NARFE NewsWatch
Apr. 8, 2014

Legislative Action Center invites activists
NARFE
NARFE support for three recently introduced bills is best demonstrated when members use our Legislative Action Center to share their support with their own representative. Below are links to the three newest letters in our Action Center.

  1. Support a bill by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., to provide federal employees with a 3.3 percent pay raise, H.R. 4306;
  2. Support a bill by Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., to use the CPI-E to calculate annual COLAs, H.R. 4202;
  3. Support a bill by Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., to provide back pay to federal employees furloughed as a result of sequestration, H.R. 3744.
Also, the newly redesigned Protect America's Heartbeat (PAH) Toolkits are available online at narfe.org/heartbeat/resources.cfm. The larger Toolkit has been divided into six smaller Toolkits, allowing for easier updating and online access for NARFE members. NARFE leaders should take advantage of the new materials as they prepare to visit senators during the Easter/Passover recess, April 13 through 26.More

FEHBP enrollment for spouse
NARFE
Question: I retired under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), and my wife is retiring from teaching in a few months. Can I add her to my Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plan at that time, or am I required to add her during Open Season?More

'Good government starts with good people'
The News Journal
Recently, the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to revitalize the federal government, and Booz Allen Hamilton, the international consulting firm, released a report titled "A New Civil Service Framework."More

Federal pay raise increase faces long odds
Federal Times
Legislation that would give federal employees a 3.3 percent pay raise next year is unlikely to pass, according to lawmakers. However, Rep Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act on March 26, is optimistic about longer term success. While admitting that the legislation faces an uphill climb this year, multiyear battles ending in success are not uncommon in Congress.More

Federal agencies shed 10,000 jobs in March
Government Executive
The federal government lost more than 10,000 jobs in March, continuing a downward trend in the size of the civilian workforce over the past two years. About 1,200 of the job losses last month were at the U.S. Postal Service, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the rest of the federal government lost about 9,000. Uncle Sam has cut 85,000 jobs in the past 12 months.More

Further cost controls sought in federal employee health care plan
The Washington Post
The Office of Personnel Management has urged companies participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to boost their efforts to hold down the cost of prescription drugs, which it has often cited as a major driver of premium increases, as well as to encourage enrollees to participate in wellness programs.More

Senators press OPM for accountability on pension processing
Federal Times
The Office of Personnel Management must do a better job of processing pension applications and modernizing its archaic systems, a group of senators said in an April 4 letter to OPM chief Katherine Archuleta.More

One-sentence financial rules
The Motley Fool via USA Today
There are 56,956 personal finance books on Amazon.com. In aggregate, they contain more than 3 billion words. This seems absurd, because 99 percent of personal finance can be summarized in nine words: Work a lot, spend a little, invest the difference. Master that, and the other 2.999 billion words are filler.More

Top 10 tips for a healthy heart
The News Tribe
There are many steps people can take to try to prevent heart disease. You can start by concentrating on key lifestyle areas. Here are 10 things you can do to improve yours.More

Volunteering in national parks: Jobs you can do in 2014
USA Today
Whether you're a recent retiree with time on your hands or a traveler in search of an opportunity to give back, consider volunteering at one of America's 401 national park units. You won't be paid, but you'll enjoy new acquaintances, wildlife in its natural habitat, sparkling night skies — and a sense of performing a meaningful service.More

Starting your second act: How to choose your next career
Sun Journal
The days when professionals would spend their entire professional lives with a single firm are largely a thing of the past. In fact, many people not only switch companies multiple times before retirement, but some even switch professions before retiring.More

Five basic tips to consider before hiring a landscaper
Bermuda Sun
Although lately it has been hard to believe, spring is here and many of us are planning our planting and lawn care. If you have decided to hire help and are in the market for a landscaper, whether it is for a big job or small, here are five basic tips to consider first.More