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This issue of NewsWatch is provided by NARFE, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the earned pay, retirement and health care benefits of federal employees, retirees and their survivors. Please join today!


CPI-E bill reintroduced in the House
Rep. Michael Honda, D-California, reintroduced H.R. 3351, the CPI-E Act of 2015, which would adopt the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), rather than the current Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), as the measure for determining annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security beneficiaries, federal and military annuities, and certain veterans' benefits.

It is the position of NARFE that the current CPI-W fails to accurately measure seniors' costs and spending habits, particularly related to health care. Individuals ages 65 and older allocate 13 percent of their spending toward health care costs compared to the 5 percent allocated by the general public. COLAs would be larger using the CPI-E and would more accurately reflect seniors' real costs.

NARFE supports this legislation. To send a letter asking your representative to cosponsor the bill, click here.
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NARFE's members are well informed on their benefits and retirement options. Qualified benefit specialists are on hand to help members personally and to publish answers to questions like these every month in narfe magazine. Join NARFE today.

Disability Retirement and FEHBP
Question: If I retire on disability, would I have to pay the total cost of health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)?
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More delays hold back OPM hack victims from receiving protection benefits
The 21.5 million victims of the breach of background investigation data maintained by the Office of Personnel Management will likely have to wait a bit longer than originally planned to receive their promised protection benefits.
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OMB: Agencies making strides on enhancing cybersecurity
Federal News Radio
Agencies have taken significant steps to improve their cybersecurity in the aftermath of the two recent cyber breaches at the Office of Personnel Management. In a recent blog post, the Office of Management and Budget released the preliminary results of the 30-day cyber sprint ordered by federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott in June.
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In controversial VA bill, a little-noticed boon for whistleblowers
The Washington Post
The recent House action giving the government more power to fire poor performers at the Department of Veterans Affairs was poisonous for federal employee unions and Democrats. But the bill, rejected by most Democrats, contains a little-noticed change that lawmakers in both parties have clamored for, particularly after last year's coverup of long wait times for veterans needing medical care. Whistleblowers would gain some of the strongest protections in history — and supervisors who punish them for reporting wrongdoing would themselves be punished.
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Mail will soon get cheaper with USPS rate increase set to expire next spring
Mail will get a few cents cheaper next spring, as the U.S. Postal Service's regulator has set a new cap on how much revenue the agency can earn from its emergency price increase before it must cancel the temporary rate. The Postal Regulatory Commission's ruling will end the exigency rate a little more than two years after it went into place in 2014 and helped stabilize USPS' previously shaky finances. The order will allow the Postal Service to raise about $4 billion from the price surge, up from the $2.8 billion the agency was originally permitted to collect.
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Estate planning isn't just for the rich
Financial Planning
Estate planning for high-net-worth clients can be complex and intricate, aimed largely at reducing tax bills. But what about estate planning for everyone else? Just because clients may have fewer digits in their total net worth, say advisors, doesn't mean that it's any less important for them to focus on how to successfully pass on the assets they do have.
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It pays to read the warnings when you open up a prescription
The Washington Post
It has taken Barbara Odanaka, 52, four years to feel better. In the beginning, lifting a mug of coffee stressed the tendons in her wrist and caused excruciating pain. Gripping her cellphone for 10 or 15 seconds risked a burning sensation, as if lava were flowing beneath her skin. She couldn't lift her cat or open jars or, on bad days, squeeze toothpaste from a tube. Walking, she says, felt as if shards were cutting her feet. The pain was cyclical, at times striking her biceps, knees and Achilles tendons. Odanaka had — and still does, to some degree — fluoroquinolone toxicity, a disorder of the musculoskeletal system. Simply put, Odanaka says, a drug poisoned her.
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Boomer itineraries mix culture, cash, time
The Boston Globe
When it started up in 1971, Gregg Marston's company was a scrappy kid, offering fast, challenging cycling trips with few frills through the unforgiving foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains. Now, like its customers, it's easing through middle age. For one thing, what is now called VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations added the "walking" part. For another, it has expanded to offer 50 trips worldwide — it prefers to call them "cultural immersion experiences" — from the Costa Rican rain forest to the food markets of Hanoi. It's one of the many dramatic ways the travel industry is changing to win over its most lucrative market ever: baby boomers.
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What you need to know about sunscreen
The Skin Cancer Foundation
Are you confused by all the sunscreen options and ingredients? From information about water resistant sunscreens to SPF 50 to broad spectrum protection, The Skin Cancer Foundation has you covered.
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Disclaimer: The articles that appear in NARFE NewsWatch are chosen from a variety of sources to reflect topics of interest to active and retired federal employees. With the exception of Federal Benefits Question of the Week and News From NARFE, an article's inclusion in NARFE NewsWatch does not imply that the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) endorses, supports or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Bianca Gibson, Executive Editor, 469.420.2611   Contribute news
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