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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Correcting Railroad Retirement Payments for Error in January 2000 Cost-of-Living Increase

(Posted May 29, 2001)

Question 102: Will Railroad Retirement payments be corrected to reflect the right Cost-of-Living increase in January 2000? If so, when will the adjustment be made?

Answer: Most Federal pension programs have an automatic yearly increase for changes to the Cost-of-Living. The changes are tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There was a "computer error" in late 1999, which caused the increase in the Cost-of-Living to be slightly understated. That resulted in millions of Federal benefit checks that were incorrectly adjusted in January 2000. Included were Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Federal Civil Service.

The Railroad Retirement Board intends to make the correction starting with the scheduled August 1 payments. They also will send out special one-time adjustments covering back payments since January 2000. The adjustments are small, averaging just over $1 a month, with the back payment averaging around $20.

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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