2020 Railroad Experience Rating Proclamations, Monthly Compensation Base and Other Determinations

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 231 (Monday, December 2, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 231 (Monday, December 2, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66027-66028]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26009]
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RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD
2020 Railroad Experience Rating Proclamations, Monthly
Compensation Base and Other Determinations
AGENCY: Railroad Retirement Board.
ACTION: Notice.
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SUMMARY: As required by the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (Act),
the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) hereby publishes its notice for
calendar year 2020 of account balances, factors used in calculating
experience-based employer contribution rates, computation of amounts
related to the monthly compensation base, and the maximum daily benefit
rate for days of unemployment or sickness.
DATES: The balance in notice (1) and the determinations made in notices
(3) through (7) are based on data as of June 30, 2019. The balance in
notice (2) is based on data as of September 30, 2019. The
determinations made in notices (5) through (7) apply to the
calculation, under section 8(a)(1)(C) of the Act, of employer
contribution rates for 2020. The determinations made in notices (8)
through (11) are effective January 1, 2020. The determination made in
notice (12) is effective for registration periods beginning after June
30, 2020.
ADDRESSES: Secretary to the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 N.
Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-1275.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael J. Rizzo, Bureau of the
Actuary and Research, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 N. Rush Street,
Chicago, Illinois 60611-1275, telephone (312) 751-4771.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The RRB is required by section 8(c)(1) of
the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (Act) (45 U.S.C. 358(c)(1)) as
amended by Public Law 100-647, to proclaim by October 15 of each year
certain system-wide factors used in calculating experience-based
employer contribution rates for the following year. The RRB is further
required by section 8(c)(2) of the Act (45 U.S.C. 358(c)(2)) to publish
the amounts so determined and proclaimed. The RRB is required by
section 12(r)(3) of the Act (45 U.S.C. 362(r)(3)) to publish by
December 11, 2019, the computation of the calendar year 2020 monthly
compensation base (section 1(i) of the Act) and amounts described in
sections 1(k), 2(c), 3 and 4(a-2)(i)(A) of the Act which are related to
changes in the monthly compensation base. Also, the RRB is required to
publish, by June 11, 2020, the maximum daily benefit rate under section
2(a)(3) of the Act for days of unemployment and days of sickness in
registration periods beginning after June 30, 2020. Pursuant to section
8(c)(2) and section 12(r)(3) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act
(Act) (45 U.S.C. 358(c)(2) and 45 U.S.C. 362(r)(3), respectively), the
Board gives notice of the following:
    1. The balance to the credit of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance
(RUI) Account, as of June 30, 2019, is $157,488,983.12;
    2. The September 30, 2019, balance of any new loans to the RUI
Account, including accrued interest, is zero;
    3. The system compensation base is $4,207,873,508.12 as of June 30,
2019;
    4. The cumulative system unallocated charge balance is
($443,788,751.14) as of June 30, 2019;
    5. The pooled credit ratio for calendar year 2020 is zero;
    6. The pooled charged ratio for calendar year 2020 is zero;
    7. The surcharge rate for calendar year 2020 is zero;
    8. The monthly compensation base under section 1(i) of the Act is
$1,655 for months in calendar year 2020;
    9. The amount described in sections 1(k) and 3 of the Act as ``2.5
times the monthly compensation base'' is $4,137.50 for base year
(calendar year) 2020;
    10. The amount described in section 4(a-2)(i)(A) of the Act as
``2.5 times the monthly compensation base'' is $4,137.50 with respect
to disqualifications ending in calendar year 2020;
    11. The amount described in section 2(c) of the Act as ``an amount
that bears the same ratio to $775 as the monthly compensation base for
that year as computed under section 1(i) of this Act bears to $600'' is
$2,138 for months in calendar year 2020;
    12. The maximum daily benefit rate under section 2(a)(3) of the Act
is $80 with respect to days of unemployment and days of sickness in
registration periods beginning after June 30, 2020.
Surcharge Rate
    A surcharge is added in the calculation of each employer's
contribution rate, subject to the applicable maximum rate, for a
calendar year whenever the balance to the credit of the RUI Account on
the preceding June 30 is less than the greater of $100 million or the
amount that bears the same ratio to $100 million as the system
compensation base for that June 30 bears to the system compensation
base as of June 30, 1991. If the RUI Account balance is less than $100
million (as indexed), but at least $50 million (as indexed), the
surcharge will be 1.5 percent. If the RUI Account balance is less than
$50 million (as indexed), but greater than zero, the surcharge will be
2.5 percent. The maximum surcharge of 3.5 percent applies if the RUI
Account balance is less than zero.
