NARFE NewsWatch
Feb. 24, 2015

March is 'NARFE-PAC Month' — wear your pin with pride
Help defend federal employee and retiree interests by giving to NARFE-PAC, "The Federal Employee and Retiree Defense Fund." NARFE is making it easier than ever to donate to NARFE-PAC with a special emphasis on the fund in the March issue of narfe magazine. NARFE members can donate using the special NARFE-PAC envelope on the magazine cover wrap or via the NARFE website at NARFE-PAC donors are eligible to receive special rewards, including NARFE-PAC pins for different giving levels.More

NARFE's on social media: Join the conversation
Connect with NARFE
Are you taking advantage of all of NARFE's channels of communication? Every member of NARFE receives a copy of narfe magazine in the mail, of course. And if you are reading this, you are getting NARFE's weekly electronic news digest, NewsWatch. But did you know that NARFE is on Facebook and Twitter? On Facebook, our username is NARFE National Headquarters. Our Twitter handle is @narfehq. Don't miss out. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep informed every day.More

FERS annuity calculation
Question: My wife was under the Federal Employees Retirement System and left federal service after 10 years. Is she eligible for a pension and, if so, at what age? Is her annuity based on the high-three years and length of service?More

DHS staff would remain on job with no pay if Congress does not fund agency
The Washington Post
Once again, it is federal employees who could take a hit because Uncle Sam can't get his budget act together. Temporary funding for the Department of Homeland Security expires Friday. If Congress and President Barack Obama can't agree on an appropriations bill by then, it will drape the agency in confusion.More

OMB warns of consequences if sequestration returns in 2016
Federal News Radio
The White House is warning Congress and agencies that if cuts from sequestration return in fiscal 2016, the impact would be great. In a report sent to Congress on Feb. 2, Shaun Donovan, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote that if lawmakers don't act, agencies would have to reduce their discretionary budgets by more than $90.4 billion.More

Union enters talks with star power to expand, not cut postal services
The Washington Post
Contract talks began Feb. 19 between the U.S. Postal Service and a re-energized union that seeks to broaden the field of play well beyond the negotiating room. Leaders from the American Postal Workers Union met their USPS counterparts at the Hyatt Regency after a rousing pep rally the night before at the AFL-CIO headquarters. It featured an array of pumped-up speakers, a Danny Glover video and the star himself.More

Hiring spree: Agencies adding 72,000 employees in 2015
Federal Times
Agencies bouncing back from sequestration cuts and years of hiring freezes are hiring more than 72,000 federal employees in 2015, according to figures from the Office of Management and Budget. The nonpostal federal workforce will grow from about 2.03 million federal employees to more than 2.1 million in fiscal 2015, as agencies look to fill gaps in their workforces and recover from previous losses, according to OMB.More

What you need to know about the grandparent tax
Leaving lots of money to grandchildren, and skipping the generation in between, used to be a nifty way to beat the federal estate tax. That way, the money was subject to estate tax just once, when the grandparent left it to the grandchild. Otherwise, it would have been taxed when the grandparent left it to his child, and then again if that child preserved the money to pass along to his own children. Eventually, Uncle Sam realized he was being deprived of his second bite of the estate tax apple.More

If you're feeling the winter blues, eat fish
The Washington Post
If your typical February night involves searching the kitchen for a snack to lift your spirits, you are not alone. This is prime winter-blues season, the time of year when many of us are plagued with that lethargic feeling that's like a dark curtain over our mood. An estimated 14 percent of Americans are affected by it — and about another 6 percent have the more severe condition called seasonal affective disorder.More

6 things that will get your resume thrown in the garbage
Forbes contributor Lisa Quast writes: "I've seen a lot of resumes over the last 20 years as a hiring manager. There have been great resumes, good resumes and so-so resumes. And there were some resumes with such horrific issues, that I quickly threw them into the recycle bin."More

10 important safety tips for travelers
USA Today
Travel can be exhilarating but also scary at times. When you're venturing into the great unknown, follow these 10 safety tips to protect yourself and ensure a happy and secure journey.More

Don't go to the mall on an empty stomach
CBS News
Worried about rising credit card bills? A new study points to one way to curb your spending: Don't shop while hungry. Experiments suggest that hunger may push people into buying more than they would when full, and that includes nonfood items.More