NARFE NewsWatch
Feb. 11, 2014

Debt-ceiling update; send revised NARFE message to Congress
The debt-ceiling suspension ended Friday. The Treasury Department can, and will, take extraordinary measures only for a few weeks. Congress is likely to begin debate on raising the ceiling this week. Amid this uncertainty, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin urges NARFE members to again remind Congress of the unshared sacrifices already made by the federal community. Our "Enough Is Enough" message, updated on Jan. 30, is ready for members to send to their congressional delegations. Click Here to link to the revised message.More

Survivor eligibility for FEHBP
Question: If an annuitant dies during his or her suspended enrollment in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), would the survivor be eligible to re-enroll in the FEHBP?More

Federal retirements surge in January
Government Executive
Federal employees retired in droves in January, causing the claims backlog at the Office of Personnel Management to balloon. North of 17,000 workers filed retirement claims with OPM, more than tripling the total from December. Still, the agency received 2,617 fewer claims than it expected to in January. Feds typically retire in much higher volumes at the beginning of each year, with more than 22,000 filing claims in January 2013.More

Postal reform bill heading to Senate floor
Federal News Radio
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee gave its stamp of approval to a sweeping overhaul of the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service. In a bipartisan 9-1 vote, the committee approved the 2014 Postal Reform Act and sent the measure to the Senate floor.More

Travel spending drops 18 percent in 2013
Federal Times
Federal travel spending fell 18 percent from fiscal 2012 to 2013 — from $8.5 billion to about $6.9 billion — as measured by data from the General Services Administration's SmartPay charge card program. The 2014 number could be even lower, according to federal data and experts.More

Retirement planning for the very long-term
The world’s population is aging, rapidly. So much so, in fact, that roughly one in six people is expected to be 65 and older by 2050, double the proportion today, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. And all that aging is likely to affect your — and, more likely, your children’s — retirement plan. How so?More

Study: Eating low-fat yogurt may help prevent Type 2 diabetes
New York Daily News
Researchers found that people who ate low-fat fermented dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese slashed their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 24 percent compared to those who didn't eat those foods. The 11-year study also showed that yogurt by itself could help ward off the disease. More

5 secrets to having a smarter — and happier — trip
The Huffington Post
So you think you're a smart traveler? Even the most seasoned travelers can still learn a few things from the professionals. In this article, Christopher Elliott offers advice on making your next vacation a little smarter, if not happier.More

Job search mistakes to avoid
The Houston Chronicle
Senior job candidates have more opportunity this year than ever because life spans are longer and the idea of retiring at 65 is not what it was in the past. This can be attributed to advances in health care and baby boomers who embrace life to the fullest. When it comes to job searching, age can be a challenging hurdle. However, the biggest mistakes job candidates make often come from relying on outdated job search techniques and doubting their success.More

BBB warns of '1-ring' phone call scheme
If you receive a call from area codes belonging to places like Grenada or Antigua and the phone only rings once, the Better Business Bureau warns not to call back. According to the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota, the calls are part of a scheme being perpetrated by scammers who anticipate victims' curiosity getting the better of them.More