NARFE NewsWatch
Nov. 13, 2012

Nov. 15 is NARFE National Call Congress Day
As Congress debates ways to avoid the fiscal cliff, it is imperative that federal employees and retirees are not targeted for disproportionate sacrifice. On Nov. 15, please phone your members of Congress and urge them not to single out federal employees and retirees for further sacrifice. For the call script and instructions on using NARFE's toll-free number to call Capitol Hill, click here.More

Read about FEHBP plan changes
Federal Benefits Open Season began Nov. 12. To help you make informed health care decisions, the December issue of NARFE magazine includes the third and final part of NARFE's annual Open Season Report. This installment looks at changes for 2013 in the major plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Watch for your copy in the mail.More

What is a voluntary contribution account?
Question: I am under the Civil Service Retirement System and have just learned about the voluntary contribution account, which I could have been participating in. Can you explain this account to me?More

CBO issues warning on the fiscal cliff
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office outlines the consequences of the country hitting the much talked about fiscal cliff. The report also offers numerous deficit-reduction strategies to help avert the potential crisis, a couple of which would apply to the federal workforce.More

Consensus forming for lame-duck deal to delay sequester cuts
Federal Times
Lawmakers hear the clock ticking toward deep defense and domestic spending cuts, and senior members of both parties appear poised to pass a measure during a lame-duck session that would add additional time to that clock. Senior congressional Democrats and Republicans are talking openly about kicking down the road the date that would trigger separate $500 billion, 10-year cuts to planned defense and domestic spending.More

No new buyouts on USPS horizon
Federal News Radio
VideoBriefAfter three separate buyouts in 2012, the U.S. Postal Service says it has no plans for any new offers in the foreseeable future. "Right now, we have all our plans in place," Anthony Vegliante, the agency's chief human resources officer, told Federal News Radio. "So I don't see anything other than to focus on completing, making the transition, and getting our employees in the right place."More

How to avoid going broke after retirement
Investopedia via The San Francisco Chronicle
One of the most terrifying prospects that many workers face today is the possibility of outliving their retirement savings after they stop working. In many instances, however, this worst-case scenario can be avoided with proper planning. There are several steps you can take to ensure that your money lasts as long as possible.More

A consumer's guide to health reform, post-election
Kaiser Health News
Now that President Barack Obama has won a second term, the Affordable Care Act is back on a fast track. Some analysts argue that there could be modifications to reduce federal spending as part of a broader deficit deal; for now, this is just speculation. What is clear is that the law will have sweeping ramifications for consumers, state officials, employers and health care providers, including hospitals and doctors.More

How cancer changes caregivers
You may feel that it goes without saying that caring for a cancer patient changes your life. Yet, the breadth and magnitude of the changes cannot be underestimated. Through interviews with caregivers and many more informal conversations with caregivers, here are profound changes that resulted from their caregiving experiences.More

How to find a great job now that you're over 50
Work at an older age is becoming business as usual. As life expectancy continues to increase, older adults are healthier and more active than in the past. That said, for older workers who lose a job and want to keep working, that can be a problem. The average duration of unemployment is more than one year for workers 55 and older, above the average nine months for younger workers.More

For 'retirees,' golfing is out and working is in
The Washington Post
For many people, dreams of an early retirement are fading, if not blacked out. The reality is that a lot of folks will still be working well into their senior years — if they can. A retirement survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 70 percent of American workers said they plan to work for pay even after they retire.More

How to survive Thanksgiving travel
If you're jumping on a plane for the Thanksgiving holiday, brace yourself for crowded flights, traffic jams and gnarly weather across much of the country. "Get to the airport really, really early," says George Hobica, the founder of And if you're not already an airline-club member, splurge on a lounge pass. You'll need it. Nearly 24 million passengers are expected to board flights over the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period that begins Nov. 16. More

8 top auto maintenance myths
Want to save hundreds of dollars a year on automobile maintenance? Then stop overmaintaining your vehicle. Sales pitches by fast-and-furious oil change shops and service centers touting all sorts of fluid flushes and lube jobs have Americans wasting wads of cash on unnecessary service items — particularly on newer vehicles.More