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NEWS FROM NARFE

March 12 is NARFE National Call Congress Day

NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin is urging all NARFE members to participate in the Association's upcoming National Call Congress Day on Tuesday, March 12. Federal employees and retirees have already contributed $103 billion toward deficit reduction. As Congress debates ways to avert sequestration and fund the government past March 27, your senators and representatives need to hear your message that federal employees and retirees should not be targeted again.

NARFE members and NewsWatch subscribers will receive specific instructions closer to the date via NARFE's GEMS email messaging system and will be able to link to the calling script on the NARFE website.

The March 12 Call Congress Day will coincide with NARFE member visits to lawmakers on Capitol Hill as part of NARFE's Legislative Training Conference's grass-roots advocacy program.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


FERS early retirement
NARFE
Question: I retired under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) at age 59. I took a 15 percent reduction — 5 percent for each year under age 62. When I turn age 62, do I get my 15 percent back?
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RETIREMENT READINESS NOW TIP


Think TSP
Office of Personnel Management
The elective deferral limit for TSP contributions for 2013 is $17,500 (which is an increase from $17,000 that existed in 2012). This means that eligible employees may make up to $17,500 of regular TSP contributions for the 2013 calendar year. Remember: traditional contributions are tax-deferred, and Roth contributions are after-tax.

TSP catch-up

If you are at least age 50 (or will become age 50 during the calendar year), and if you are making the maximum contribution into the TSP during the calendar year (i.e., $17,500 for 2013), you can make catch-up contributions to your TSP account (as much as $5,500 per year). Remember: Catch-up contributions must be elected each year. You can find more information about TSP here.

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FEDERAL UPDATE


Feds fear sequester's impact
Federal Times
Kelly — a single mother of two — said hives broke out on her arm because she has been worrying so much about the furlough. "I didn't sleep at all last night," said Kelly, an Air Force machinist who asked that her last name and base not be printed. "It wouldn't take a whole lot to make me cry." Because of the sequester that appeared all but certain, Kelly and almost 800,000 other defense department civilians are likely to be furloughed one day a week for the rest of the year beginning in late April. That amounts to a 20 percent pay cut.
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TSP outlines options for furloughed employees
The Washington Post
Federal employees who experience financial trouble due to a sequestration-caused furlough will have several options available through their Thrift Savings Plan accounts, but important considerations apply to each, the TSP said in guidance issued.
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Sequestration Tracker: Guide to agency furloughs
Federal News Radio
In the weeks leading up to March 1, agencies across government have painted increasingly dire pictures of life under sequestration. Along with hiring freezes, spending reductions, and curtailed travel and training, many agencies are planning for furloughs. In this article, find out how agencies have said they'll slash their budgets to comply with the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
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FINANCES


Retirement planning: Get the right professional help
CBS MoneyWatch
Planning for a healthy and prosperous retirement that might last 25 years or more can be a daunting task. You want to make your financial resources last the rest of your life — no matter how long you live — and you don't want to be wiped out by medical or long-term care expenses. So it makes sense to seek guidance from trained professionals for some of your most important decisions.
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HEALTH


How to use expanded free senior health services
U.S. News & World Report
Seniors are slowly taking advantage of the greatly expanded menu of free preventive health screenings and tests provided under Obamacare. Many of the procedures do not require a co-pay and are not subject to any insurance deductibles. Ideally, they should be part of an ongoing wellness plan that you and your physician develop. Under the rules, for example, a free yearly wellness exam is available from doctors who participate in Medicare.
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SECOND CAREERS


A new vision for retirement: Productive and meaningful
Harvard Business Review
Today, tens of millions of 50-, 60-, and 70-somethings say they are eager to apply their accumulated skills in areas like education, health and the environment. According to research from 2011, some 31 million people ages 44 to 70 want encore careers that allow them to continue earning a living and give them meaning that has an impact beyond themselves. They want to create a better world for future generations.
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


Poll: More Americans expect to work after retirement
The Tampa Tribune
The retirement situation for American workers is getting tougher as a new survey finds that more than half of people in their 60s expect to keep working after leaving their current job. But the good news is more companies are willing to keep older workers on staff. A poll by CareerBuilder found that 60 percent of people who are age 60 or older expect to look for another job after retiring from their current company. The number is up from 57 percent last year.
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TRAVEL


Best hotels in the United States 2013
U.S. News & World Report
Guidebooks, magazines, websites, apps ... There are legions of travel resources out there, all aimed at helping you find the best hotel. Some rely on in-house experts to provide first-hand accounts of cleanliness and customer service, while others gather guest reviews, seeking the truth from the masses. But with so many opinions cluttering the bookshelves and the Internet, researching accommodations can gobble up a large chunk of time. And even after you've put in the legwork, how do you know who to trust?
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CONSUMER TIPS


Beware of bogus IRS emails
Lahontan Valley News
The Internal Revenue Service receives thousands of reports every year from taxpayers who receive emails out-of-the-blue claiming to be from the IRS. Scammers use the IRS name or logo to make the message appear authentic so you will respond to it. In reality, it's a scam known as "phishing," attempting to trick you into revealing your personal and financial information. The criminals then use this information to commit identity theft or steal your money. The IRS has advice for anyone who receives an email claiming to be from the IRS or directing you to an IRS site: Do not reply to the message.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Federal employees worry about paying bills if hit with unpaid furlough days (The Washington Post)
Continue FEHBP coverage? (NARFE)
Cantor calls for increasing federal employee retirement contributions (The Washington Post)
How boomers can shed debt in retirement (Fox Business)
Taking the mystery out of retirement planning (Office of Personnel Management )

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.




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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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