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NEWS FROM NARFE

March is 'NARFE-PAC Month'
NARFE
The March issue of narfe magazine highlights "NARFE-PAC Month," the Association's annual focus on NARFE's political action committee, also known as the Federal Employee and Retiree Defense Fund. The issue's cover wrap asks for NARFE members' help in beefing up the fund, and NARFE makes it easy for you to contribute by including a postage-paid envelope in the center of the magazine. The articles inside will arm you with facts and figures as to just how NARFE-PAC funds are used to defend your earned benefits. "I urge you to make a contribution to your defense fund," says NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin. "NARFE-PAC is the only NARFE solicitation that directly supports our core mission: legislative and political advocacy to protect the earned benefits of current and retired federal employees."
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Continue FEHBP coverage?
NARFE
Question: I am thinking about leaving the federal government to go into the private sector. What happens to my Federal Employees Health Benefits Program coverage upon leaving the federal government?
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RETIREMENT READINESS NOW TIP


Taking the mystery out of retirement planning
Office of Personnel Management
Many American workers find retirement planning a mystery. In this booklet developed by the Department of Labor, each chapter will give you clues on how to take control of your finances so that, when you retire, you have the time and money to do what you've always wanted. For some, it's simply being with friends and family. For others, it's starting a new hobby or craft. And for some, it's starting a new life. The online version of "Taking the Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning" includes interactive worksheets that you complete as you read each chapter. Or call (toll-free) 866-444-3272 to order copies.
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Federal employees worry about paying bills if hit with unpaid furlough days
The Washington Post
Patricia McGinn loses sleep fretting about lost wages. Mary Watkins paid off a couple of bills early, just in case. Laura Hill has a question about unemployment compensation. Each of these federal employees have different circumstances, but they all share a big concern — the unpaid leave days facing the workforce.
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MSPB braces for possible flood of furlough appeals
Government Executive
The small federal agency that handles appeals from government workers who have been furloughed could be inundated with complaints if sequestration happens. If Congress doesn't reverse the dreaded automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin taking effect March 1, hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be furloughed on and off for the rest of the fiscal year. Furloughed employees can appeal those personnel decisions to the Merit Systems Protection Board, an independent, quasi-judicial agency in the executive branch with just 203 employees in Washington, D.C., and in eight regional offices across the country.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
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To find out how to feature your company in the NARFE NewsWatch and other advertising opportunities, Contact James DeBois at 469-420-2618.
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Cantor calls for increasing federal employee retirement contributions
The Washington Post
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., repeated his recent call to replace sequestration with changes including revisions to the federal employee retirement program. "Virtually no one has both a defined-benefit and a defined-contribution retirement system in the private sector," Rory Cooper, a spokesman for Cantor, said. "We wouldn't eliminate it, but we would make the employer (taxpayer) subsidy less generous."
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FINANCES


How boomers can shed debt in retirement
Fox Business
It’s no secret that we have a spending problem. Consumers living above their means and buying homes they couldn’t afford contributed to the housing crisis that led to the 2008 Great Recession. And the amount of credit card debt we have racked up is staggering. Even our country’s budget deficit is out of control. And boomers are no different. Policy and advocacy group Demos found in a recent survey that of low- and middle-income households carrying credit card balances, people age 65 and up have more credit card debt than any other age group, at an average of $9,300.
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HEALTH


Flu shot doing poor job of protecting older people
The Associate Press via Yahoo News
It turns out that this year's flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting older people, the most vulnerable age group. The vaccine is proving only 9 percent effective in those age 65 and older against the harsh strain of the flu that is predominant this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Health officials are baffled as to why this is so. But the findings help explain why so many older people have been hospitalized with the flu this year.
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SECOND CAREERS


Strategies to find your 'encore' career
Market Watch
You've heard of the "encore career" — the idea of a midlife transition to new, more meaningful work. But, as good as that sounds, how can you go about effecting that change in your own life?
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


Will your home be your retirement home?
Market Watch
Tens of millions of baby boomers — about 40 percent of those age 50 to 64, according to one recent survey — plan to move either just before or just after retirement. And a not-insignificant share of those who do move will choose to live in an organized retirement community, fueling what's currently a $54 billion industry. But as big as those numbers may look, they obscure some even bigger ones: The lion's share of retirees opt to "age in place," staying put in the towns, neighborhoods and residences where they've spent their working lives and raised their families.
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TRAVEL


Merger means higher airfare for leisure travelers
ABC News
Planning a trip to the theme park mecca of Orlando? You might want to get there sooner rather than later. The latest mega-merger between American Airlines and US Airways — the fourth such union in as many years — could put a crimp in your plans. Maybe not right away, but it is coming.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Robocalls can trick you into paying unowed debt
KTRK-TV
Beware of a phone call claiming your loved one is in serious legal trouble. The caller knows your name, your phone number, but the rest is a trick designed to make you fearful and eager to pay money to stay out of trouble. "They were trying to pressure me into thinking that I needed to contact a lawyer and contact them," Allison Currie said. Currie was understandably concerned when she got a robocall message on her answering machine. The call claims Currie's sister Samantha has a past debt and makes it sound as if serious trouble is around the corner, but there's a problem.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Three jobs you didn't know you could do in retirement (Next Avenue)
Military service credit (NARFE)
A new retiree's to-do list (Government Executive)
Bank card scam: Skimming devices target consumers at the ATM, gas pumps (Mercury News)
Federal unions, except postal groups, grow as other labor organizations decline (The Washington Post)

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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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