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NEWS FROM NARFE

NARFE opportunity: House and Senate in recess during week of Feb. 17
NARFE
Congress will be in recess Feb. 17-21. Since legislators need not be on Capitol Hill, this (or any recess week) is the ideal time to meet with your representative and senators. Use the "Request a Meeting" form on their websites, or simply phone a district or state office. Phone numbers are listed in telephone directories, and maps to district and state offices are available on CongressMerge. If you are unable to secure a meeting, drop by the legislator's office with the most recent copy of narfe magazine. NARFE's legislative staff (leg@narfe.org or 703-838-7760) is eager to provide assistance if you need it. Face-to-face meetings are a huge NARFE advantage only if employed.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Thrift Savings Plan
NARFE
Question: I am a retired federal employee with a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account. I currently have a 401(k), which I acquired while employed in the private sector. Can I roll over the 401(k) into the TSP?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Report: Fed-worker retirement eligibility to skyrocket by 2017
The Washington Post
The federal workforce is building toward a potential retirement wave in coming years, with more than a third of career federal employees projected to be eligible for collecting their end-of-career benefits by September 2017, compared to just 14 percent at the same time in 2012.
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Postal reform bill would create new health care plan for agency
Government Executive
Unions representing U.S. Postal Service employees offered a stark rebuke of an updated, bipartisan postal reform measure, which now includes a provision to remove USPS workers from the federal employee health care system.
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TSP loans, hardship withdrawals hit 10-year high last year
Federal News Radio
More Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participants withdrew money from their accounts early in 2013 than in any other year over the past decade. TSP processed a total of 291,000 loans and about 138,000 hardship withdrawals last year, according to statistics presented at the TSP board's monthly meeting. More than 14,000 of the hardship withdrawals taken last year came during the month of October, when partisan gridlock led to a 16-day government shutdown, financial uncertainty and delayed paychecks for thousands of federal employees.
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Social Security Administration offers early retirement to employees again
Government Executive
The Social Security Administration once again will offer early retirement incentives to eligible employees this year as part of an ongoing effort to right-size its workforce, the agency recently announced. Employees who are at least 50 years old with 20 years of federal service, or any employee with at least 25 years in federal government, are eligible to take advantage of SSA's Voluntary Early Retirement Authority.
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Obama tells agencies to give unemployed workers a fair shot at federal jobs
Government Executive
Federal agencies should not reject applicants for federal jobs on the grounds that they are unemployed, even if an applicant has been unable to find work for an extended period of time, President Obama said in a memo recently issued.
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FINANCES


Retirement: Get financial help for caring for parents
Kiplinger's Money Power via Chicago Tribune
If you're paying your parents' bills, don't overlook these sources of money and tax breaks. Medicare provides only limited coverage for skilled nursing or rehabilitation services after a hospital stay. It doesn't cover custodial care, such as help with bathing, dressing and eating, which people with Alzheimer's and other debilitating illnesses need.
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HEALTH


5 important numbers to keep cardiovascular system healthy
News-Medical.net
Pass codes, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, clothing sizes and addresses. We all have a lot of numbers in our heads, but heart experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say there are five more you need to know to help keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
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TRAVEL


How to choose an air travel search site
The New York Times
Which airline booking sites offer the cheapest airfares? If your answer was Expedia — or any of the other dozens of online travel agencies — you’re wrong. If it was "They're all the same," you're definitely wrong. "It's so overwhelming, I have no idea"? You're getting close.
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SECOND CAREERS


5 ways to make job hunting easier on you
U.S. News & World Report
Looking for a job is one of the most frustrating and anxiety-producing experiences that we have in our adult lives, especially if the search stretches on longer than anticipated. If you're one of the many people who is finding that your search is taking months longer than what was typical in previous job markets, here are five ways to make this maddening process easier on yourself.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Top 10 consumer scams to watch out for
WTVJ-TV
When it comes to giving out money or personal information, there's one rule to follow to avoid scams. "If it looks too good to be true, it usually is," said Mike Galvin with the Better Business Bureau for Southeast Florida and the Caribbean.
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We are NARFE. Join us!
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association is the only membership organization solely dedicated to protecting and preserving the benefits of all federal workers and retirees. NARFE is your legislative voice and your information resource. Join now.

Visit NARFE on the Web at www.narfe.org.



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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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