Military service credit
Question: I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System and was called to active duty for a year and a half. I have now returned to my civilian position. Do I receive credit for my military service in the computation of my annuity?
Federal unions, except postal groups, grow as other labor organizations decline
The Washington Post
The story of America's declining union membership is a continuing saga that makes labor leaders wince. The latest chapter in that story was revealed last week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released figures showing the percentage of workers who are union members now stands at just 11.3 percent, the lowest level since 1983, when the government began collecting comparable data. But by most indications, federal unions, except for the Postal Service, are strong and growing.
A new retiree's to-do list
Don't you hate it when you get an email or other correspondence that starts out, "This is a friendly reminder..."? It usually means you’re close to your credit limit or your payment hasn't arrived on time. If you are a recent retiree, you may wish you could send the Office of Personnel Management a friendly reminder that you need your first retirement check to pay your monthly bills, and you'd like what you're entitled to, not some lesser "interim" amount. Unfortunately, the reality is that it can take OPM five to eight months to process your retirement application, and in the interim you may receive only partial payments.
Federal-union officials talk about budget battles
The Washington Post
Two of the nation's largest federal labor groups will host legislative conferences in Washington D.C., in hopes of influencing the upcoming budget battles relating to sequestration, a possible government shutdown and the debt ceiling. All of those issues involve serious stakes for government employees and agencies, and lawmakers in recent weeks have expressed little hope that Congress can reach a deal to avoid the first of those threats, the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.
Survey: Federal managers retain wrong employees
Federal employees worry their agencies are allowing their best employees to leave public service while retaining poor performers, according to a new report. Less than a quarter of federal workers believe their organization "addresses poor performers effectively," the Merit Systems Protection Board found in a workforce survey. Only 41 percent said their organization retains the best employees.
Internal Revenue Service offers new services for tax season
The Internal Revenue Service has opened the 2013 filing season by announcing a variety of enhanced products and services to help taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns by the April 15 deadline. New and expanded services for taxpayers this year include a redesigned IRS.gov web site which the IRS says is easier to navigate and has improved service options, including more video-conferencing assistance sites and additional social media tools. In addition, the IRS has stepped up its enforcement efforts to protect taxpayers from refund fraud and identity theft.
Exercise can add fun to retirement
Jake Chesson was approaching retirement and sensed something had to change. An avid cyclist, he pushed himself hard on his bike and found himself dreading riding. His solution: He started a 'Meetup' social club online for people who want to have fun exercising outdoors. They ride bikes, hike, kayak and go ice skating. One thing they don't dwell on is how fast they go. They take breaks. Sometimes, they even sip a glass of wine.
Three jobs you didn't know you could do in retirement
Does the thought of working in retirement have you bummed that you'll be stuck doing a boring, low-level job? If so, it's time to update your thinking. As a career coach and author of the new book, "Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement," Nancy Collamer found that there are a growing number of fun and unconventional options for part-time work in retirement.
Research suggests benefits to trying a new challenge
On a recent winter morning, sunlight spills over the paintings, books and mementos that fill Shirley Joel's New York apartment, where she sits editing video on her iMac computer. There's nothing remarkable about this scene — tens of thousands of people use Apple's Final Cut Pro software every day in America — except for one thing: Joel is 84 years old.
Best US airport? Travel agents choose Atlanta
When it comes to plugging in and dining out, Atlanta has the best airport in the U.S. It's also tops when it comes to connecting to another flight and finding amenities such as a mini-spa or specialty shop to while away the time before takeoff.
Bank card scam: Skimming devices target consumers at the ATM, gas pumps
In 2011, roughly 11.6 million adults — 1 out of every 20 — in the U.S. were victims of identity theft, according to the Pleasanton-based financial industry consulting firm Javelin Strategy and Research. And in the last few years, skimmers — criminals who use fake card swipe machines to steal card information — have stolen millions from unsuspecting consumers at gas pumps and ATMs alike. It's part of an identity theft industry that cost consumers, businesses and banks $18 billion in 2011.
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