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NEWS FROM NARFE

Edwards reintroduces the Federal Employee Pension Fairness Act
NARFE
Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., reintroduced the Federal Employee Pension Fairness Act (H.R. 785), which would repeal the increased pension contribution requirement for new federal employees. In 2013, newly hired federal employees began to pay 2.3 percent more toward their retirement than their previously hired colleagues without any increase in benefits. In 2014, new hires began to contribute another 1.3 percent, or 3.6 percent more than those hired before 2013. This steady increase in contributions results in a significant decrease in take-home pay, putting a financial strain on federal employees and their families. NARFE supports H.R. 785. NARFE's press release on the bill can be read here.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Reinstate survivor benefits?
NARFE
Question: My friend forfeited her survivor annuity by marrying too soon after she had become a widow. I believe that she was married for about 10 years the second time. Her second husband is now deceased. Can she be reinstated? Is it possible to re-enroll in her medical plan?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


New bill would roll back pension contribution hikes
Federal Times
New federal employees would see their contribution to retirement funds drop by hundreds of dollars under legislation introduced Feb. 5 by Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md. The Federal Employee Pension Fairness Act would reverse pension increases passed under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which requires federal employees hired after January 2014 to pay 4.4 percent of their salaries into the Federal Employees Retirement System. Those hired in 2013 pay 3.1 percent.
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In the black? Postal Service has a 'fantastic quarter'
Federal Times
The Postal Service saw an operating profit of $1.1 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, fueled by record numbers of package deliveries, according to financial information released by the agency Feb. 6. But after factoring in the Postal Service's obligation to prepay for retiree health benefits and fund its worker compensation fund, the service shows a net loss of $754 million.
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Retirement claims backlog nearly doubles in January
Government Executive
The backlog of federal retirement claims waiting to be processed jumped up in January, as anticipated, according to figures published by the Office of Personnel Management. The pile of incomplete claims now stands at 22,636, the highest it's been since last February. That's almost double the 11,669 pending applications in December.
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FINANCES


7 times when paying more isn't worth it
USA Today
Sometimes, when you see two products that are designed to do the same thing, paying more is actually a good idea. You really do want thicker and softer, and it's worth paying for. But other times, going the cheap route makes perfect sense — and any differences are all but undetectable. Here are some instances in which you can pay less without sacrificing quality.
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HEALTH


13 ways to control your blood pressure without medication
Fox News
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is not just a health condition, it's a disease. Blood pressure is the body's reflection of the tension in the blood vessels — the more tense they are, the higher your blood pressure is and harder the heart has to work, said Dr. Vincent Bufalino, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.
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SECOND CAREERS


What's different about job searching in 2015
U.S. News & World Report
If you're starting a job search in 2015 and haven't been on the market for a while, you might be surprised by how the job market and typical hiring processes have changed in the last five to 10 years. Part of this is a function of how the economy has led to more job seekers than there are jobs, part is attributable to changes in technology and part is simply changing norms of what a good hiring process entails. Regardless, it's a different world for job seekers than it was a decade ago.
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TRAVEL


Caribbean blues: Mosquito virus is sickening more travelers
The Associated Press via Yahoo
Thousands of travelers to the Caribbean and nearby regions are coming home with an unwanted souvenir: a mosquito-borne virus that recently settled there. The virus, called chikungunya, causes severe, often disabling joint pain, and few U.S. doctors are prepared to recognize its signs. At one New York City hospital, a woman arrived in such agony she had to be admitted just to control her pain.
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CONSUMER TIPS


7 ways to save money on Valentine's Day flowers
GOBankingRates via CBS News
Valentine's Day has long posed a threat to an otherwise healthy savings account, and studies show the holiday is only getting more expensive. According to IBISWorld, Americans spent an average of $134.08 on Valentine's Day in 2013 — and almost 10 percent of that was on flowers.
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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
Bianca Gibson, Executive Editor, 469.420.2611   Contribute news
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