Unclaimed Railroad Employee Retirement and Pension Benefits

The Railroad Retirement Act replaces Social Security for railroad employees, providing payment of retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Monthly benefits are payable to surviving widows, children, and certain other dependents at the time of death of a covered railroad employee. The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act also provides unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad employees, replacing unemployment insurance.

The Railroad Retirement Trust Fund is valued at approximately $18 billion. Currently 818,000 railroad retirees and heirs receive benefits. Records date back to 1937. Five percent of railroad employee addresses on file are not current, because workers or family members have not made the proper notification.

In addition, survivors of retired railroad employees who died between 1964 and 2001 may be entitled to receive a $2,000.00 life insurance benefit under a group life insurance policy issued to the Health and Welfare Plan of the Nation’s Railroads and the Railway Labor Organizations.

The Railroad Retirement Board makes no routine effort to locate surviving family members or lost employees with railroad service who have not filed for benefits, and railroad retirement benefits are payable only after an application has been filed. Because the funds are held by an agency of the U.S. Federal government, unclaimed benefits are not remitted to state unclaimed property administrators.

For a search of the unclaimed railroad life insurance benefit database and to obtain claims information on railroad employee retirement benefits, complete the form below.