GOP budget plan cuts federal work force, freezes pay for 5 years
House Republicans unveiled a plan that would cut the federal work force by 10 percent in the next three years through attrition and freeze federal pay for five years. The plan — called the Path to Prosperity — would also reform government workers' "generous benefit programs," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in a press conference. The House plan far exceeds the $1 trillion in cuts in President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget plan released in February. More
Health care, inflation retirees' top concerns
Money Management Executive Share
Uncertainty about fluctuating interest rates and rapidly spiraling health care costs were cited as the two largest fears of both retirees and pre-retirees, according to a new survey conducted. The survey, which polled 804 adults between 45 and 80 years of age, found that only 3 percent of retirees and 5 percent of those closing in on retirement have at least $1 million or more in savings and investments while a 18 percent and 6 percent, respectively, have less than $25,000 stashed away. More
Step increases threatened
Federal Times Share
Two leading House Republicans have set their sights on federal employees' step increases, and they aren't likely to give up until they make sweeping changes to the government's pay structure. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has already tried once to cancel step increases for the rest of the year, and is certain to try again. Issa said the fact that General Schedule employees are still getting those increases shows President Barack Obama's pay freeze is a sham. More
Study: Yoga halves irregular-heartbeat episodes
Yoga, already proven to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, can cut in half the risk of a common and potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat, according to a U.S. study. The small study was the first to examine the benefits of yoga on atrial fibrillation — a problem that is a leading cause of stroke and is most common in the elderly. More
When Alzheimer's turns violent
One minute, Sam Cohen, 80, points to photos of his kids and talks about how his son wanted to become an actor. The next minute, he unravels. Cohen, a former New Jersey taxi driver and ironworker, is convinced his family will steal his money. He talks about escaping to Israel. He ignores his grown children's pleas to take his medication — he tells them they've been brainwashed. And he threatens his wife, Haya. More
Take age out of hiring equation
Northern Colorado Business Journal Share
While millions of people of all ages lost jobs in the past several years, many would argue that older workers have borne the brunt of the economic downturn. Unable to afford retirement after the market meltdown, many baby boomers have been forced to keep working. As companies begin to rebuild, older candidates find themselves vying for jobs against younger, less-expensive talent. The job market remains fiercely competitive, and many older workers with years of experience remain unemployed or underemployed. More
Retirement confidence hits record low
Senior Housing News Share
More than a quarter of Americans say they are "not at all confident" about retirement, and only 13 percent say they are "very confident," according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey. The small proportion who are confident in their retirement is tied with the rate in 2009—the lowest on record in the 20 years since the survey has been conducted. The survey addresses saving habits, showing that about a third of workers and retirees had to draw from savings last year in order to pay for basic expenses. Those with 401(k) or individual retirement accounts were far less likely to tap into their savings, according to the survey. More
A frugal twist on travel: Try a house swap
Gina and Roger Freize had never heard of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. But when the owner of a San Miguel, Mexico, villa found them through a home exchange website, the couple vacated their San Diego condo and headed for Mexico. "What a gem," Gina Freize says of San Miguel, a central Mexico town popular with American retirees, artists and writers. As summer vacation season approaches (and the recession lingers), travelers like the Freizes look to home swaps for unique experiences and budget-friendly getaways. More
Epsilon data breach: Who has your email now?
SmartMoney (blog) Share
The massive data breach at Epsilon — where an unknown third-party accessed the marketing company's list of customer emails — has likely compromised thousands of consumers. The Dallas-based firm first alerted the public the week of March 28, but the list of companies impacted keeps on growing. The breach was limited to customer emails and names only, but that's still enough to leave thousands of customers vulnerable to a larger attack. Emails are only virtual addresses that provide scammers with an opportunity to contact you. The key is to recognize them if they come calling. More
A NARFE member asks about health premium payment
Question: I just retired under the Federal Employees Retirement System, but my monthly annuity is less than my monthly health insurance premium. How does the Office of Personnel Management collect the premium if it cannot withhold it from my annuity? More
Celebrate public service May 1-7
NARFE is a proud sponsor of Public Service Recognition Week, which will be marked May 1-7. Held yearly since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week celebrates the men and women who serve America as federal, state, county and local government employees. The goals of this year's observance are to educate citizens about the work of their government, to improve the perception and morale of federal workers and other public servants, and to help inspire a new generation of public servants. NARFE is a partner in the Public Employees Roundtable and the Partnership for Public Service, which co-host the event. For more information, go to www.publicservicerecognitionweek.org.
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The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 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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