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NEWS FROM NARFE

Federal pay freeze meets its long-awaited end
NARFE
Responding to President Barack Obama's recent executive action to raise federal pay by 1 percent and end the three-year federal pay freeze, Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), released the following statement: http://www.narfe.org/departments/home/articles.cfm?ID=3628.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Continuing health coverage into retirement
NARFE
Question: I want to retire next year so that I can care for my wife, who is currently undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of cancer. I meet age and service requirements to retire now but wasn’t planning on it this soon. My federal health insurance is critical, but I have less than the required five years of continuous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Is there an exception to the five-year requirement under the FEHBP that would allow me to continue my coverage into retirement?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Pay freeze ends: Federal employees to get 1 percent raise in 2014
FedSmith
President Barack Obama recently issued an executive order granting a 1 percent across-the-board pay increase to federal workers for 2014. The executive order had been expected. The raise was requested by the White House earlier in 2013. Congress did not take any steps to prevent the implementation of the 1 percent raise as it could have done on more than one occasion, including in the latest budget agreement. That budget agreement will require new federal employees to contribute more toward their future retirement pensions.
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5 federal-government stories to keep your eye on for 2014
Government Executive
The previous year provided some captivating federal news, from sequestration and the government shutdown to furloughs and fiscal-cliff debates. And that's just the budget-battle topics. With the government operating under a new budget, some of the stories about fiscal matters are likely to fade. But other issues are sure to linger well into 2014.
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Lawmakers order long-term cost-cutting plan for DOD headquarters staff
Federal Times
Congress is pressing the Defense Department to adopt a more ambitious strategy for trimming headquarters bloat. Under the newly signed 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, the Pentagon has six months to come up with a plan for streamlining the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and a host of other leadership offices from 2015 through 2024.
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Will OPM allow flexible-spending rollovers?
Federal News Radio
For many federal employees, the end of the year is a good time to take a closer look at their flexible-spending accounts. Feds get just a three-month grace period at the start of the year to use any leftover funds. Otherwise, under the federal "use it or lose it" rules, any unspent money employees set aside last year to pay for out-of-pocket health costs, such as prescriptions or co-pays, is forfeited. But a group of senators from states surrounding the Washington, D.C., area, wants to change that.
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FINANCES


When it's better to rent a home in retirement
MarketWatch
Many argue it's best to own a home in retirement instead of renting one. But there are exceptions. Owning is more predictable — even if you don't own your home free and clear. There's no landlord to increase your rent or tell you to move; with a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payments are set. That said, there are situations where signing a lease beats a mortgage — even during retirement.
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HEALTH


Staying healthy with technology
CNET
Living a healthy lifestyle is easier than ever before, thanks to an array of fitness apps, wearable devices and other smart products. Here's how you can harness the power of technology to lose those extra pounds.
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SECOND CAREERS


4 tempting second-act jobs for foodies
Next Avenue
As the demand for quality food products and services has grown, mouthwatering career options for foodies have diversified, too. To help you learn more about potential second-act foodie careers, Nancy Collamer interviewed Dorothy Williams-Neagle, co-founder of Goodfoodjobs.com, a site that lists full-time and flexible jobs, as well as internship opportunities, in a variety of food-related fields. Williams-Neagle recommends four types of jobs.
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TRAVEL


2014: The year ahead in air travel
CNN
It's unlikely commercial aviation stories in 2014 will surpass those of 2013 for pizzazz or significance. That's not to say it won't be fascinating. Here's what CNN is forecasting for the major players in the year ahead.
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CONSUMER TIPS


BBB's 10 resolutions to fight scammers in 2014
Daily Journal Online
With the New Year at hand, Better Business Bureau has 10 resolutions that can help you fight scammers, prevent identity theft and save money in 2014. "Consumers can save themselves time, trouble and money by creating a budget, researching businesses before they buy and learning to recognize the red flags of common scams," said Michelle L. Corey, BBB president and CEO.
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NARFE NewsWatch from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
Disclaimer: The articles that appear in NARFE NewsWatch are chosen from a variety of sources to reflect topics of interest to active and retired federal employees. With the exception of Federal Benefits Question of the Week and News From NARFE, an article's inclusion in NARFE NewsWatch does not imply that the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) endorses, supports or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.

Colby Horton, vice president of publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Caleb Gremmer, content editor, 469.420.2648   Contribute news
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