    The ratio of the June 30, 2019 system compensation base of
$4,207,873,508.12 to the June 30, 1991 system compensation base of
$2,763,287,237.04 is 1.52277818. Multiplying 1.52277818 by $100 million
yields $152,277,818.00. Multiplying $50 million by 1.52277818 produces
$76,138,909.00. The Account balance on June 30, 2019, was
$157,488,983.12. Accordingly, the surcharge rate for calendar year 2020
is zero.
Monthly Compensation Base
    For years after 1988, section 1(i) of the Act contains a formula
for determining the monthly compensation base. Under the prescribed
formula, the monthly compensation base increases by approximately two-
thirds of the cumulative growth in average national wages since 1984.
The monthly compensation base for months in calendar year 2020 shall be
equal to the greater of (a) $600 or (b) $600 [1 + {(A--37,800)/
56,700{time} ], where A equals the amount of the applicable base with
respect to tier 1 taxes for 2020 under section 3231(e)(2) of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Section 1(i) further provides that if
the amount so determined is not a multiple of $5, it shall be rounded
to the nearest multiple of $5.
    Using the calendar year 2020 tier 1 tax base of $137,700 for A
above produces the amount of $1,657.14, which must then be rounded to
$1,655. Accordingly, the monthly compensation base is determined to be
$1,655 for months in calendar year 2020.
Amounts Related to Changes in Monthly Compensation Base
    For years after 1988, sections 1(k), 3, 4(a-2)(i)(A) and 2(c) of
the Act contain
[[Page 66028]]
formulas for determining amounts related to the monthly compensation
base.
    Under section 1(k), remuneration earned from employment covered
under the Act cannot be considered subsidiary remuneration if the
employee's base year compensation is less than 2.5 times the monthly
compensation base for months in such base year. Under section 3, an
employee shall be a ``qualified employee'' if his/her base year
compensation is not less than 2.5 times the monthly compensation base
for months in such base year. Under section 4(a-2)(i)(A), an employee
who leaves work voluntarily without good cause is disqualified from
receiving unemployment benefits until he has been paid compensation of
not less than 2.5 times the monthly compensation base for months in the
calendar year in which the disqualification ends.
    Multiplying 2.5 by the calendar year 2020 monthly compensation base
of $1,655 produces $4,137.50. Accordingly, the amount determined under
sections 1(k), 3 and 4(a-2)(i)(A) is $4,137.50 for calendar year 2020.
    Under section 2(c), the maximum amount of normal benefits paid for
days of unemployment within a benefit year and the maximum amount of
normal benefits paid for days of sickness within a benefit year shall
not exceed an employee's compensation in the base year. In determining
an employee's base year compensation, any money remuneration in a month
not in excess of an amount that bears the same ratio to $775 as the
monthly compensation base for that year bears to $600 shall be taken
into account.
    The calendar year 2020 monthly compensation base is $1,655. The
ratio of $1,655 to $600 is 2.75833333. Multiplying 2.75833333 by $775
produces $2,138. Accordingly, the amount determined under section 2(c)
is $2,138 for months in calendar year 2020.
Maximum Daily Benefit Rate
    Section 2(a)(3) contains a formula for determining the maximum
daily benefit rate for registration periods beginning after June 30,
1989, and after each June 30 thereafter. Legislation enacted on October
9, 1996, revised the formula for indexing maximum daily benefit rates.
Under the prescribed formula, the maximum daily benefit rate increases
by approximately two-thirds of the cumulative growth in average
national wages since 1984. The maximum daily benefit rate for
registration periods beginning after June 30, 2020, shall be equal to 5
percent of the monthly compensation base for the base year immediately
preceding the beginning of the benefit year. Section 2(a)(3) further
provides that if the amount so computed is not a multiple of $1, it
shall be rounded down to the nearest multiple of $1.
    The calendar year 2019 monthly compensation base is $1,605.
Multiplying $1,605 by 0.05 yields $80.25. Accordingly, the maximum
daily benefit rate for days of unemployment and days of sickness
beginning in registration periods after June 30, 2020, is determined to
be $80.
    By Authority of the Board.
Stephanie Hillyard,
Secretary to the Board.
[FR Doc. 2019-26009 Filed 11-29-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7905-01-P