Memories of NARVRE’s Outgoing National President
Since the age of 48, Tom Dwyer has been a vital member of NARVRE. Tom started in Unit 109 at Minneapolis’ St. Paul. Initially, he was the Unit Legislative Representative as well as a term as president. He has seen NARVRE do some marvelous things under his guidance.
He reminds us of a time in the eighties when he was overwhelmed with pride for his unit. The members decided to challenge the State of Minnesota in a taxation lawsuit whereby their annuities were taxed under federal law U.S. Code 45, Sec.231m. The late Bob Jaeb was the plaintiff in the case, and according to Mr. Dwyer, his records were flawless. Tom also believes that the attorney for NARVRE Unit 109 was superb. They were a powerful team.
State Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III sent documents to the court defending federal law and NARVRE’s position on taxation and would not defend the State in Court. Then, Tax Court Judge Arthur Roemer ruled that specific federal legislation exempts benefits received under the act from any taxation other than from federal taxes. It was a fantastic win for NARVRE and could not have been done without the help of many men, now all deceased.
These men ultimately saved 32,000 railroad retirees and were refunded $2.9 million. The case lasted from 1988 to 1989. Tom shares this as one of his first victories working with NARVRE.
Tom Dwyer was also instrumental in another critical case. In 1984 anyone between the ages of 60 and 62 retiring after that year had their Tier 1 reduced to 20% at age 60 and 10% at age 61. With the passage of The Railroad Retirement and Survivors Improvement Act of 2001, effective in February 2002, the 30-60 initial amount was restored with no penalty. It was then that Mr. Dwyer was appointed National Legislative Director. He was then assigned to Washington D.C. to pass The Railroad Retirement and Survivors Improvement Act of 2001. With the help of many other railroad industries, the Act was passed, including receiving the 30-60 and NRRIT, which is the investment mechanism of the law.
Tom Dwyer became National President at the convention in Spokane, WA, in 2008. Since then, he has met with units across the country and helped organize units in Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Barstow, and Stockton. Mr. Dwyer has worked tirelessly and showed a dedication that inspired everyone at NARVRE. Thank you, Mr. Dwyer, for your many years of hard work and service.
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