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NEWS FROM NARFE

NARFE opposes House FY 2016 budget, issues Action Alert
NARFE
The House Fiscal Year 2016 budget, which will be voted on later this week, attacks federal and postal employees and retirees by eliminating federal jobs, increasing retirement contributions for current employees, raising the cost of health insurance for both current federal and postal employees and retirees, and changing the rate of return on the Thrift Savings Plan G Fund. The savings from these cuts total $318 billion. Before the House votes, members of Congress need to hear from you! All NARFE members must respond quickly by sending a letter or email to your representative urging him/her to vote against this budget.

To read the press release NARFE issued expressing opposition to the House budget proposal, click here.

To read NARFE President Richard G. Thissen's letter to the House, click here.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


FERS survivor benefit
NARFE
Question: My husband recently retired under the Federal Employees Retirement System. We had decided not to include me as a survivor because the annuity was so small, we would need it for our cash flow, and I have other resources. We have begun to rethink this decision. I know that my husband needs to write a letter to the Office of Personnel Management to request a change. How long does he have to request this change?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Federal workers could pay more for health care, get less for retirement under GOP plan
The Washington Post
The federal budget proposed by House Republicans would reduce the amount of money that government employees earn on a popular retirement plan and potentially increase the amount they have to contribute to their health-care plan, according to newly released details. House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., recently unveiled the spending blueprint — which aims to achieve several hundred billions of dollars in savings through measures affecting federal employees — but did not initially release the specifics.
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GOP budgets cutting retirement benefits face rocky paths in both chambers
Government Executive
Last week was a rough one for the House and Senate Republican majority, with major legislation crushed or slowed by legislative gridlock. This week promises to be even tougher: Both chambers have to pass a budget. The House and Senate each hope to pass their spending blueprints by March 27 before leaving Washington for two weeks.
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House Democrats release alternative budget plan
Federal News Radio
House Democrats on the Budget Committee released their own version of a fiscal year 2016 budget. It is similar in many ways to the White House budget plan and starkly contrasts the House Republican plan released. The plan would appropriate $3.7 trillion and add almost $6 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years.
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House GOP budget targets TSP's G Fund
Federal News Radio
House Republicans spy savings in the Thrift Savings Plan's popular G Fund, but the changes wouldn't be to participants' liking. Tucked into the 265-page Budget Committee report accompanying their fiscal 2016 budget proposal is a sharp, but poignant, criticism of the G Fund.
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5 things that could be coming to your FEHBP plan in 2016
Federal News Radio
Expect some new healthcare options and fuller coverage when open season rolls around later this year. The Office of Personnel Management is huddling with insurers at an Arlington, Virginia, hotel to deliberate, cajole and negotiate the contours of federal families' health coverage in 2016. The extensive insurance program, which covers more than 8 million federal employees, retirees and family members, is considered a key selling point for federal jobs.
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USPS sees big opportunity in new e-commerce delivery options
EcommerceBytes
The dramatic spike in online retail sales has provided a welcome bright spot for the U.S. Postal Service, which has been buffeted in recent years by declining mail volumes and hefty costs associated with its workforce due to its mandated requirement to prefund long-term pension and healthcare liabilities. So it's no wonder that the executive responsible for evaluating potential new revenue lines is looking to e-commerce as a cornerstone of the agency's future business.
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FINANCES


For many parents, paying tuition tops retirement
USA Today
Too many parents are sacrificing financial security in their golden years to help pay the tuition tab for their children, according to a new T. Rowe Price survey. Rather than have their children take out loans, 53 percent of the parents polled said they'd prefer to tap their retirement savings to pay college expenses. Meanwhile, 49 percent said they'd be willing to retire later so they could pay their children's tuition.
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HEALTH


New drug might slow Alzheimer's
NBC News
Early trials suggest injections of a new "silver bullet" drug might help slow memory loss in people who don't quite yet have Alzheimer's, but who have some symptoms and who have the brain-clogging "plaques" that define the disease. The new drug, called aducanumab, is what's called a monoclonal antibody. It's a lab-engineered immune system protein designed to attack a compound called amyloid that, for some reason, builds up and clogs the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
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SECOND CAREERS


7 tips for getting hired after age 50
U.S. News & World Report
It can be especially challenging to find a new job in your 50s and 60s. The unemployment rate for older workers is lower than that of younger workers, but once out of work, older workers seem to have greater difficulties landing a new position. The average duration of unemployment for job seekers age 55 and older was 54.3 weeks in December.
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TRAVEL


Frontier Airlines to raise some bag fees starting May 1
Los Angeles Times
Denver-based Frontier Airlines is continuing to follow in the footsteps of Spirit Airlines, the Florida-based carrier and pacesetter, when it comes to passenger fees. Starting May 1, Frontier plans to raise fees for the first bag by $5 when passengers pay at the gate, pay during online check-in or use the airline's call center. The $5 increase also applies to the second and third bag when paid for at the airport check-in.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Consumer Reports guides shoppers through produce pesticide residues
Food Safety News
Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases guides to help shoppers pick fruits and vegetables with the fewest pesticide residues. Consumer Reports' Food Safety and Sustainability Center has now released similar guidelines. According to the organization's survey conducted in November 2014, pesticide exposure in food is a concern for 85 percent of Americans.
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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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