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NEWS FROM NARFE

It's Public Service Recognition Week!
NARFE
The 30th anniversary of Public Service Recognition Week is this week, 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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Congress agrees to joint budget resolution
NARFE
House and Senate budget negotiators have finalized a joint budget resolution for fiscal year 2016. This highly anticipated conference report is the first time both chambers have agreed on a budget in several years.

While the impact of the joint budget resolution on federal employees and retirees is not as severe as the House budget that passed in March, it still assumes more than $193 billion worth of cuts from the federal community. The joint resolution also fails to relieve agencies from the arbitrary budget constraints imposed by the across-the-board funding cuts known as sequestration.

However, NARFE is relieved that the resolution does not set in motion an expedited process (budget reconciliation) to achieve those assumed savings, and it includes no policy proposals to do so. This stands in notable contrast to the House budget resolution, which specifically directed the committee with jurisdiction over the federal community to achieve substantial savings and provided specific policy recommendations toward that end.

While this budget fight is ending, many more remain. NARFE reminds members to stay vigilant. The policy changes contained within the original House resolution will continue to be part of the conversation on Capitol Hill as Congress looks to pay for other priorities.

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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


Health benefits
NARFE
Question: My husband and I are planning to retire and want to know the requirement for adding a spouse to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. I have self only coverage as a federal employee, and my spouse's coverage under a union plan will end when he retires.
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Feds dodge bullet in budget deal, but sequester cuts still coming
Government Executive
Congress' top budget negotiators struck a deal April 29 that avoided spelling out some of the major federal workforce cuts included in previous iterations of the blueprint. The compromise version of the fiscal 2016 blueprint would not mandate cuts to federal employee retirement benefits and would not require agencies to downsize through attrition.
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Service to America Medal finalists honor feds' hard work
Federal News Radio
Out of nearly 500 entries, the Partnership for Public Service has selected 30 finalists for the 2015 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. The "Sammies" is one of the most prestigious awards honoring civil servants.
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Feds choose to stay longer, creating new retirement bubble
Federal News Radio
Each day, more and more members of the baby-boomer generation are reaching retirement age, which many have long believed would trigger the federal retirement tsunami. But what if another scenario were actually taking place, in which large numbers of older feds seem to put off retirement and continue to work instead?
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Where Americans still use the Postal Service the most, in 1 map
Government Executive
Across the country, people are using the mail less, and the U.S. Postal Service is suffering because of it. The volume of first class, single-piece mail — composed of normal letters and other pieces requiring a basic stamp — declined by a staggering 61 percent between fiscal years 1995 and 2013. In some areas, however, mail is still quite popular.
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FINANCES


4 tips to live frugally throughout retirement
MainStreet
If you're retired or will be soon, you've likely thought about a post-career household budget. If you haven't, you should. A study from Pew Research points out the Great Recession eroded 20 years of household income growth, and almost half of Americans say they now spend more than they make. That's not exactly a recipe for success for retirees.
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HEALTH


Too many Americans neglect backs in skin cancer prevention
HealthDay News
A new survey finds that many people in the United States are forgetting their backs when they try to be forward-thinking about skin cancer prevention. Experts at the American Academy of Dermatology, which sponsored the survey, note that the back is a common site for melanoma, a potentially deadly skin cancer.
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SECOND CAREERS


The low-risk way to start a business in retirement
Next Avenue
The pull of entrepreneurship for boomers looking for extra income in their "unretirement" is its flexibility and the prospect of tailoring a venture to their desires. But many fear that starting a business in your 60s is too risky and that they'll need to tap their retirement savings to do it. It doesn't have to be risky, and there's no reason to touch your 401(k) or IRA for startup capital.
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TRAVEL


High season over, now is the time for beach getaways
The New York Times
After the seemingly endless winter, no one could be blamed for wanting an early jump on summer. The good news is that you can do so in May at beach getaways that promise sun, surf and temperatures in the 70s, 80s and 90s, but without the crowds or the high prices of the peak season.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Fake debt collectors harass family members
Better Business Bureau
Fake debt collectors are calling people with claims that their loved ones owe payments on a loan. According to reports received by BBB, scammers use threats of jail time to trick victims into paying up.
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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.

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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