Budget would freeze federal civilian pay
The Washington Post Share
President Obama's proposed 2012 budget recommends a 1.6 percent pay increase for members of the military but keeps intact a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal employees. The government's civilian employees are "patriots who work for the nation often at great personal sacrifice; they deserve our respect and gratitude," Obama's budget document said, but the ongoing freeze "reflects the shared sacrifices we must make." More
OPM speaks out: Why your tax withholding went up and your federal annuity check went down
As many readers know, many retirees are noticing an increase in the amount of federal tax being withheld from their monthly annuity payments. And, of course, this means that the amount of money you have to spend in your daily life is diminished as a result. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has apparently had a number of questions directed to that agency about this change and, in response, has distributed the following information. More
Battle over budget cuts raises specter of federal government shutdown
A government shutdown is on the table if Congress fails to reach an agreement on spending cuts, a freshman GOP congressman recently told Fox News, making him one of the few Republicans to publicly raise the possibility. Senate Democrats and House Republicans are currently at loggerheads over the size of a long-term spending bill designed to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. More
Intelligence officials expect 'belt tightening'
An array of intelligence officials warned of the possibility of increased budget trimming across the Intelligence Community, even as the threat landscape continues to change, with everything from the national debt to cybersecurity posing potential hazards. "The debt does pose a potential threat to our national security," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a House Intelligence Committee hearing. More
Fish oil protects against cardiovascular disease
Medical News Today Share
A Michigan Technological University scientist is finding a growing body of evidence suggesting that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil protect against cardiovascular disease. Fish oil has been shown to improve vascular blood flow by decreasing triglyceride levels and the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaques, and by reducing blood pressure, says Jason R. Carter, chair of the Department of Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education at Michigan Tech. More
Caregiver tax breaks
The Wall Street Journal Share
Family caregivers may be entitled to tax breaks. But to qualify, they have to pay a significant portion of the bills on the care recipient's behalf. According to a recent report, 43.5 million Americans look after someone age 50 or older, up 28 percent from 2004. On average, each caregiver spends about $5,500 a year providing that care. More
Create a name for yourself on Google
Whether you are looking for a new work opportunity or just want to network, here are five ways to be searchable on Google — and to quickly build your online brand. If you're ready for a midcareer makeover, you can get new clothes and a new haircut. But even more important, you must make yourself "Google-able." That means you need to create a smart social media footprint. More
Home upgrades with appeal for retirees
If the plan is to live out retirement years in the same home, adding universal design features will make aging in place safer and more comfortable. And if the house should be sold later on, buyers will appreciate how these upgrades anticipate their future needs. Unlike home improvements designed to make an immediate impression, universal design additions with the most sales appeal are those that go unnoticed until you point them out. More
Airline credit cards take off
For fliers annoyed by checked baggage fees and $3 in-flight Snickers, the airlines are touting a solution: Their branded, frequent flier credit cards, which now offer fee waivers and other perks, along with mileage rewards. But like everything else the airlines offer, these benefits also come with a price. More
Many common generic prescription pills beat brand names
Consumer Reports Share
They've become household names: Celebrex, Lipitor, Pristiq, Toviaz. The ads for these medications are always on television with a long and frightening list of warnings about side effects. Drugmakers shell out billions of dollars each year to target consumers with those ads and even more for promotions aimed at doctors, according to IMS Health, an industry group that monitors drug sales and marketing. More
A NARFE member asks about changing federal income tax withholding from annuity payments
Question: How can I reach the Office of Personnel Management by telephone to change the federal income tax withholding in my monthly annuity payment? More
Budget expert will address NARFE Legislative Training Conference
G. William Hoagland, a congressional budget expert, will speak at the NARFE Legislative Training Conference, March 5-8 in Arlington, Va. More
Let the 90th anniversary celebrations begin
NARFE celebrates its 90th anniversary Feb. 19. To help members mark the occasion, the association has three products for sale at nominal prices: a NARFE history book, a NARFE history PowerPoint presentation for chapters and federations to use at meetings and conventions, and a commemorative anniversary pin. NARFE is "90 Years Strong" in 2011. Show your pride and purchase these anniversary items today. More
Are you a member of NARFE? If not, join today!
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting and enhancing the health care and retirement benefits of federal employees and their survivors.
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