Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Amending the Railroad Retirement Act.
I HAVE TODAY signed S. 2395, amending the Railroad Retirement Act to permit early retirement on a reduced annuity by male railroad workers.
This bill contains provisions similar in most respects to those contained in the recent amendments to the Social Security Act, providing railroad employees with benefits similar to those enjoyed by those under the Social Security Act.
I have approved the legislation because I believe that it is appropriate and desirable to furnish railroad employees with such comparable benefits. I am concerned, however, with the actuarial deficiency in the railroad retirement system. It is already $73 million a year. This legislation adds an additional $2 million to this deficiency. In addition, the railroad unemployment insurance system is in such financial difficulty it has had to borrow more than $200 million in recent years.
I urge the Congress, in the next session, to take those steps which are-necessary to restore these systems to healthy financial self-sufficiency. I am instructing the Chairman of the Railroad Retirement Board, in consultation with representatives of the industry and of the labor organizations, to develop recommendations to assist the Congress to take the necessary action.
Note: As enacted, S. 2395 is Public Law 87-285 (75 Stat. 585).
The statement was released at Hyannis, Mass.
John F. Kennedy, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Amending the Railroad Retirement Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235674