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NEWS FROM NARFE

Workforce Subcommittee hears testimony on retirement claims backlog
NARFE
On May 9, the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U. S. Postal Service and the Census, held a hearing on the progress the Office of Personnel Management is making in decreasing its backlog of retirement annuity claims. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin testified that OPM has made great strides in the last year; however, sequestration and subsequent budget threats could jeopardize this trend. The crux of NARFE's testimony, available on www.narfe.org, focused on the harmful effects sequestration is having, not only on OPM and the federal retirees it serves, but across the government. The forced reduction in overtime and call center hours resulting from sequestration could not come at a worse time.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


FERS Annuity Supplement
NARFE
Question: I plan to retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System at the end of the year. I realize that I will be placed in interim pay for a few months until my annuity is adjudicated. Since I qualify for the FERS Annuity Supplement immediately, when does it begin?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Witnesses tell of progress and problems with federal retirement system
The Washington Post
The House hearing on federal retirement services was about as fascinating as it sounds, certainly much less explosive than it could have been, given some of the testimony. In a nutshell, witnesses said that while retirement processing has improved from its worst days, it could deteriorate because of budget cuts, and that management needs to get much better at stopping improper payments and figuring out how to modernize the system.
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Obama tasks OPM with tackling equal pay in government
FederalNewsRadio.com
President Barack Obama wants to make sure federal employees are getting an honest day's pay for an honest day's work — regardless of gender. In a May 10 memo sent to the heads of departments and agencies, Obama tasked the Office of Personnel Management with studying whether agency practices contribute to pay inequalities between men and women, and with formulating a governmentwide strategy to tackle the gender pay gap.
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Leaders fear sequester's impact on recruitment, retention, service
Federal Times
The constant drumbeat of bad news and poor morale in the government is hurting recruitment and retention of mid- and upper-level employees at the General Services Administration, acting administrator Dan Tangherlini said recently. "We still have many, many more people who want to come work for us than we have [entry-level] opportunities," Tangherlini said at a Public Service Recognition Week town hall meeting sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service. "It's really in mid-level retention, and mid- and upper-level recruitment, where we have people saying, 'I'm not sure I want to make those sacrifices.'"
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US Postal Service loses nearly $2 billion in second quarter
Government Executive
The U.S. Postal Service lost an average of more than $21 million per day in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, with a total loss of $1.9 billion. The loss was actually a 40 percent improvement over the same period last year, when USPS lost $3.2 billion. To date this fiscal year, the Postal Service has lost $3.1 billion, less than half of what it lost through the first half of 2012.
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FINANCES


How to balance saving money with enjoying retirement
U.S. News & World Report
When it comes to spending our hard-earned retirement savings, we may find ourselves somewhat reluctant to loosen the purse strings. Everything is so expensive these days that often there is not much left over for fun or extravagances. And the uncertainty of what the future may hold can lead us to even more thrifty behaviors. We may go so far as to question whether we can really afford to live the retirement life we want.
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HEALTH


Tips for getting the most out of your next doctor's visit
The Eagle
For sound advice on how to make your next medical visit easier, whom better to ask than the people making it happen — nurses. Numbering more than 3 million nationwide, nurses not only comprise the largest workforce in the health care industry, but a recent Gallup poll also shows they're the most trusted profession. In honor of National Nurses Week, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing faculty provide these tips for patients.
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SECOND CAREERS


How to have the (second) career of your dreams
Huffington Post
A recent MetLife/Civic Ventures study found that there are 9 million people between the ages of 44 and 70 who are already in encore careers. Of this group, most began thinking of an encore career at the age of 50, and took approximately 18 months to make the transition. To get started, evaluate what success looks like to you. Will your encore career involve starting a small business independently, or investing in a business with your child? Or perhaps you could provide consulting services in your prior firm or industry of choice?
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


New fitness centers cater to aging baby boomers
Fox News
Baby boomers, the generation that vowed to stay forever young, are getting older, designing senior-friendly gyms and becoming their own personal trainers. In exercise havens for the over-50 set, the cardio machines are typically low impact, the resistance training is mainly air-powered and some group fitness classes are taken sitting down. At Welcyon gyms, founded by husband-and-wife boomers Suzy and Tom Boerboom, the average age of members is 62.
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TRAVEL


Summer travel trends
UPI
Spring has gotten off to a shaky start, what with April floods and May snowstorms, but travel experts say it's time to put away the snow shovel and start getting serious about summer vacation planning. Summer travel season is just weeks away and, despite the lure of possible last-minute travel deals, the best airfares are going to take some advance planning.
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CONSUMER TIPS


BBB: Offer for free airline tickets is phishing scam
WTVT-TV
You won't find United Airways or U.S. Airlines at any U.S. airport, yet letters with those names are appearing in millions of mailboxes offering recipients free tickets worth more than $1,000. The Better Business Bureau says it's a phishing scam intended to steal consumers' personal information.
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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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