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NEWS FROM NARFE

Tell budget conference committee 'Enough is Enough'
NARFE
The work of the budget conference committee is under way, with a second meeting scheduled to occur when both the House and Senate are back in session. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin urges every Association member to use NARFE's Legislative Action Center to tell your congressional delegations, "Enough is Enough." "Federal benefits remain on the chopping block during negotiations to offset sequestration," warns Beaudoin. If enough NARFE members tell their lawmakers that the federal community should not continue to be the lone bearer of deficit-reduction cuts, members of Congress can and will pressure the committee to leave us alone. Your messages can make the difference!
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NARFE continues to publicly oppose Chained CPI
NARFE
On Thursday, Nov. 14, NARFE will again join forces with coalition partners to speak out on the detrimental effects a switch to the Chained CPI would have on federal retirees, Social Security recipients, military retirees and the disabled. The average Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retiree would lose $48,000 over 25 years under the Chained CPI. The rally, organized by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, will be held in front of the White House at 1 p.m. NARFE members in the area are strongly encouraged to attend. Please email leg@narfe.org for additional details.
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FEHBP Open Season health care plans available by state
NARFE
The annual federal benefits Open Season started Nov. 11 and will run through Dec. 9. During that time, participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) can change plans, types or levels of coverage with changes effective in January; active employees also can enroll if not already in the program. Comprehensive information is available in the November (rates) and December issues of narfe magazine, and links to state-specific information are available here.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Social Security
NARFE
Question: I need 40 credits for retirement benefits, but I have only 32. Would I be able to buy the other eight credits that I need?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Groups fear federal pensions are at risk in budget talks
Government Executive
Lawmakers tasked with reaching a budget deal before mid-January are likely to consider increasing the amount federal workers contribute to their pensions, according to federal employee and retiree advocates. Similar proposals have come up during previous budget and deficit discussions over the past few years, and this time won’t be any different, say representatives from the Federal-Postal Coalition and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. “Common knowledge would certainly put this on the table,” said Jessica Klement, NARFE legislative director. “I don’t see how something like this isn’t part of the conference unless we have some very, very vocal opponents,” she said, adding, “At this point in time, we have no reason to believe that cuts to the federal community are off the table.”
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Personnel chief optimistic despite challenges ahead
The Washington Post
It's always good to talk with folks new to a job. They're so fresh, so optimistic, so eager to conquer challenges ahead. We'll see if Katherine Archuleta remains that way after several months as director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). It's a small agency, comparatively, but a big job with some big headaches.
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OPM survey: Pay freeze, sequestration take bite out of employee satisfaction
Federal News Radio
Frustrations over federal pay, budget cuts and uncertain agency funding have weakened federal employee satisfaction, according to the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Employee Viewpoint survey released recently. For the second year in a row, overall employee satisfaction scores fell, dipping below 60 percent this year.
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Health insurance plans add options, wellness programs
Federal Times
It's time for federal workers to select their health insurance plans for 2014, and they’re once again starting to immerse themselves in mulling over tradeoffs between the costs and benefits of the plans being offered.
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5 ways Congress loves to attack the federal workforce
Government Executive
The recent government shutdown reignited a common congressional tactic: attacking the federal workforce. Federal employees become convenient punching bags for legislators trying to take out their political, policy and personal frustrations. When a problem arises: blame a bureaucrat. When you don’t like a policy: demonize an agency. When you oppose a proposal: scare the public about federal power. When a legitimate transgression occurs within an agency: generalize the problem to every federal worker.
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FINANCES


10 reasons to become a renter in retirement
U.S. News & World Report via Yahoo
In retirement, you don't necessarily need a house with several bedrooms and a big yard. In fact, stairs to climb and a yard that needs mowing can become a significant liability as you age. Renters get to outsource emergency repairs and some home maintenance chores, which can make life easier as a retiree. Downsizing to a smaller apartment can also improve your retirement finances. Here are 10 reasons to become a renter in retirement.
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HEALTH


Simple physical activity can improve heart health
The Huffington Post
You don't necessarily have to pump iron or run a marathon to keep yourself healthy. In fact, simple hobbies like gardening or home improvement may do the trick, a new study suggests. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found people over age 60 who do plenty of simple daily activities were found to have a 27 percent lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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SECOND CAREERS


7 ways older workers can win at the job interview
MarketWatch
After "retiring" from a 40-year career in advertising, Art Koff spent several years as a consultant working with employers involving the aging work force and with seniors addressing the challenges facing them as they prepared for retirement. Here he gives several tips on conquering the job interview process.
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TRAVEL


A taste of Napa, on a budget
The New York Times
Writer Seth Kugel explains how he visited California's Napa Valley on a budget. Kugel writes, "Like a robust zinfandel and delicate oysters, Napa Valley and frugal travel aren’t exactly an ideal pairing. Or so I thought. Despite Napa’s reputation as a pricey destination for wine lovers, over two days last month — during peak fall harvest season, no less — I managed to visit seven vineyards, taste about 30 vintages, learn more about wine than I ever imagined (including how to punch down the cap of skins into a vat of crushed grapes) and not starve — or go homeless."
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CONSUMER TIPS


How to stretch your gas dollars
USA Today
Making the most of your gas dollars is an important part of any holiday travel strategy. Even at a national average of about $3.25 per gallon, the lowest price for this time of year since 2010, fuel costs add up. By following the expert tips below on how to prep your vehicle, drive efficiently and plan your getaway, you can boost your vehicle's fuel efficiency by as much as 40 percent and also decrease your costs at the pump by 20 cents or more per gallon.
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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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