Railroad Retirement and Social Security

Jon R. Huibregtse

in American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034652
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038544 | DOI:
Railroad Retirement and Social Security

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This chapter examines the railroad unions' fight to create a railroad pension system, which was the legislative model of the Social Security Act. Passage of the Railroad Retirement Acts of 1934 and 1935 and the court challenges that they faced set important legal precedents, which helped insure that the Social Security Act would not be ruled unconstitutional. Senator Robert Wagner, who wrote the National Labor Relations Act and the Social Security Act, acknowledged the importance of the railroad legislation in fostering his desire to create a national retirement system, which he believed would foster economic stability by increasing the purchasing power of a growing segment of the population: the elderly.

Keywords: Social Security Act; Railroad Retirement Acts; U.S. Supreme Court; Congress

Chapter.  4903 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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