Don't let federal workers be scapegoats; Contact your legislators now!
NARFE is urging all members to contact their members of Congress to fight back against the unfair scapegoating of federal workers in the payroll tax holiday debate. The House Republican leadership has introduced a bill that would freeze federal worker pay for a third year and make drastic changes in the federal retirement system to pay for extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. The provisions affecting current and future federal employees would: extend the current two-year federal worker pay freeze for one additional year; increase the employee contribution by both Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System employees by 1.5 percent over three years; create a new category of retirement for new federal employees and anyone not currently vested in FERS that would require employees to contribute 10.2 percent of their salary towards retirement, base their annuity on the highest five years of salary and use a multiplier of 0.7 percent instead of the current 1.1 percent; and end the Social Security supplement for those covered by FERS who retire before age 62, except those who are in a mandatory-retirement age position.
Congressional action is expected this week. To send your message to Congress and Protect America's Heartbeat, click here.
Senators: Keep federal pay freeze out of payroll tax extension
The Washington Post Share
Eight Democratic senators are urging colleagues to reject proposals to pay for extending the payroll tax cut by prolonging a federal worker pay freeze. The Senate blocked consideration of separate Democratic and Republican plans to extend the payroll tax cut, as the partisan stalemate over the issue continues. The National Treasury Employees Union called the GOP proposal an "unjust, ill-advised proposal" that targeted federal workers "for even further sacrifice." Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, agreed. "Even when a policy like the payroll tax holiday is supposed to help middle-class Americans like us, it comes with a federal worker penalty attached," he said. More
Senators seek halt to Postal Service downsizing
Federal Times Share
If nothing else, the U.S. Postal Service is successfully drawing Congress' attention to its financial plight — just not in the way that USPS leaders might prefer. The latest evidence: 20 senators recently called for a six-month freeze on any closings of rural post offices or mail processing facilities. More
'Tis the season to know gift policies
At this time of year, issues commonly arise around giving or getting gifts in the work environment. Rules are found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 5 C.F.R., section 2635; many agencies also have their own policies. More
How to pay for a nursing home
CareerBuilder.com via Detroit Free Press Share
The U.S. Medicare website offers clear explanations for payment and insurance options, and a full list of resources. Nursing home care is widely covered by Medicaid programs, which pay most costs for extended stays for people with limited income or assets. For more information, click here.
For older runners, the message is: Keep those legs pumping
HealthDay News Share
For runners lacing up their jogging shoes at age 60 and beyond, there's encouraging news and not-so-encouraging news, according to new research."The good news is that as we age, we maintain good running economy," said study leader Timothy Quinn, an associate professor of exercise science at the University of New Hampshire. Running economy refers to how efficiently your body uses oxygen at a specific pace. The less this "oxygen cost," the longer you can run. When it comes to oxygen cost, Quinn found that runners past age 60 "are no different than the 22-year-old runners, which is kind of amazing." More
Tips for grandparents sharing child care
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times Share
Rosa Feddersen and her husband bought their dream retirement home on a lake in Oklahoma City five years ago. But when they learned that their first grandchild was on the way in 2009, their agenda changed. After pleas from their daughter, they moved back to Pennsylvania to help with the baby. Their daughter and son-in-law are both surgeons, and Feddersen sometimes watches her granddaughter, Nora, 70 hours a week. While it's a lot of work, she says the arrangement seems to be working for everyone. More
Job seekers over 50 told it's who you know
The Journal News Share
What job seekers who are over 50 did in their off-hours before becoming unemployed matters as much their past job performance. That's the message human resources, volunteer and career professionals have for the older unemployed. More
Slideshow: Kiplinger's best and worst states for retirees
ABC News Share
This slideshow lists Kiplinger's best and worst states for retirees looking to settle down. More
America's best cities for winter travel
The Huffington Post Share
This winter's forecast: plenty of snow and travelers fleeing it. That was the message of this year's America's Favorite Cities survey. Every year, Travel + Leisure readers vote on dozens of qualities in 35 U.S. cities — from the best microbrews and museums to the most pet-friendly vacations. More
Holiday decorations on a budget
CBS News Share
One of the best parts of the holiday season is celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately, all the eggnog and stocking stuffers can wreak havoc on your budget — a recent Gallup poll says that consumers plan to spend a whopping $764 each on Christmas gifts this year. That doesn't leave much room for decorations, but what would the holidays be without bright lights and inflatable lawn ornaments? More
I missed the Open Season deadline; now, what can I do?
Question: I'm a retiree and missed the Open Season deadline of Dec. 12 to make a change in my Federal Employees Health Benefits Program coverage. What can I do? More
Senate passes bill to honor fallen feds
NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin applauded Senate passage Dec. 8 of a bill that would authorize federal agencies to present a U.S. flag to the next of kin, or other designee, of a civilian federal employee who is killed while performing official duties. "In an average year, 150 federal employees lose their lives when they go to work for us across the country and around the world. Their loss is tragic, but the results of this legislation will at least serve as a deserved symbol of recognition of their sacrifice," Beaudoin said. The bill, H.R. 2061, passed the House on Nov. 2. President Obama supports the legislation and is expected to sign it into law.
Are you a member of NARFE? If not, join today!
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting and enhancing the health care and retirement benefits of federal employees and their survivors.
Please forward this edition of NewsWatch to friends and colleagues who might be interested in its content.