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Employee Guide To Railroad Retirement Benefits

Retirement, disability, and survivor benefits paid by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) are known as annuities. Annuities are made up of one or more components called tiers. Tier I is based on a combination of your railroad retirement credits and any social security credits you have acquired. It is computed using social security formulas, but with railroad retirement age and service requirements. Tier II is based on your railroad retirement credits only, and is computed under a separate formula. (*IB-2 pages 41-45) 

Employee Guide To Unemployment/ Sickness Benefits

The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act provides qualified railroad employees with benefits to restore part of their lost wages arising from periods of unemployment or sickness (including, for female employees, health conditions related to pregnancy, miscarriage, or childbirth).

Benefit payments are based on biweekly claims filed with the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). The funds to pay unemployment and sickness benefits are provided by payroll taxes on railroad employers only. Employees do not pay unemployment insurance taxes. (*UB-9 page 2)

The following describes the requirements for railroad unemployment and sickness benefits, the amounts payable, and how to claim them.

RUIA and Retirement Services

The Railroad Retirement Board offers access to a number of services through myRRB.

You can access myRRB with your account for instant access to a number of services any time.


  • Apply for Unemployment Benefits
  • Claim Unemployment Benefits
  • View RUIA Account
  • Claim Sickness Benefits
  • View Service & Compensation
  • Get Retirement Benefits Estimate


  • Request Documents – If you lose your Medicare Card or need copies of personal documents from the RRB, you can submit a request for a replacement Medicare Card, duplicate tax statement, monthly rate verification letter, and your service & compensation history.
  • Online Bill Payment – Pay your benefit bills with easy access to

Access myRRB


The RUIA provides for payment of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to eligible employees for days of unemployment and for the payment of sickness insurance (SI) benefits for days of sickness. Provided below are some frequently asked questions regarding those situations in which benefits are payable during the COVID-19 outbreak and based on relief legislation passed by Congress. Please note that the answers to these questions are based on the assumption that the employee meets all necessary eligibility requirements. Instructions on filing for benefits are provided following the questions and answers.

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