of the RRB's Informational Conference Program, which was started by the Office of the Labor Member back in 1957. Since then, it has provided a valuable platform for keeping union officers up-to-date on the benefits available under the railroad retirement system. Thousands of railroad labor representatives have attended these conferences over the years and have achieved a much better understanding of the provisions and financing of the railroad retirement and unemployment insurance systems, and of the administrative organization of the RRB. In turn, they have helped make our administration of these programs more effective by passing on to their fellow railroad employees the information they acquire at these conferences.
During this conference, some of our field managers will describe and discuss the benefits available under the agency's retirement-survivor, unemployment-sickness, and Medicare programs. I encourage you to meet and get to know our representatives here today and those in the RRB offices in your local areas. They are experts on these programs and will be happy to help you with any railroad retirement questions or problems you may have.
Today you will also receive various informational materials that describe the RRB's programs in detail. Please take the time to read this material so that you will be knowledgeable about the benefits available to railroad workers and their families. The RRB counts on you to help keep your fellow union members informed of these benefit provisions, so keep your Informational Kit handy as a source of reference when questions arise. Please know that you have an important role in ensuring that each and every railroad employee, retiree, and dependent receives the benefits to which he or she is entitled, and we grateful for your invaluable assistance.
Again, thank you very much for your interest in the Informational Conference program, and for taking the time to meet with us here today.
Walter A. Barrows