NARFE NewsWatch
Aug. 6, 2013

Chained CPI coupon collection goal reached!
The NARFE National Officers and Legislative team thank you for your tremendous generosity in sending grocery coupons for a planned September media campaign around the Chained CPI. We have exceeded our goal of $48,000 worth of coupons, and we are working to use the additional coupons in the media campaign. If you have coupons ready to be mailed or if your chapter has a coupon-cutting event planned, please go ahead and submit those coupons. After the campaign, we will be sending all of the coupons to organizations across the country that provide coupons to our military and their families. Thank you again for your enthusiasm and generosity. More

Take advantage of 'NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month'
NARFE leaders and activists should be in the process of planning meetings with representatives and senators during the congressional summer recess, Aug. 3 through Sept. 8. These five weeks are designated as "NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month," when NARFE leaders will need the help of every member. This is our opportunity to inform the many new members of Congress, remind many second-termers and re-educate long-time incumbents on the issues important to NARFE members. In the August issue of narfe magazine, President Beaudoin's column, "Silence Is Not Golden" (page 4), and Sarah Weissmann's article, "Grass-Roots Advocacy Month" (page 6), call on each NARFE member to defend their earned benefits. Take action now to do just that, and report your activity to the NARFE Legislative Department at

Thrift Savings Plan withdrawal
Question: I will soon be age 70-1/2 and would like to make a required minimum distribution withdrawal from my Thrift Savings Plan account. How do I do this?More

Federal-employee groups want to tweak phased-retirement rules
The Washington Post
Two federal-employee groups want to expand the government's new phased-retirement program to more federal workers, but they disagree about the program's proposed mentoring requirements. The National Treasury Employees Union and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association recently recommended changes to the draft rules in letters to the Office of Personnel Management.More

OPM: Retirement backlog gone by March 2014
Government Executive
The Office of Personnel Management is months behind schedule in eliminating the retirement claims backlog because of mandatory budget cuts and an influx of new applications from the Postal Service earlier this year, according to an update recently released. The agency hopes to clear up the backlog, which now stands at 25,601 claims, by March 2014 — roughly seven months later than the original target date of July 2013.More

Senators introduce postal reform bill with bipartisan support
Government Executive
Two oversight leaders in the Senate have introduced bipartisan legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, striking middle ground between partisan proposals put forward in the House. The 2013 Postal Reform Act was introduced by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the committee's ranking member. Coburn voted against Carper's bill in the last Congress — the legislation ultimately cleared the Senate but died in the House — and his support this time around dramatically increases the likelihood the upper chamber will once again approve a reform measure.More

Sequestration worsening the condition of Navy ships
Federal News Radio
The Navy's fleet of surface ships has just started to rebound from what officials acknowledge was more than a decade of neglected maintenance. But those same leaders say sequestration will inevitably reverse what progress they've made to date in changing their procedures to keep vessels seaworthy, and ultimately lead to a much smaller fleet than exists today.More

An end to civilian pensions for military retirees?
Federal Times
To address long-term sequester cuts, the Defense Department is mulling numerous reductions that will affect civilian employees, including doing away with civilian employee pensions for military retirees who go back to work for the government as civilian employees. More

Do you need life insurance in retirement?
U.S. News & World Report
Life insurance helps protect your spouse and children from poverty in the case of your untimely death. However, once your children become self-sufficient and you and your spouse accumulate significant assets, there's less of a need to keep paying the premiums for life insurance. This article discusses how to tell if you still need life insurance in retirement.More

Eating grapes can lead to a healthier you
If you eat grapes regularly, chances are you are healthier than people who don't. A new observational study, published in the Journal of Food Science, showed an association between grape consumption — including fresh grapes, raisins and 100 percent grape juice — and healthier dietary patterns and nutrient intakes. By analyzing the diets of more than 221,800 children and adults using data from the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers found people who consumed grapes and grape products had increased levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, calcium and potassium.More

Your post-50 job search: 4 ways to conquer the age factor
The Huffington Post
If you're a post-50 job-seeker, you know all too well that ageism can prove a real threat to your job search efforts. However, if you hope to be successful, you can't allow your gray hair to stop you from presenting yourself with confidence.More

Baby boomers, empty nesters say you don't have to be young to
help young people

Omaha World-Herald
You don't have to be young and hip to be a Big Brother or a Big Sister. Well ... maybe sort of hip would be good. For six years, 15-year-old Matthew has been the Little Brother of Mary Hamilton and Jack White, a Big Couple. Hamilton is 69, and White is 81. Are they too old? No, said Jim Frederick, director of marketing and recruitment for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, Neb. That's a common misconception, he said. "Actually, many of our most successful matches are with baby boomers or empty nesters."More

Tips for traveling with grandchildren
Travel with children can be the stuff of dreams — or a living nightmare. That's true whether they are touring with their own parents, taking a special trip alone with grandparents, or on a journey with all three generations.More

BBB alerts consumers to 'smishing' text scams leading to identity theft
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to a scam where they are sent text messages that pose as bank alerts asking you to confirm account information. This type of scam is known as "smishing" and is a relatively new way to use scam text messages to steal personal information.More