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NEWS FROM NARFE

2014 NARFE National Convention: Join us in Orlando!
NARFE
NARFE will hold its 33rd Biennial National Convention Aug. 24-28 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. The convention theme is "NARFE Is In Your Future: Embrace the mission. Share the vision." In addition to electing a new slate of national officers, delegates will have several training opportunities at "Lunch and Learn" and "Breakfast and Learn" sessions, and the Orlando location promises a variety of interesting and fun activities for conventiongoers and guests.

Visit NARFE's online convention site at www.narfe.org. Just click on the convention logo at left on the Home Page. Members can register online for the convention and banquet, or download the forms and mail them. Click on the Travel Arrangements tab to get details on the convention hotel and airline discounts. The January issue of narfe magazine also features a special section on the convention on pages 41-43. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin believes this convention could be "one of the most important in the Association's history." Make plans now to participate in this key event.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Social Security
NARFE
Question: I am age 65 and have 30 years of federal service. I previously worked in the private sector and am covered by Social Security. I will soon be 66 and have been told that I can draw my full Social Security benefit while I am still working. Is this true?

Besides taxes, is there a downside to drawing Social Security benefits while you are still working?

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FEDERAL UPDATE


TSP ends 2013 on a positive note
Government Executive
Nearly all the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan were in the black during the last month of 2013. Federal employees' retirement investments rounded out the year with four consecutive months of gains. The F Fund (fixed income) was the only one to finish the year in the red, dropping 0.56 percent in December and 1.68 percent during the last 12 months, according to the latest numbers.
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Federal retirements taper off in December
Federal News Radio
Fewer federal employees filed for retirement in December than in any month in nearly the last two years, according to updated statistics from the Office of Personnel Management. Just 4,952 federal employees filed for retirement. That's more than 3,400 fewer than expected, 720 fewer than in November and 200 fewer than the number who retired in December 2012.
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For federal employees, 2014 won't be as bad as 2013, but morale problems linger
The Washington Post
This new year doesn't promise to be especially happy for federal employees, but it won't be marked by pay cuts and lockouts and hopefully not the violence that marred 2013. As they begin the first full workweek of 2014, most federal workers have a 1 percent increase in their basic pay rates for the first time in three years.
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OPM seeks changes to feds' benefits, insurance opportunities
Federal News Radio
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) wants to expand the opportunities for eligible federal employees and their families to change their enrollment in the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). OPM proposed making these changes to bring FEDVIP in line with the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
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Lawmaker looks to postal service to restore military pension cut
Government Executive
A new bill would undo the recent cuts made to certain military retirees' pensions, and in exchange allow the U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, recently proposed legislation that would restore full cost-of-living adjustments for young military retirees. The cuts — which would decrease by 1 percent the COLAs received by working-age military retirees with at least 20 years of experience until they turn 62 — were included in the bipartisan budget deal passed in December.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
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John Roberts: Federal courts face more staff cuts
Federal Times
Flat budgets followed by sequester-related cuts have driven the size of the front-line federal court workforce to its lowest level in 16 years, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said in a year-end message warning of more staff reductions if Congress fails to boost funding this year.
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FINANCES


When it's OK to retire with debt
MarketWatch
Conventional wisdom suggests that you shouldn’t retire with any debt. But Americans are seemingly ignoring that advice, according to a new research report from the Michigan Retirement Research Center. Older Americans on the verge of retirement are more likely to retire with debt than in the past, according to that report, "Older Adult Debt and Financial Frailty."
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HEALTH


Smart food swaps
The Huffington Post
Nutritionist Dr. Lisa Young finds in her practice that small action-oriented steps and simple substitutions tend to work a lot better than broad resolutions like, "I have to lose weight" or "I want to eat healthier." Here are some smart and simple food swaps that you can actually implement and incorporate into your everyday routine to help you lead a healthier life.
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SECOND CAREERS




Job searching: Why you should use LinkedIn like your career depends on it
Career Enlightenment
If you're searching for work and have noticed things are different nowadays, well, you're not alone. In the past, you might mark your progress by declaring, "Hey, I've applied to 20 jobs this week for the fourth straight week in a row. I'm doing everything I can." Today, what matters is how good you look online. Jobvite's most recent (2013) State of Recruiting study found over 94 percent of companies use social media to recruit, and LinkedIn is their top tool.
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TRAVEL


50 states, 50 spots for 2014
CNN
The coasts get all the glory in the United States, but there's something fun to do in each and every state. Yes, every state. Not a believer? In this article, CNN gives suggestions for each state.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Experts: Watch your credit, debit cards after holidays
The Fresno Bee
Jessica Piffero of Fresno, Calif., was like thousands of other customers throughout Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley who used their debit or credit cards for holiday shopping at a Target store. Unbeknown to them, hackers had managed to penetrate Target's card-payment systems. Once news broke about the massive data breach, a nervous Piffero began closely monitoring her bank account for funny business — making sure there were no fraudulent transactions with her card number.
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NARFE NewsWatch from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
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
Caleb Gremmer, content editor, 469.420.2648   Contribute news
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