NARFE NewsWatch
Aug. 19, 2015

NARFE president testifies in favor of DOL 'best interest' rule
On Aug. 12, NARFE President Richard G. Thissen testified before the Department of Labor in support of DOL's Conflict of Interest Rule Proposal, which would update the definition of "fiduciary investment advice" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to ensure individuals saving for retirement are protected by a "best interest standard" when receiving investment advice.

Much of Thissen's testimony focused on NARFE's concern for the federal employees and retirees, as well as uniformed service members, invested in low-fee Thrift Savings Plan funds. "Because rollovers are not covered by the existing definition of fiduciary investment advice, financial advisers may legally recommend that account holders roll over their TSP holdings into an IRA, where the money could be invested in mutual funds providing the same, or essentially similar, products," Thissen said. "For example, money could be moved to an S&P 500 index fund, for as much as 20 times the cost of the C Fund, the TSP's S&P index fund."More

Thrift Savings Plan
Question: I am currently receiving monthly payments for a specific dollar amount from my Thrift Savings Plan account.  Would I be able to request a lump-sum payment from my account in a year or so instead of continuing to receive monthly payments? More

Gubernatorial elections in 2015 and 2016
The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia covers gubernatorial elections as well as congressional and presidential races. The well-respected website is known as the Crystal Ball for its prowess in predicting election outcomes. The Center's website is tracking 2015 gubernatorial elections in three states (Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi). Eleven more states hold gubernatorial elections in 2016. For a regularly updated website with maps, gubernatorial ratings and candidate listings, click here. If you like the website, sign up to receive periodic updates and share the information with chapter members.More

OPM set to award fraud protection contract for 2nd breach
The Hill
Bids are due Aug. 14 on a government contract to notify and protect the 21.5 million people whose data was compromised in a catastrophic breach of the federal government's security-clearance database. The contract is part of at least $500 million the government is planning to spend on the fallout from past and future hacks. The goal is to have several fraud protection firms at the ready for swifter responses to future cyberattacks.More

Will making it easier to fire feds go viral?
Government Executive
The head of the Merit Systems Protection Board on Aug. 13 warned federal employees that legislative efforts making it easier to fire workers at the Veterans Affairs Department soon could expand to include other agencies. "Today, it's the VA. Tomorrow, it could be your agency," said MSPB Chairman Susan Tsui Grundmann in a speech at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's EXCEL conference in Washington. More

Congress' awful autumn
The Washington Post
If nobody on Capitol Hill celebrated in July when Congress approved transportation funding for three months, it's because lawmakers bought themselves a little time at the expense of what could be a truly awful autumn. When Congress returns from its August recess, it faces a tangle of fiscal deadlines that could serve as a replay of some of the most contentious battles of the past five years.More

The high cost of health coverage
Government Executive
Government Executive recenty looked at some expenses to watch out for in retirement. In this article, they'll explore one area in which you can be almost certain your costs will increase over time: health care. There are several reasons why this is the case.More

5 facts about TSP withdrawals
So you've spent your career putting money into your TSP account, but what do you do once it's time to retire? There are lots of TSP withdrawal options to choose from, some of them more complicated than others, and if you make the wrong choice you may not be able to fix it. Of course, every person has a different situation, so it's important to really understand the choices. More

12 germs that cause food poisoning
In most cases of food poisoning, a microbe in something you ate irritates your stomach and intestines — and the consequences aren't pretty, with symptoms that range from a mildly upset tummy to vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Even though the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, 1 in 6 people suffer foodborne illness every year, according to government estimates. More

What does my airline owe me if it cancels my flight?
Smarter Travel
Airlines do not guarantee flight schedules, so flight times are subject to change. In most cases, you shouldn't expect much if a flight is cancelled. Airlines cancel flights for many reasons, and the compensation you're entitled to depends on the circumstances of the cancellation. Some airlines will attempt to contact passengers if the flight is canceled prior to the day of departure, using contact information from the reservations process.More

Advice from 7 baby boomers who reinvented their careers
Retirement may traditionally be seen as a time to kick back, move to a warmer town and squeeze in a few extra golf games or trips to see the grandkids. But this notion is seeming increasingly outdated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of people 55 and older in the workforce in 2013 was 40.3 percent, up from 29 percent in 1993.More

What does car rental insurance really cover on your credit card?
Wise Bread
Don't you hate the experience when you are renting a car, and the representative gives you the hard sell on their optional insurance? At that moment, you are pretty sure that your credit card has insurance that will cover your trip, but the sales agents will do their best to sow confusion and doubt in your mind. As a result, many will break down and purchase the overpriced coverage offered by the rental car agency, if only to get on with their trip.More