NARFE NewsWatch
Jun. 24, 2014

Send a Phased Retirement Letter to the Editor
Letters to the Editor (LTEs) offer NARFE members the opportunity to reach crucial NARFE-eligible federal employees using daily and weekly newspapers. Phased retirement is on the minds of many active federal employees who are at or nearing retirement age, and a letter to the editor on this issue is one way to grab the attention of both prospective members and the Office of Personnel Management. Our LTE template needs to be personalized by any sender, and can easily be sent to newspapers in your area via the NARFE Legislative Action Center.More

Survivor benefits
Question: I am planning to marry a widow who is receiving a federal annuity based on her deceased husband's federal employment. Would she lose her annuity and her insurance benefits if we marry? I also am a retired federal employee.More

Federal workers excited for 'phased retirement,' but program has stalled
The Washington Post
Two years have passed since Congress approved a law allowing federal employees to work part time after earning retirement eligibility. The federal workforce, with hundreds of thousands contemplating retirement, greeted the first-of-its kind opportunity with enthusiasm. But not a single federal employee has been able to take advantage of the "phased retirement" law, because the Office of Personnel Management still has not issued regulations covering the specifics. The popular program is stuck in bureaucratic limbo.More

COLA on track to be bigger in 2015
Government Executive
Federal and military retirees are on track to receive the largest cost-of-living adjustment that they've seen in a few years. The exact cost-of-living adjustment for 2015 won't be known until October when all the numbers are in, but plugging into the formula the latest available data results in a 1.7 percent increase.More

Supreme Court rules public employees are protected from retaliation for testimony
The Washington Post
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that public employees are protected from retaliation when they testify in court about misconduct they observed on the job, a decision important to millions of government workers.More

Obama to sign executive order curbing discrimination against gays
Los Angeles Times
President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order forbidding companies that do business with the federal government from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, fulfilling a goal that gay rights organizations have sought for years.More

Should you collect Social Security at age 62?
ABC News
Normally, eligibility for benefits begins at age 62. Many people, unaware of the downsides of jumping too soon, claim as soon as they reach this age. Yet they might not be so quick on the trigger if they realized how much money their haste was costing them. The later you claim — until age 70, when benefits max out — the larger a check you get each month.More

Healthy tips for your summer cooler
Hampton Roads
Summertime moments often include our grab-and-go cooler. Convenience often combines our food with our beverage into one container. However, that may not offer us a safe harbor for both. Keep your food safe by practicing these packing tips.More

Summer Vacation 2014: 10 ways to get more bang for your travel bucks
Tops on the summer travel hot list: which dream islands have suddenly become affordable, the airlines that offer the best value, and where a thirsty traveler can turn for cheap beer on a hot summer day.More

A second career, happily in the weeds
The New York Times via The Boston Globe
Standing at the edge of an overgrown field, Charles Noble, 65, cups his hands around his mouth and yells, "Mooowaaaahhh." He hopes his bovine impression will motivate 68 cattle to follow him to a nearby creek. His herd is apparently not thirsty, preferring to munch on tall grass. When Noble, a retired actuary and school administrator, started Movable Beast Farm with his wife in 2006, he would "get totally freaked out and have a battle of wills with the cows." Now, he reacts with calm and temporarily stops herding to avoid upsetting the animals.More

Gas-saving tips and myths
Hartford Courant
As the summer travel season rolls in, prices at the gas pump are usually going in the wrong direction for our wallets, notes Consumer Reports. That's when drivers become more concerned about how to squeeze the most miles from their fuel dollars and keep their cars running their best.More