Postal Service suspends FERS pension fund contributions
Federal Times Share
The U.S. Postal Service will halt its pension fund contributions for employees covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System as a cost-cutting measure. The agency announced the move June 22, saying the agency can afford to halt the payment because it has a $6.9 billion surplus in employer contributions in the FERS pension account. USPS said it has already informed the Office of Personnel Management of the planned move. The payments amount to $115 million every two weeks. Halting the payments will free up $800 million this fiscal year, the Postal Service said. But both the Postal Service and OPM say future retirees will eventually receive the money they are due.
(Editor's note: NARFE had the following statement about the Postal Service announcement: NARFE's foremost concern is that the contract made between employees, former employees, retirees, survivor annuitants and their federal government employer be maintained through whatever means. We have faith that the integrity of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Trust Fund will be protected through all means available to the fiduciaries and stand ready to work with anyone and everyone to see that this happens. As with the current debt-limit situation and extraordinary measures being taken by the Treasury Secretary to meet the nation's obligations, we will remain vigilant in ensuring civil service rights and benefits are protected at all times. The courageous work of our men and women in service to this country deserves no less.) More
How congressional budget cuts may cut into your retirement income
Our country's financial system is in a dire state. Congress is looking at several proposals that would cut into federal employee benefits. If these cuts are enacted, how will they affect the average federal retiree? There are many cuts being proposed, but this article focuses on the ones that will have a severe impact on retirement. More
Debt debate puts federal workers on edge
The Baltimore Sun Share
As the pitched battle over the nation's debt crisis shifts to the White House, federal employees in Maryland are bracing for a series of benefit cuts they say would have a devastating effect on the state's economy. Months after more than 200,000 federal workers in Maryland were hit with a two-year pay freeze to help reduce a $1.3 trillion budget deficit, many say they now are worried lawmakers are eyeing government retirement plans and health benefits for cuts in the scramble to strike a deal to raise the debt ceiling. "Federal employees didn't cause the deficit — why are we taking the big hit?" asked Joe McGeeney, the president of the local union that represents security workers at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. More
Some drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis may cut diabetes risk
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report Share
Some medications commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis may help patients with these autoimmune disorders lower their risk of developing diabetes, researchers say. New research found that a particular class of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine can reduce diabetes risk by 38 percent and 46 percent, respectively, in people with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. "If you have rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis, you may be at an increased risk of diabetes, and a number of different antirheumatic drugs may reduce your future risk of diabetes," said study author Dr. Daniel Solomon. More
Boomers take an active role as grandparents
Detroit Free Press Share
Just as they reinvented the teen years and the midlife crisis, the nation's 70 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are reinventing grandparenthood. "In the olden days, having grandchildren would initiate the sunset of people's lives," said Arthur Kornhaber, a psychiatrist who has studied grandparenting since the 1970s. "But the rules have changed." For the 32 million boomers who are already grandparents, the approach to this stage of life is different. More
Smart strategies for older job seekers
U.S. News & World Report Share
The economy and consumer spending are weak, and job growth has been anemic as well. Retirement plans have been deferred, if not destroyed, for millions of Americans. So, it's either back to work, or, if one's lucky, keeping a solid job as long as you can. For the past few years, a foundation-funded initiative called Tapping Mature Talent has worked with the U.S. Labor Department. The effort has produced 10 demonstration sites throughout the country to help develop successful ways to find, train and employ older workers. More
A retirement community made just for you
The Wall Street Journal Share
Whether you're an RV aficionado or a Tai Chi enthusiast, a growing number of retirement communities are clamoring for your business with so-called niche retirement homes. While retirement communities have always tried to woo older Americans with cushy extras like first-rate golf courses and five-star chefs, this newer breed of niche, or "affinity," retirement communities caters specifically to retirees who share a common interest, hobby or trait. And their ranks are growing. More
American Airlines changes its boarding process
Los Angeles Times Share
Depending on who you talk to, the new boarding process at American Airlines has either shortened the time it takes to load the planes or caused "complete chaos" in the cabin. The new boarding procedure, launched in May, does away with the airline's long-held practice of boarding passengers starting from the back of the plane to the front. Once the first-class and executive-class passengers and other travelers with priority seating get on board, the airline gate agents now board coach passengers in the order in which they checked in, regardless of where they are seated. More
Take the heat off your cooling bill
The Wall Street Journal Share
It's expected to be a scorcher of a summer in some parts of the country. But that doesn't mean homeowners need to deal with exorbitant power bills. All it takes is a little thought and effort to keep home cooling costs down during the hottest months of the year. A big part of keeping down your home's cooling costs involves keeping warm air out and not letting cool air escape, said Keith Voight, spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute. More
A NARFE member asks about disability retirement
Question: I retired several years ago on a Civil Service Retirement System disability. I recently applied and was approved for Social Security disability retirement. The Social Security Administration says it will offset my Social Security benefit because I am receiving the civil service disability payment. Is that correct? More
NARFE recommends using the July 4 holiday period to meet your members of Congress
This week and through July 4 is a District Work Week for the House of Representatives. The Senate holds a State Work Period from July 4 through July 8. NARFE's Legislative Department points out that these separate weeks are excellent opportunities for groups or individual NARFE members to meet with their elected officials. An appointment is preferable, but just dropping in is permissible. The NARFE legislative staff (firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.838.7760, ext. 201) can supply phone numbers and addresses. NARFE's Legislative Action Center also provides that information at www.capwiz.com/narfe/dbq/officials.
Are you a member of NARFE? If not, join today!
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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