OPM outlines planned fixes to pension delays
Federal Times Share
The Office of Personnel Management says it plans to clear a backlog of more than 48,000 federal retirement claims within 18 months by hiring 76 more staff, paying staff more overtime and taking other steps. Because of the backlog, the average time to process a new retirement claim under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System is 156 days, as of Dec. 31, OPM said in a new report outlining how the agency plans to fix the problem. OPM's goal is to adjudicate 90 percent of all new retirement claims within 60 days of receipt from the agencies, the report said. More
USPS-union talks expire for third time since November
Government Executive Share
Two U.S. Postal Service union contracts expired for the third time in three months Jan. 20. USPS announced that separate contract negotiations with the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union have come to "an impasse." Contracts with both unions expired at midnight Nov. 20, 2011. The parties then agreed to extend negotiations until midnight Dec. 16 and again until Jan. 20. More
Medicare changes to know for 2012
Fox Business Share
It seems as if the Medicare program is always changing, and it can be hard to keep up with the modifications and deadlines. Every year, more than 1.5 million boomers enroll in the government-sponsored health insurance program, and the big problem right now is that the number of people receiving Medicare benefits is substantially higher than the number of people paying into the system. Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, discusses this year's Medicare changes and how they impact baby boomers. More
Your smartphone may be stressing you out
HealthDay News via Everyday Health Share
Compulsively checking your smartphone may not actually be that smart, British researchers warn. The cautionary observation stems from a new study that finds an association between the increasingly popular use of Web-enabled cellphones and a rise in stress levels. The reason: a relentless need to immediately review and respond to each and every incoming message, alert or bing. More
Great ideas for senior-friendly communities
U.S. News & World Report Share
If necessity is the mother of invention, then the aging-in-place movement is a natural. For years, consumer surveys have reported that most people want to live right where they already are as they get older. As attractive as the idea of aging in place may be, progress in creating a nationwide movement in this direction has been slow and uneven. Towns and cities that have been built for automobiles and interstate highways are not very friendly to older residents, especially those who can no longer drive. More
In job search, be willing to be yourself
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Share
One of the greatest challenges for job seekers is fighting frustration. When you've been looking for a job for an extended period of time, it's easy to lose focus and forget that you are the most important asset you have to offer any company. Here are a few tips to get re-energized for the job hunt. More
Report: Boomers fear health costs will overwhelm them in retirement
The cost of health care in retirement is substantial, and many boomers feel they aren't prepared to meet those costs, a report released by the Insured Retirement Institute found. Almost two-thirds of boomers aren't confident they have enough saved to cover the cost of health care after they retire. Younger boomers are especially concerned; 72 percent of those between ages 50 and 54 say they are worried about being able to cover costs. More
New rules make airfare seem higher
When you look to buy airline tickets, it might seem like prices have shot up. For once, that's not actually the case. Higher advertised fares are the result of new Department of Transportation rules that are going into effect, under the banner "Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections #2." Higher prices shown up front is one of the four main changes that you'll see when the new rules go into effect starting Jan. 24. More
Bad customer service? 10 ways to be heard
Have you ever had a bad customer service experience? Who hasn't these days? In today's corporate environment, profits are frequently the only motivation for most companies. Honoring promises made to customers and ensuring customer satisfaction have become less of a factor in the consumer experience. Here are 10 ways to take a stand against failed customer service experiences. More
Receiving a 1099R from OPM
Question: I am retired, and I want to file my taxes soon. When will I receive my 1099R from the Office of Personnel Management? More
NARFE will testify at House hearing Jan. 25
NARFE will defend the federal retirement system Jan. 25, in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy. The subcommittee hearing is titled "Retirement Readiness: Strengthening the Federal Pension System." The hearing will be streamed live online at www.oversight.house.gov beginning at 10 a.m. EST.
Tell Congress to 'stand firm' against paying for the tax holiday on the backs of feds
NARFE is urging members to send a message to their members of Congress opposing a House-passed bill that would cut the pay and benefits of federal employees to finance the yearlong payroll tax holiday. A House-Senate conference committee will consider that bill and one passed by the Senate, which does not contain any cuts for feds. The House bill "asks fewer than 2 percent of America's middle-class workers to pay for almost two-thirds of the entire payroll tax-cut extension," NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin said in asking all NARFE members to send a letter to Congress. To send your letter, click here.
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.
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