The Railroad Retirement Trust Fund is valued in excess $16 billion. In 2004, retirement-survivor benefits of some $9 billion was paid to some 649,000 beneficiaries. Even though RRB's records date back to 1935, it is estimated that seven percent of railroad employee addresses on file are not current because many workers or family members have not made the proper change of address notification.
Also an annuity is payable to surviving widows and widowers, children and certain dependents if the employee had at least 10 years of railroad service, or 5 years performed after 1995.
The Railroad Retirement Board makes minimal effort to contact or to locate surviving family members or lost employees with railroad service who have not filed for benefits. These unclaimed benefits can be recovered only after an application has been filed. Some benefits such as the lump-sum death benefit must be claimed within two years of the death. As with other unclaimed assets being held by a Federal Government agency, these unclaimed benefits are not available in state database searches.
For information on both unclaimed railroad workers' life insurance and retirement benefits and a search in our databases, order our Search and Report. (There is a $15.00 fee for this Service.)