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NEWS FROM NARFE

Call Congress: Joint budget agreement vote imminent
NARFE
Members of the budget conference committee are hoping to strike a deal and produce a joint budget resolution expected to be voted on this week. The budget conference committee is tasked with drafting the final fiscal year 2016 budget resolution that must pass both the House and Senate. Once the budget passes both chambers, it will be used as a guideline for the appropriations process, which will determine how funding is divided among federal agencies and programs.

The House and Senate passed budget resolutions in March that cut billions of dollars worth of pay and benefits from federal employees and retirees. The House budget proposed $318 billion in "savings" by raising the cost of health insurance for all FEHBP participants, eliminating federal jobs, increasing retirement contributions for current employees and, perhaps most shocking, changing the rate of return on the Thrift Savings Plan G Fund. The Senate budget, while less specific in how it would cut costs, still asks the federal community for $170 billion toward deficit reduction. The joint budget agreement is expected to include the same severe cuts.

NARFE is asking all members to call their senators and representative to tell them to vote "No" on any joint budget resolution that includes cuts to federal employees' and retirees' pay and benefits. Click here for instructions on how to call in and what to say. NARFE's toll-free number, 1-866-220-0044, is available for members to use. NOW is the time to take action.
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Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9
NARFE
The 30th anniversary of Public Service Recognition Week is May 3-9. Organized by the Public Employees Roundtable, of which NARFE is a member, PSRW is a week set aside to honor military, federal, state, county and local government employees. This year's theme is Government Works, which puts a spotlight on the accomplishments of the men and women who dedicate their lives to public service. More information about PSRW and how to get involved can be found at the PSRW Web page on the NARFE website and at http://publicservicerecognitionweek.org/.

NARFE is encouraging its members to take the opportunity to convey the value of the work they did, or still do, as federal employees, and their personal pride in working for our nation by sending a letter to the editor to their local newspaper. Sample drafts and letter templates you can personalize can be found here. Let's share with others the good work federal employees do to keep us safe and secure.

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SPONSORED CONTENT


Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is May 9
NARFE
According to Feeding America, hunger haunts 1 in 6 Americans, which is why NARFE is pleased to support the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on May 9. In solidarity with the National Association of Letter Carriers, we encourage each NARFE member to collect and bag nonperishable food items and place the bag by your mailbox for your letter carrier May 9. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the nation's largest single-day drive, with last year's drive collecting 72.5 million pounds of food. More details are available here.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Social Security
NARFE
Question: My husband is retired from private industry and is collecting Social Security. I am age 66 and currently employed under the Civil Service Retirement System. I understand that I cannot receive half of my husband’s Social Security benefit when I retire due to the current law. Can I collect half of his Social Security while I am actively working?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Presidential Rank awardees 'demonstrate the value of public service'
Federal News Radio
The Presidential Rank awards honoring members of the Senior Executive Service returned April 23 after a year's hiatus, reminding all of us of the impressive and important work unheralded federal employees do every day. The Presidential Ranks of Distinguished and Meritorious Executive and Distinguished and Meritorious Professional Awards recognize the top 1 percent of the most senior federal career leaders.
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It's not just you: Letters really are taking longer to get delivered
The Washington Post
The U.S. mail is slowing down. In January, the Postal Service eliminated overnight delivery for local first-class letters that used to arrive the next day. Anywhere from 20 percent to half of the rest of the first-class mail sent every day now takes an extra day of delivery time. Service standards have been relaxing since 2012, when the volume of first-class overnight mail decreased and that of two-and three-day mail grew.
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Groundwork being laid for postal reform
FEDweek
The leading advocate of postal reform in Congress, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., has started laying the groundwork for another attempt to pass long-stalled legislation, hosting a bipartisan briefing for senators on the current state of postal finances and projections for the future. Past reform proposals have singled out a requirement that USPS prefund retiree health insurance as target number one.
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OPM will soon begin administering 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey
FierceGovernment
Federal employees will soon see the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey dropping in their inboxes. The annual survey is meant to measure the job satisfaction of federal employees. "The FEVS is a powerful management tool capable of driving real change," said Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta in an April 21 statement.
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FINANCES


Only half of American parents have a will or living trust
Caring.com
Only a little over half of American parents have a will or living trust document, according to a new Caring.com survey of adult children. Nearly one-third of parents do not have estate documents in place, and 16 percent of adult children are unsure if their parents do. Of those that do have a will, 40 percent have updated it in the last one to five years. Twenty-four percent of adult children don't know if their parents' will has ever been updated.
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HEALTH


Lifting at any age has rewards, but after 50 it can change your life
NJ.com
The antidote for issues that attack those aged 50 and older — joint stiffness, sore backs, sleep troubles — may very well be pumping iron. Yes, strength training later in life has many benefits. As men and women age, their muscle fibers shrink in number and in size, contributing to a loss of strength, balance and coordination. Remarkably, people can experience some of these declines as early as their 40s.
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SECOND CAREERS


7 dangerous assumptions that derail the older job seeker
Forbes
Career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine writes: "I host a monthly radio show to answer career questions. More than any other demographic, when I get a question from an older job seeker, it often includes a mention of their age or something age-specific in their question. Job search is different for the older job seeker, and stereotypes do exist. Here are seven assumptions that I've heard firsthand as a recruiter trying to fill positions and presenting older candidates."
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TRAVEL


Want discounts on hotels and cars? Don't forget AAA
Fox News
People often ask, "What is the most commonly overlooked travel discount?" The answer is inevitably AAA. Formerly the American Automobile Association, the not-for-profit federation of affiliated motor clubs in North America provides roadside assistance, insurance and other benefits. But lesser known are AAA's broad selection of travel discounts available to its members that can save people 20 percent off the price of hotels and rental cars.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Feds: No need yet to fret about ice cream safety
The Associated Press via CBS News
Is ice cream safe to eat? Federal officials say yes, even amid recalls by two ice cream companies after the discovery of listeria bacteria in their frozen confections. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there's no reason to think listeria illnesses and deaths linked to Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries and the discovery of listeria in a sample of Ohio-based Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams are related.
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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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