NARFE NewsWatch
Aug. 17, 2010

Pay order is a possibility
Under federal pay law, the president has an annual opportunity with an Aug. 31, deadline, to make a federal pay raise recommendation that could become the default raise for the following January if Congress does not enact a specific figure. That would be an opportunity for President Obama to once again back the 1.4 percent January 2011 raise he recommended earlier this year.More

Your TSP: Roll it or leave it?
If a financial advisor is suggesting that you roll your money into an individual retirement account, ask why. Is it because the IRA is really a better investment, or is it that he/she will earn a fee from the transaction? There are specific tax rules about taking money from your thrift savings plan and moving it to an IRA or other tax advantaged account.More

Pension max
If you wait until age 70 to start Social Security benefits, you'll give up current income but get larger checks later. Survivor benefits is one advantage. It could take 20 years to make up for the money you lose by not taking benefits sooner. A 70-year-old retiree might not live past 90 but there's a much better chance that his 65-year-old spouse will survive him and outlive age 85, perhaps by 10 or more 20 years.More

Federal officials fight back over criticism about salaries
The Washington Post
Election season and a bad economy are making roadkill out of federal workers' salaries. Some newspapers, Republicans and conservative think tanks are inveighing against federals they say are cleaning up in salaries and benefits compared with their private sector counterparts. The government is fighting back. After USA Today published another in a series of articles reporting a growing salary gap between private-sector and federal workers, top officials from the Office of Personnel Management dialed up the news media to make the opposite case. More

Survey finds OPM employees feel unappreciated for job well done
The Washington Post
Workers at the federal government's personnel agency think their jobs are important, say they're held accountable for results and are willing to put in extra effort to get things done. But they think their bosses do little to deal with poor performers or recognize employees who are doing a good job—and they find limited opportunities for promotion. These are the views of workers at the Office of Personnel Management in the Obama administration's first survey of the federal workforce.More

Some agencies moving forward with insourcing
Federal Times
Some contractor-heavy civilian agencies are moving aggressively to insource work in response to White House pressure. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Agency for International Development in particular have identified thousands of contractor positions to convert into federal employee positions.More

Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness
Mayo Clinic
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain and helps combat fatigue. Of course, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might make you cringe. Exercise can help improve health and fitness without hurting joints.More

Senior homeowners look to new initiatives for solutions to weak housing market
Senior Housing News
The Obama Administration is putting a full court press on public relations for housing reform as it announced a series of new initiatives to help troubled homeowners and a new website to assist distressed homeowners just before it convenes a summit on ideas for restructuring residential housing finance.More

Starting a new career at 60
Insurance Broadcasting
According to a 2009 Kauffman Foundation report, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity over the past decade has come from those between the ages of 55 and 64. In a time when so much attention and hopes are placed on bright, young minds, these older entrepreneurs bring a most valuable asset that is too often overlooked — experience.More

As older people grow in numbers, experts seek ways to handle the coming boom
The Washington Post
By 2050, nearly 90 million Americans will have passed age 65, and every corner of society will feel the impact. With our inadequate health-care workforce, outmoded retirement ideas and rigid housing policies, how can our country prepare? Beyond rethinking ways to ensure retirement savings, redefining retirement, researchers and professionals are trying out, and in some cases reviving, some ideas.More

Alumni trips go back to school
The Wall Street Journal
Once about as exciting as a midterm exam, alumni-travel programs are going through a makeover that could have some doing double takes. After all, the traditional university trip has long been a predictable affair: Groups of retired alums reminisce about their school days as they cruise European ports or shuffle across the Acropolis with a tweedy professor. Now schools are shaking things up with a new slate of edgy—and sometime adrenaline-fueled—itineraries.More

Ohio attorney general says reports of sweepstakes scams rising
Bloomberg Businessweek
The state's attorney general says reports of Ohio residents being ripped off by sweepstakes scams are on track to double over last year. Cordray says senior citizens are most vulnerable and sometimes turn over personal information and thousands of dollars. He advises people not to send money to collect a prize and to be wary of telemarketers posing as government representatives saying they recovered victims' lost sweepstakes money.More

A NARFE member asks about going to part-time status
Question: I am a full-time employee and would like to change to part-time status for about one year. What will happen to my benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, leave accrual and retirement if I make this change?

This question is answered by staff in NARFE's Retirement Benefits Service Department.More

NARFE's on the road

NARFE will participate in the 106th National Convention of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, Aug. 17-20, in Spokane, Wash. David Snell, director of the Retirement Benefits Service Department, will conduct a retirement benefits seminar. John Clements, director of membership development, will also represent the Association at the event. NARFE is very pleased to have been asked to play a role in this national meeting.More

August is NARFE 'Meet Your Candidates Month'

NARFE chapters around the country will be using the longest break in the congressional calendar (Aug. 7-Sept. 13) to conduct multichapter, multicandidate forums designed to obtain congressional candidate positions on federal employee and retiree issues. This year, NARFE hopes to improve on this civic exercise first used nationwide by the Association in 2008. Forums will include incumbents, their challengers and candidates in open seats. NARFE members should contact their chapter and federation leaders to find out if a forum is planned in their area. More