Debt deal ultimately could squeeze federal workers
The Washington Post Share
The debt-ceiling agreement recently struck does not directly require cutbacks in the federal workforce or employee benefits — news that added to the relief of government workers. But more angst and anxiety might be up ahead. Should the agreement be signed into law, its plan for a two-stage cut in the federal budget could have implications for employees at each step. More
Does the debt deal harbor more fiscal pain for employees?
The Washington Post Share
Nobody likes tax increases. But federal employees have more reason than most to wish the White House had been as successful in getting a balanced approach to debt reduction as the intransigent House Republicans were at winning a deal that is not balanced, an agreement that does not include new tax revenue. But a package without tax revenue provides no alternative. All federal employees are left with are trillions in budget cuts over the next decade. More
Administration presses lawmakers to resolve FAA impasse
Federal Times Share
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pleaded with Congress to end a standoff that has kept the Federal Aviation Administration partially shut down for almost a week. Besides almost 4,000 FAA employees who have been furloughed since July 23, another 70,000 construction workers have been idled as the agency has stopped work on dozens of projects for lack of funding, LaHood said at a White House news briefing. "Don't hold hostage common ordinary citizens that want to work," he said. More
6 likely Social Security changes
U.S. News & World Report Share
Washington's debt-ceiling drama is dwindling to its season finale. Grand plans for a "big deal," including changes to Social Security and Medicare, have given way to face-saving efforts to permit the country to issue new debt and still allow the political parties to claim the high ground as they gear up for 2012 election campaigns. So, for the time being, retirees can breathe a bit easier about changes to their key benefits. More
Can vitamins help boost your memory?
Adults who took vitamin and mineral supplements for almost a decade performed better on one type of memory test than those who didn't take the supplements, according to a new study from France. The researchers say the findings suggest that getting enough nutrients could aid thinking and memory skills as people get older. But further studies are needed to confirm the results, they add. More
Grandparents go back to school to learn new rules for child care
The Imperfect Parent Share
Many hospitals now offer grandparenting classes, which cover everything from modern childbirth trends to current standards in infant care. The classes generally run about two hours and serve first as an orientation to the hospital, but also teach some of the finer points of grandparenting, like when to offer advice and how to act as a "cheerleader" for a new parent. Most grandparents willingly come to the classes, hoping to learn about changes in baby-raising that have occurred since they were parents. More
5 common résumé misconceptions
U.S. News & World Report Share
The digital revolution may have changed the hiring game, but for most applicants, the résumé is not dead. Candidates can now expect to be Googled and scoped out on social media sites, but in most cases, employers still want a résumé to learn about your skills, experience and career path. A résumé also makes it easy for them to make the case for hiring you to colleagues or bosses. More
Family assistance is the new 'retirement wildcard'
A recent study focused on the aging population contains a finding that could spell trouble for the retirement security of many Americans. About half of the adults polled — all of whom are ages 55 or over — say they expect to provide financial support to relatives, including adult children and elderly parents. "The economic recession has increased familial obligations and financial interdependence," says the study. More
Google wants to help you find your perfect hotel
USA Today Share
As part of its continuing push into the travel world, Google has revealed a new tool designed to let you find your dream hotel. You can now try Google's new tool called "Hotel Finder." At this point, Hotel Finder focuses only on U.S. hotels, but Google hopes to expand it if the tool proves popular. So why would you want to use Google's Hotel Finder instead of the site that you already find useful? More
Best couponing sites and apps
Go beyond the scissors and the Sunday paper to save even more. Here are some of the best websites and smartphone apps for finding coupons and other ways to save. More
A NARFE member asks about the federal government's DirectExpress® card
Question: What is the DirectExpress® card, and what are its benefits? More
NARFE responds to debt-ceiling deal on behalf of nation's federal workforce
Following the passage of a debt-ceiling agreement by both houses of Congress, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Joseph A. Beaudoin released the following statement:
"On behalf of our nation's more than 4 million federal workers and retirees and the Americans they serve, it is a great relief that a deal has been reached to keep the government moving forward. There is also temporary relief in the news that, so far, no sweeping plans have been enacted that would weaken our federal workers' retirement and health benefits.
"Unfortunately, the nearly $1 trillion in spending reductions across federal agencies will be a challenge to absorb, and once again federal workers will get the chance to demonstrate their skill at doing more with less. As the debt negotiations continue through the end of the year, I hope our leaders continue to recognize the value of our nation's federal workforce and the sacrifices they are undertaking to get our country back on solid financial ground."
NARFE president testifies before House and Senate subcommittees
NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin recently made two trips to Capitol Hill to testify before subcommittees in both the House and Senate. In the Senate, Beaudoin presented the Association's position on proposals to change the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, or FECA. NARFE opposes placing FECA beneficiaries into the federal retirement system at retirement age because this would severely reduce the recipients' retirement income. The Association supports a bill in the House that would not reduce benefits but would make much-needed improvements in the law, he told the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia. In the House, Beaudoin testified on ways to keep the Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, competitive with private-sector 401(k)s. NARFE supports allowing federal workers to contribute annual and vacation leave and bonuses into their TSP accounts, he told the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy. To read NARFE's congressional testimony, click here.
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