US Railroad Retirement Board
The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is an independent agency in the executive branch of the Federal Government. The RRB's primary function is to administer comprehensive retirement-survivor and unemployment-sickness benefit programs for the nation's railroad workers and their families, under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. As part of the retirement program, the RRB also has administrative responsibilities under the Social Security Act for certain benefit payments and railroad workers' Medicare coverage. The RRB was created in the 1930s by legislation establishing a retirement benefit program for the nation's railroad workers. The railroad industry had pioneered private industrial pension plans, with the first industrial pension plan in North America established by a railroad in 1874. By the 1930s, railroad pension plans were far more developed than in most other businesses or industries, but these plans had serious defects which the Great Depression magnified. A three-member Board appointed by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate, leads the RRB. The President appoints one member upon the recommendation of railroad employers, another upon the recommendation of railroad labor organizations and the third, who is the Chairman, to represent the public interest. The Board Members' terms of office are 5 years and expire in different years. The President also appoints an Inspector General for the RRB.