NARFE NewsWatch
Mar. 25, 2014

Candidate statements for NARFE national and regional elections due April 1
Election of NARFE's national officers and five regional vice presidents will be held at the upcoming NARFE National Convention, Aug. 24-28, in Orlando, Fla. Candidates may submit their qualifications and/or platforms for NARFE Magazine publication. Candidate statements will be published in the June issue only. This will allow NARFE members to view all candidates for office at once.More

Interim annuity
Question: It is my understanding that, while receiving interim retirement payments from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency does not make deductions and payments for health, life or long-term care insurance — all of which I want to continue into retirement. How do I make premium payments while these partial annuities are in effect to ensure that my insurance coverage is maintained? Do I pay them to the various insurance companies directly?More

Sinkhole of bureaucracy: Deep underground, federal employees process paperwork by hand in a long-outdated, inefficient system
The Washington Post
The trucks full of paperwork come every day, turning off a country road north of Pittsburgh and descending through a gateway into the earth. Underground, they stop at a metal door decorated with an American flag. Behind the door, a room opens up as big as a supermarket, full of five-drawer file cabinets and people in business casual. About 230 feet below the surface, there is easy-listening music playing at somebody's desk. This is one of the weirdest workplaces in the U.S. government — both for where it is and for what it does.More

OPM calls for changes in federal background checks
The Washington Post
Federal background checkers need greater access to state and local police reports and an overhaul of screening policies to prevent people such as Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis from getting security clearances, according to a report from the Office of Personnel Management. The review also called for a reduction in the number of workers the federal government clears for special access and more frequent follow-up investigations of clearance holders, among other proposals.More

President proposes historic numbers of CBP officers
Federal Times
Customs and Border Protection would hire 2,000 more officers — boosting its total to 25,775 — under the fiscal 2015 budget proposal released March 4. The increase would come on top of another 2,000-officer increase approved for CBP in the fiscal 2014 budget passed in January. Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents CBP officers, said the proposal represents "historic" levels of staffing for the agency and will help process the increased traffic at land ports of entry across the country.More

Pressure builds on Obama to issue non-discrimination order
Federal Times
The administration should issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, nearly 200 lawmakers said in a letter submitted to President Barack Obama on March 18. The letter — signed by 48 Democratic senators and 149 members of the House — said the administration must act to protect contractor employees from discrimination while Congress works on legislation.More

Confidence about a comfortable retirement increases among workers with a plan
The Washington Post
The percentage of workers who believe they will have enough money to retire comfortably rose for the first time this year after hovering at record lows for the past five years. Eighteen percent now say they are very confident that they will have enough, up from 13 percent in 2013, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's annual Retirement Confidence Survey.More

A guide to eating heart-healthy foods
Alameda Sun
The concept that particular foods promote healthier hearts is not new. It is a fact that a well-balanced nutritional diet contributes to good health throughout a lifetime. For many people, the risk of diseases such as Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and coronary artery issues may be reduced by consuming healthy diets. While it is important to begin healthy eating habits early in life, it can be just as vital to good health when healthy eating practices are followed in later years.More

Baby boomers buy boats for smooth sailing in retirement
The Dallas Morning News via Ventura County Star
They're nomads, sailing freely, crossing international waters, guided by one principle: Just float. "Good thing is, we don’t have a schedule," said Allyson van Os, of Dallas. "We just do the things we like to do, when we want to do them. That's our schedule." Van Os, 62, is one of millions of baby boomers living part of their lives on boats, inspired by a lifestyle that she acknowledges is harder than it seems.More

Building a successful 2nd career near retirement
USA Today
When Barry Duckworth, 59, of Sherrills Ford, N.C., was looking for a second career that could last him into his 60s and beyond, he realized he had to be adaptable. "You have to not only accept change but embrace it." For 30 years, he worked as a licensed general building contractor, overseeing the construction of homes and commercial real estate properties. "It was an unbelievably difficult job to manage multiple projects at multiple sites in multiple areas," he says.More

Police warn of 'grandparent' and Internet scams
The Ridgefield Press
"We get complaints like these yearly — we do get a bulk of them," Capt. Jeff Kreitz of the Ridgefield Police Department said. "The key is don't send money and contact the police department immediately if you feel you've been a victim, or are about to be a victim, of these types of scams." He explained that the grandparent scheme usually involves two perpetrators — one posing as a grandchild, who calls the grandparents for money, and the other as a victim.More