In the same period when the national government was adopting and amending the Social Security Act setting up an old-age retirement system for covered workers, it was establishing a retirement system for railway employees. The first Railroad Retirement Act, passed in 1934,1 was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.2 The present system rests on an act of 1935,3 radically amended in 1937,4 with some relatively minor amendments passed later. The two systems have a few points in common, but they present so many differences that it seems necessary to give an independent description of the railroad retirement system.
The first question that naturally arises with respect to a special system of this type is, "To whom does it apply?" The way the act is drawn places the major answer in the definition of the employers covered by the act. They are:5
1. Carriers, which include express companies, sleeping car companies, and carriers by railroad subject to Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act.
2. Any company which is directly owned or controlled by one or more such carriers or under common control therewith and which operates any equipment or facility or performs service (except trucking service, casual service, and the casual operation of equipment or facilities) in connection with the transportation of passengers or property by railroad, or the receipt, delivery, elevation, transfer in transit, refrigeration or icing, storage, or handling of property transported by railroad.
48 Stat. 1283.
Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton R. Co., 2 95) U.S. 330 ( 1935).
49 Stat. 967.
50 Stat. 307.
50 Stat. 307.


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Relief and Social Security
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