Retirement ages: Social Security v Railroad Retirement

Dear Editor:

In their attempt to save Social Security our legislators have changed the age of retirement for many.

Thus, if a contributor was born after 1965 the full benefit would only be available at age 67.

At the very same time that many young people will see their Social Security benefit deferred, a strange change has occurred in the Railroad Retirement System.

Under pressure from owners of railroad companies and behind the scenes support from railroad unions, Congress has passed a very generous law, generous that is, to railroad employers and employees.

Though the Railroad Retirement System is in financial trouble, Congress has 1) reduced to age 60 the full retirement age for railroad employees and 2) decreased the employer portion needed to fund the program.

While these financially disastrous decisions were being made, Congress also agreed to appropriate $15 billion from the Social Security surplus to help the ailing condition of the Railroad Retirement System.

Thus, if you belong to one of the strong railroad unions, you will be allowed to retire with full benefits seven years before the rest of the population. Is that fair?

Frank X. Landrigan


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