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NEWS FROM NARFE

NARFE salutes America's armed forces in honor of Memorial Day
NARFE
Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) and former U.S. Air Force service member, released the following statement in honor of Memorial Day 2013:

"The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association salutes America's men and women in uniform. Our nation's federal employees long have had the privilege of serving alongside members of the armed forces at home and abroad. We stand in solidarity with them and honor the loss and sacrifice of our uniformed colleagues. To America’s servicemen and women, who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice, a grateful nation remembers you."
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


TSP death benefits
NARFE
Question: I am over age 70-1/2 and am receiving the minimum distribution from my Thrift Savings Plan account and some of my individual retirement accounts. What does my wife need to do about these accounts when I die? She is already listed as my primary beneficiary.
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Treasury taps federal retirement coffers again
Government Executive
The Treasury Department once again is tapping federal retirement programs to buy the government more time to increase the nation's debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew recently announced the extraordinary measures the government will use to avoid a default through the summer, including tapping into and suspending investments into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and halting the daily reinvestment of the government securities (G) fund, the most stable offering in the Thrift Savings Plan's portfolio.
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VA to use overtime to cut claims backlog
FederalDaily
The Department of Veterans Affairs this week said it would mandate overtime as part of its effort to speed up elimination of its disability compensation claims backlog. In a May 15 announcement, VA said it would require overtime for claims processors in its 56 regional benefits offices through the end of fiscal 2013 as part of a "surge" to address the backlog.
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Senior exec bonuses targeted
Government Executive
Senior executives would not be eligible to receive bonuses during sequestration under a new bipartisan bill. The Senate legislation, sponsored by a Democrat, would prohibit agencies from doling out performance awards to members of the Senior Executive Service while the sequester is in effect. Current law requires the government to pay annual performance awards to eligible senior executives, the top career civil servants in federal agencies. The government spent more than $340 million on cash bonuses for SES employees between 2008 and 2011, according to Office of Personnel Management data compiled by the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
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Pentagon furloughs to begin July 8
FederalNewsRadio.com
The Pentagon has reduced the number of days it will require its civilian workforce to be furloughed due to sequestration from 14 to 11 and is expanding its list of employees who will be exempt from the cash-saving measure. The decision means roughly 680,000 DoD civilians will be required to take one day off per week without pay, cutting by half the number of furlough days DoD originally projected earlier this year when it was contending with both the prospect of a full-year continuing resolution and sequestration.
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In Benghazi and beyond, federal workers who died on the job are remembered
The Washington Post
Let's take a break from the raging discord that has dominated Washington lately by remembering federal employees who died abroad in service to their country. With so much attention focused on what the government has done wrong, we'll end the week with words about government workers who died trying to do right. Actually, four of them are central to one of the controversies, last year's attack on the American post in Benghazi, Libya. But this piece will focus on the individuals who lost their lives and not on the political messaging that still haunts their deaths.
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FINANCES


Healthy savings, no debt but worried about retirement
Los Angeles Times
Call it retirement anxiety, or maybe recession obsession. For all of their married life, Patrick Webster, 63, and Susie Martin, 54, have been extremely frugal. Webster and Martin, who both work at Marymount College in Rancho Palos Verdes, have been stashing away their combined income at an enviable rate — more than 25 percent — for retirement. Together they have more than $1 million in investments and no debt. But rather than feeling reasonably secure about their financial future, they dread a return of hard times.
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HEALTH


Managing seasonal allergies
HealthDay News via MSN
Although spring arrived late this year in parts of the United States, the summer allergy season will still be strong, according to a sinus expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Richard Waguespack, clinical professor in the university's division of otolaryngology, said a wet spring often results in a robust summer allergy season. However, some simple strategies can help people manage symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing and coughing, he added.
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SECOND CAREERS


Dress to impress at job interviews despite growing casual nature of workplaces
Tulsa World
As much as some might not want to believe it, looks matter. And that couldn't be more true than when interviewing for a job. The American workplace appears to be growing increasingly casual, but taking a casual approach to the all-important job interview is the last thing you want to do.
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


Younger seniors are burning up their IRAs
Bloomberg Businessweek
The money in your IRA is supposed to last a lifetime, but a new study finds that a lot of seniors are burning through their retirement funds while they still have years of living to go. The Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonprofit research group, said May 15 that 48 percent of people who were aged 61 to 70 and in the bottom half of the income distribution withdrew money from their IRAs annually during the period studied (2002-10).
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TRAVEL


Cruise prices down, beach prices up
WSLS-TV
According to travel website Orbitz, 75 percent of Americans plan to take summer vacations this year — and nearly two-thirds of them will pay at least $1,500 for that trip. Local travel experts say there are ways to save money on your getaway, if you know where to look. Mel Ludovici knows a thing or two about booking vacations. He's spent more than two decades working as a travel consultant and president of Martin Travel in Roanoke. So when it comes to getting the biggest bang for your buck this summer, he has a few thoughts — first, on beaches. "The sooner you make your plans the better," said Ludovici. "You're going to find that the prices are a little bit higher and the availability is a little more difficult to come by."
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RETIREMENT READINESS NOW TIP


How Social Security can help with retirement planning
Office of Personnel Management
The latest video on SSA's webinar page will be of great interest to people who are planning for their retirement — whether it is coming soon or in the distant future.

Understanding the role that Social Security plays in retirement planning is vital to a comfortable retirement. In addition, knowing the planning tools and other help that's available from Social Security makes planning so much easier.

The new video, "How Social Security Can Help You Plan for Retirement," is about half an hour. You can view it (as well as other great offerings) at www.socialsecurity.gov/webinars.

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CONSUMER TIPS


Walmart warns customers of phishing email
Boston Herald
Walmart recently warned consumers of a bogus phishing email purporting to come from Walmart.com. The fraudulent email looks like a confirmation of a purchase made on Walmart.com, but is actually an attempt to gather personal information from the recipients, the retailer said in a statement.
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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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