NARFE NewsWatch
May. 8, 2012

NARFE urges defeat of increases in federal employee retirement contributions
NARFE is urging all members of the House of Representatives to oppose increases in federal employee retirement contributions proposed in a bill scheduled to be voted on later this week. "The proposal essentially would impose a 5 percent payroll tax on federal employees, which would cost them $83 billion over 10 years without any corresponding increase in retirement benefits," NARFE said in a letter sent May 8 to all 435 House members. It also would eliminate the annuity supplement for new employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System who retire before the age of 62. "Although federal employees make up less than 2 percent of the nation's workforce, this bill would take more than 30 percent of an estimated $261 billion in spending reductions from their pockets."More

NARFE celebrates civil servants during Public Service Recognition Week
This year's Public Service Recognition Week, the annual celebration honoring the men and women serving our nation as military, federal, state, county and local government employees, runs through May 12 and is organized nationally by the Public Employees Roundtable. NARFE is a proud member of PER. "As the anti-federal employee rhetoric grows louder in the halls of Congress, so must we be vocal in our appreciation of the work done by federal employees," NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin commented. To see the complete statement on PSRW, click here.More

Protecting a current spouse's rights
Question: I am getting ready to retire and have a court order that gives my entire survivor annuity to a former spouse. I am currently married. What should I do?More

House panel approves higher pension contributions for feds
Federal Times
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a budget plan that would raise federal employees' retirement contributions by five percentage points over five years. The increase would effectively mean a 5 percent pay cut for federal employees. Federal Employees Retirement System employees' contributions would increase from 0.8 to 5.8 percent by 2017, and Civil Service Retirement System employees' contributions would increase from 7 to 12 percent over the same period.More

Roth TSP investing now available, for some
The Washington Post
The long-awaited Roth feature of the Thrift Savings Plan launched May 7, although in practice most TSP investors will have to wait still longer. Federal employees and uniformed services personnel now may choose to make some or all of their investments in the 401(k)-style plan with after-tax money that will be tax-free along with its earnings on withdrawal, so long as certain conditions are met.More

5 things feds should know about Roth TSP
Federal News Radio
The Thrift Savings Plan's Roth option rolled out May 7. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has been preparing for the new program for two years now; but, despite the big push, many federal employees will actually have to wait to enroll in the new program. One of the largest federal payroll processors needs more time to upgrade its systems in preparation for the Roth option. Find information about which agencies are affected, as well as the five things feds should know about the Roth TSP in this article.More

Study: Omega-3 may curb memory loss
People who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may significantly lower their risk of developing memory problems and Alzheimer's disease, a new study has found. Researchers recruited 1,219 people over age 65 and followed their dietary habits for more than a year. Then they tested the subjects' blood for a protein called beta-amyloid, a protein associated with memory problems and Alzheimer's disease.More

Discovering the true cost of at-home caregiving
VideoBriefWalk through any nursing home, and your first thought might be: "I need to take care of mom myself." Few people want to turn over a loved one to institutional care. No matter how good the nursing home, it may seem cold and impersonal — and very expensive. But making the choice to provide care yourself is fraught with financial risks and personal sacrifices.More

10 don'ts to dodge in an interview
You've made it through the front door, and you're sitting across the table from an interview team. But you were also 10 minutes late, your palms seep sweat, you called the interviewer your ex-wife's name and you realize now that jeans weren't an interview "do." What else could go wrong? Plenty. Here are 10 job interview don'ts for you to consider before your next big face-to-face question-and-answer session.More

Boomers risk retirement to support kids, parents
If you're in the over-40 crowd, working hard in a good job and wondering why in the world you still aren't where you thought you would be by now, you're not alone. You've tried hard to play by the rules and made sacrifices, but you just can't catch a break or catch up. A new survey from Ameriprise, the "Money Across Generations II" study, answers the question of where the heck your money is going: your family.More

Here's how to beat system, save money on travel
Chicago Sun-Times
There are ways to reduce your summer vacation costs; but being proactive, flexible and creative are key, travel experts say. BestFares CEO Tom Parsons notes that on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, airlines sometimes hold airfare sales, but he advises consumers not to book first thing in the morning. To make sure you don't miss out on any sales, sign up for all the free airfare alerts and check for deals on Twitter, said George Hobica, president of

Mother's Day: Bouquet buyers beware
When you order Mother's Day flowers online, what you see isn't always what mom gets. Big-name online flower vendors generally fall into two categories: those that route orders to a local florist for delivery, and those that ship out boxed arrangements from a few central places. Some provide a mix of the two. Five sites offering shipped bouquets were tested —,,, and — to see how closely the arrangements resembled their online photos and generally assess their value.More