NARFE NewsWatch
May. 27, 2014

House approves NARFE-supported waiver authority
Amid provisions in the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435) that won bipartisan approval in the House is a NARFE-supported amendment to extend the waiver provision to re-employ federal annuitants. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin salutes the "legislative leadership of Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., for working with NARFE, offering the amendment and winning its inclusion in a set of amendments included in the House-passed bill."

The Connolly amendment extends, for another five years, the authority of federal agencies to rehire federal annuitants without a salary offset. In a press statement, Beaudoin said, "This authority is important for the successful recruitment, retention and mentoring of our federal civil servants." This special waiver authority applies only on a limited and part-time basis. NARFE worked with Rep. Connolly's office to craft the amendment and urged House passage.More

NDAA contains 1.8 percent military pay raise
The National Defense Authorization Act also authorizes an across-the-board 1.8 percent pay increase for military personnel in 2015, a 0.8-percentage-point increase over President Barack Obama's request. The president also proposed a 1 percent pay increase for federal civilian employees in 2015. NARFE is asking its members to urge their representatives to co-sponsor Rep. Connolly's bill to provide a 3.3 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees in 2015. Unless we speak out, our silence will be taken for support of the president's 1 percent pay proposal.More

Leaving federal service
Question: I'm a federal employee under the Civil Service Retirement System with more than 24 years of service and more than a year of accumulated sick leave. I will soon turn age 55 and have been offered an attractive job in the private sector. I am not eligible for an "early out." What benefits would I retain in case I decide to leave federal service? What would my retirement benefit be, and when would it begin? Is there a penalty involved? Would my surviving spouse retain any death benefits from my federal employment?More

House bill extends agency authority to rehire retired feds
Federal News Radio
A measure included in the massive Defense policy bill approved by the House would ensure agencies maintain the flexibility to bring federal retirees back on board on a part-time basis. An amendment to the 2015 Defense Authorization Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., extends the authority for agency heads to rehire retirees without specific approval from the Office of Personnel Management. The House passed the $600 billion Defense bill 325-98.More

House votes 390-33 to speed up VA firings
The Hill
The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to grant the Veterans Affairs secretary expanded authority to fire senior executives for poor performance. The measure passed on a 390-33 vote amid allegations that veterans encountered delays in access to medical care at multiple VA hospitals across the country, leading to dozens of deaths.More

How to make the federal workforce feel respected once again
Federal News Radio
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman, Homeland Security Subcommittee on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, writes, "Earlier this month I held a hearing on employee morale in my subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce. The hearing showed that we need to shift the perception of federal workers. Too often, Americans don't appreciate the positive impact government employees have on their lives."More

Bill would give DHS special hiring authority for cyber professionals
Federal Times
The Department of Homeland Security would be given authority to pay cybersecurity professionals more and to hire them faster under legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.More

Three generations face USA's retirement crisis
Wall St. Cheat Sheet via USA Today
The retirement crisis in America is not contained to any one generation. Across the country, people of all ages are struggling with stagnant wages, rising living expenses and an overall sluggish economy. Some are closer to their golden years than others, but one thing is clear: There are three unique generations with very different retirements ahead of them.More

The four keys to boosting your savings
Government Executive
Tammy Flanagan writes, "Some of you may not believe this, but I still find federal employees who think they're limited to contributing 10 percent of their salary to the Thrift Savings Plan. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given that 22 percent of federal employees under 45 don’t even save 5 percent of their salary in the TSP and that there used to be limits on TSP contributions."More

Diabetes causes more heart disease in women
Diabetes appears to pose a greater risk to heart health for women than men, a new analysis of current research contends.More

Do I need to pack a travel adapter?
The Washington Post via The Sydney Morning Herald
Imagine this scenario: You've discovered a pot of gold at the end of your driveway and can now afford your dream trip. You plan to visit Canada, Scandinavia, China, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and New Zealand. Question: Which will you need to pack more of — shoes or adapters? Answer: Shoes. You can't scale the Great Wall in your tango heels, but you can use one plug in all those destinations.More

How to reinvent yourself for a second career
Dorie Clark writes, "Am I too old to reinvent myself? For the past year, I've been touring around the world in support of my book 'Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future,' and that's one of the questions I'm asked most frequently. It may seem like reinvention is a young person's game — no one bats an eyelash if you want to change careers at 30. But things become more precarious when you're nearing retirement age. Who would be willing to hire you in a new field, or for a new type of job? Will people think you're over the hill? And how will they respond to a seasoned professional who, nonetheless, is a rookie in certain areas?"More

Five tips for taking better photos with your tablet
Consumer Reports
In the auditoriums of grade schools throughout America, more and more people are taking photos and video with their iPads and other tablets. That's because, like smart phones, tablets have a lens built into the back of the device that can capture photos and video. But there are challenges to taking pictures on a tablet. Here are five tips to help you get better results.More