NARFE opposes latest plan to use feds as congressional 'piggybank'
NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin has sent a letter to Congress opposing any proposal that would use federal employees as a "piggybank" for unrelated legislation. The letter was prompted by a proposal by congressional Republican leaders to increase federal employee retirement contributions by 1.2 percent of salary as one of two options to pay for the cost of extending the current interest rates on federally guaranteed student loans. Both political parties want to extend the current rates but disagree on how to pay for it. Without the extension, interest rates on student loans would increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent July 1. Using NARFE's Legislative Action Center, members can send a letter to their legislators on this issue by clicking here.
Getting a Social Security Statement
Question: How do I get a copy of my Social Security Statement? More
House members vote to freeze their own salaries
Government Executive Share
House members voted June 8 to pass the Legislative Branch budget for fiscal year 2013, which includes their own salaries as well as those of their staff. Though funding across the House of Representatives has been reduced by 10.5 percent since Republicans took control of the chamber in 2011, according to House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., salaries and members' representational allowances will remain unchanged in 2013 if the Senate approves the bill. More
Weather Service says furloughs possible for up to 5,000 to close budget gap
The Washington Post Share
The National Weather Service notified lawmakers June 7 that it plans to furlough up to 5,000 employees for a total of 13 days between July and September if Congress and the agency cannot find $36 million to cover its budget deficit. Weather Service officials acknowledged in their memo to legislators, as well as the union, that requiring employees to take unpaid leave would seriously disrupt critical weather operations at the peak of hurricane season. More
Mental exercises key to better brain function
Detroit Free Press via USA Today Share
Go ahead, do it: Grab a pencil. Right now. Write your name backward. And upside down. Awkward, right? But if researchers and neurologists are correct, doing exercises like these just might buy you a bit more time with a healthy brain. More
Boomers moving to health care, education fields for their next step
The Associated Press via Detroit Free Press Share
Think changing jobs is difficult? It can be even harder if you're a baby boomer. Although there are federal laws against age discrimination, some employers may be reluctant to hire older workers, concerned about how long they'll stay and the higher salaries they may demand. For those contemplating new jobs, John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said it's easier to change industries than to change functions. More
Forced to early Social Security, unemployed pay a steep price
The New York Times Share
Even as most Americans are delaying retirement to bolster their savings accounts, the recession and its protracted aftermath have forced many older people who are out of work to draw Social Security much earlier than they had planned. According to an analysis by Steve Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, about 200,000 more people filed initial claims in 2009 and 2010 than the agency had predicted before the recession, and he said the trend most likely continued in 2011 and 2012, though that is harder to quantify. More
For summer travelers, flexibility key to getting the best airfares
The Detroit News Share
To snag the best airfares, travelers need to be adventurous and willing to pick up at a moment's notice. Let's be realistic. Most people making summer travel plans need just that: plans. They get a week off, maybe two, and aren't going to spend hard-earned cash on a last-second whim. But great deals are still within reach for those who have even a little flexibility in choosing where and when to travel. More
Study: Green energy could mean higher electric bills
U.S. News & World Report Share
A seemingly positive development for energy security and the environment could be bad news for consumers' budgets, according to a new report. More than 90 percent of energy executives surveyed in a poll conducted by engineering and construction consulting firm Black & Veatch believe that new regulations requiring the increased use of renewable energy and cleaner coal plants will increase consumer energy bills anywhere from 5-30 percent. More
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