[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 14, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 8183-8184]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2808]


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RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD

20 CFR Parts 200, 320, and 345

RIN 3220--AB65


Restructuring of the Office of Programs; Elimination of Regional 
Offices

AGENCY: Railroad Retirement Board.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Railroad Retirement Board (Board) proposes to amend its 
regulations to reflect the restructuring of the Office of Programs and 
the elimination of the Regional Offices.

DATES: Submit comments on or before April 16, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Address any comments concerning this proposed rule to Martha 
P. Rico, Secretary to the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 N. Rush 
Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marguerite P. Dadabo, Assistant 
General Counsel, (312) 751-4945, TTD (312) 751-4701.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Railroad Retirement Board has 
restructured its Office of Assessment and Training in a Board-approved 
reorganization plan. The Office of Assessment and Training, formerly a 
single component of the Office of Programs, is now intermingled with 
other subcomponents of the Office of Programs. Therefore, issues that 
were formerly under the jurisdiction of the Office of Programs/
Assessment and Training are now under the jurisdiction of the Office of 
Programs/Policy and Systems for purposes of the following regulations.
    Additionally, the Railroad Retirement Board underwent a 
reorganization of its regional offices in an effort to improve 
efficiency and eliminate duplication. As a result of this 
reorganization, the Railroad Retirement Board eliminated its Regional 
Offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Denver, Colorado, and Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania. The work done by the Regional Offices is now handled by 
the Field Services Headquarters staff.
    The Board, with the concurrence of the Office of Management and 
Budget, has determined that this is not a significant regulatory action 
under Executive Order 12866, as amended. Therefore, no regulatory 
impact analysis is required. There are no changes to the information 
collections associated with Parts 200, 320 and 345.

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Parts 200, 320, and 345

    Railroad employees, Railroad employers, Railroad retirement, 
Railroad unemployment.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Railroad Retirement 
Board proposes to amend title 20, chapter II, subchapter A, part 200 
and subchapter C, parts 320 and 345 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
as follows:

PART 200--GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

    1. The authority citation for part 200 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  45 U.S.C. 231f(b)(5) and 45 U.S.C. 362; 200.4 also 
issued under 5 U.S.C. 552; 200.5 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a; 
200.6 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552b; and 200.7 also issued under 
31 U.S.C. 3717.

    2. In Sec.  200.1, paragraph (a)(4) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  200.1  Designation of central and field organization.

    (a) * * *
    (4) The headquarters of the Board is in Chicago, Illinois, at 844 
North Rush Street. The Board maintains numerous district offices across 
the country in localities easily accessible to large numbers of 
railroad workers.
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  200.4, paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(5) are 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  200.4  Availability of information to the public.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) In the Office of Programs/Operations: The Retirement Claims 
Manual, RCM Circulars, Special Services Manual, Policy Decisions, 
Procedural Memoranda containing information on the adjudication of 
claims not contained in the Retirement Claims Manual or in RCM 
Circulars, Field Operating Manual (Parts I and VI), FOM Circulars and 
Memoranda, the Occupational Disability Rating Schedule, Adjudication 
Instruction Manual, memorandum instructions on adjudication, and 
circular letters of instruction to railroad officials.
    (2) In the Office of Programs/Policy and Systems: The Instructions 
to Employers, and Circular Letters to Employers.
* * * * *
    (5) Field offices shall also make available to the extent 
practicable such of these materials and indexes as are furnished them 
in the ordinary course of business.
* * * * *

[[Page 8184]]

PART 320--INITIAL DETERMINATIONS UNDER THE RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT 
INSURANCE ACT AND REVIEWS OF AND APPEALS FROM SUCH DETERMINATIONS

    4. The authority citation for part 320 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  45 U.S.C. 355 and 362(1).

    5. In Sec.  320.6, paragraph (c) introductory text is revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  320.6  Adjudicating office.

* * * * *
    (c) Field Service-Headquarters. Field Service-Headquarters staff 
are authorized to make determinations on any of the issues listed in 
paragraph (b) of this section. In addition, Field Service-Headquarters 
staff are authorized to make initial determinations on the following 
issues:
* * * * *
    6. In Sec.  320.10, paragraph (c) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  320.10  Reconsideration of initial determination.

* * * * *
    (c) Notice of decision. The adjudicating office shall, as soon as 
possible, render a decision on the request for reconsideration. If a 
decision rendered by a district office, as the adjudicating office, 
sustains the initial determination, either in whole or in part, the 
decision shall be referred to the appropriate Field Service-
Headquarters staff for review prior to issuance. The party who 
requested reconsideration shall be notified, in writing, of the 
decision on reconsideration no later than 15 days from the date of the 
decision or, where the Field Service-Headquarters staff has conducted a 
review of the decision, within 7 days following the completion of the 
review. If the decision results in denial of benefits, the claimant 
shall be notified of the right to appeal as provided in Sec.  320.12 of 
this part. If the decision results in payment of benefits, the base-
year employer(s) shall be notified of the right to appeal as provided 
in Sec.  320.12 of this part.
* * * * *

PART 345--EMPLOYERS' CONTRIBUTIONS AND CONTRIBUTION REPORTS

    7. The authority citation for part 345 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  45 U.S.C. 362(1).

    8. Revise Sec.  345.202 to read as follows:


Sec.  345.202  Consolidated employer records.

    (a) Establishing a consolidated employer record. Two or more 
employers that are under common ownership or control may request the 
Board to consolidate their individual employer records into a joint 
individual employer record. Such joint individual employer record shall 
be treated as though it were a single employer record. A request for 
such consolidation shall be made to the Director of Policy and Systems, 
and such consolidation shall be effective commencing with the calendar 
year following the year of the request.
    (b) Discontinuance of a consolidated employer record. Two or more 
employers that have established and maintained a consolidated employer 
record will be permitted to discontinue such consolidated record only 
if the individual employers agree to an allocation of the consolidated 
employer record and such allocation is approved by the Director of 
Policy and Systems. The discontinuance of the consolidated record shall 
be effective commencing with the calendar year following the year of 
the Director of Policy and Systems' approval.
    9. In Sec.  345.307 paragraphs (a) and (b) are revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  345.307  Rate protest.

    (a) Request for reconsideration. An employer may appeal a 
determination of a contribution rate computed under this part by filing 
a request for reconsideration with the Director of Policy and Systems 
within 90 days after the date on which the Board notified the employer 
of its rate of contribution for the next ensuing calendar year. Within 
45 days of the receipt of a request for reconsideration, the Director 
shall issue a decision on the protest.
    (b) Appeal to the Board. An employer aggrieved by the decision of 
the Director of Policy and Systems under paragraph (a) of this section 
may appeal to the Board. Such appeal shall be filed with the Secretary 
to the Board within 30 days after the date on which the Director 
notified the employer of the decision on reconsideration. The Board may 
decide such appeal without a hearing or, in its discretion, may refer 
the matter to a hearings officer pursuant to part 319 of this chapter.
* * * * *

    Dated: February 1, 2012.

    By Authority of the Board.
Martha P. Rico, for the Board,
Secretary to the Board.
[FR Doc. 2012-2808 Filed 2-13-12; 8:45 am]
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