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NEWS FROM NARFE

Senate conducts hearing on federal workforce
NARFE
On May 6, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, conducted a hearing "to examine the state of the federal workforce and the impact of factors such as the partial federal government shutdown, sequestration, and hiring and pay freeze on employee morale, productivity and efficiency, and agency recruitment and retention efforts." The panel heard from eight witnesses. To access the full written testimony or view the entire hearing, click here.

In advance of the hearing, NARFE President Beaudoin commented, "Unfortunately, our nation's public servants do not always receive the recognition they deserve. Over the last four years, they have endured a three-year pay freeze, furloughs due to sequestration, a government shutdown and increased retirement contributions for new employees. These policies have cost federal employees more than $120 billion.

"It is no surprise that federal employee morale has been declining as a result. The gradual but steady deterioration inevitably will diminish the effectiveness of our workforce. We must not let that happen."
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Gateway to resources on NARFE's website
NARFE
The updated and modular Protect America's Heartbeat Toolkit should be a regular destination for NARFE advocates. A national summary of the Federal Family Counts and the gateway to state-specific details are found there. Key NARFE votes for your senators and representative can be displayed by merely inserting your ZIP code on our Legislative Action Center. The Candidates and Elections module is the gateway to finding incumbents, challengers and open-seat candidates from this map.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Social Security benefit
NARFE
Question: I retired under the Civil Service Retirement System. I have only a few years of work under which I paid Social Security taxes on my wages. My wife, based on her work record, is eligible for a Social Security benefit. If I die before her, will the survivor's benefit she will receive be reduced because she is receiving Social Security?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Three new bills that could change feds' benefits
Government Executive
House lawmakers have been busy lately. Elections are coming up and representatives are looking for avenues to promote popular ideas they can then flout on the campaign trail. Here are some recent bills lower chamber members have pitched that affect federal employee benefits, both those in the executive and legislative branches.
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Bill would prohibit lawmakers from flying first class on taxpayers' dime
The Washington Post
Four House lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill that would prohibit members of Congress from flying first-class using taxpayer funds.
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USPS gets clean audit on conference spending
The Washington Post
It doesn't take a mind reader to know that federal agency spending on conferences will be examined closely, even at a self-funding entity such as the U.S. Postal Service, after the scandals of recent years. But auditors said in a report that they "did not identify any inappropriate expenditures" in their review of two big fiscal 2013 postal conferences.
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How the Postal Service could overhaul its retirement and leave benefits
Government Executive
The U.S. Postal Service spent $6 billion on retirement benefits in fiscal 2013, and the agency thought that was too much. USPS asked its inspector general's office to evaluate its retirement packages against the benefits offered at other organizations. Current law mandates the Postal Service offer employees enrollment in the Federal Employees Retirement System, unless they were grandfathered into the Civil Service Retirement System.
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FINANCES


What is the Special Retirement Supplement and why is it important?
FedSmith.com
What is the Special Retirement Supplement and why is it important for FERS employees? A full-career FERS employee with 30 or more years of service can retire at their minimum retirement age, which is between the ages of 55 and 57, depending on the year in which the employee was born. FERS employees who have 20 years of service are eligible to retire at the age of 60. However, regardless of the year in which an employee is eligible to retire under FERS, their earliest age of eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits based on their own earnings is age 62.
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TSP annuity provider to remain unchanged
The Washington Post
Federal employees who want to convert their Thrift Savings Plan accounts into lifetime benefits will do it through the same annuity provider for at least the next three years.
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HEALTH


Skin cancer prevention tips
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, making it the most common type of cancer in the nation. However, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancer, according to Dr. Mark Lebwhol, professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City and president-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology.
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TRAVEL


Tips to prevent identity theft when you travel
SmarterTravel.com via USA Today
There are plenty of things to worry about while on the road: remembering your passport, confirming your reservations, packing enough socks for a week. Add "protecting your identity" to that list. Each year, victims of identity theft lose some $20 billion in cash and valuables, and all of the unknowns of travel can make you especially vulnerable to identity thieves. So arm yourself well in advance. The following are 11 ways to protect your identity while traveling.
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SECOND CAREERS


Retirees find second careers at historical sites
The New York Times
For 62-year-old Kent Brinkley, one day at work is pretty much like the next. At 10 a.m., he storms the Palace, joining in the daily re-enactment of an April 1775 riot protesting the Virginia royal governor's attempted seizure of arms. At noon, he offers a hearty "huzzah" and then fires a salute with his musket, as the Declaration of Independence is read aloud in the town square. At 4 p.m., he dons a British red coat and patrols the streets, "trying to look menacing."
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CONSUMER TIPS


Internet ad companies up the ante on ad scams
Adweek
One big problem with fraudulent ads on the Internet is they keep coming back — and that's not good for either sellers or buyers of digital advertising. Trying a new strategy to combat Internet ad scams, malvertising and counterfeit ads, Google, Facebook, AOL and Twitter launched TrustInAds.org, a new organization aimed at identifying scam trends and protecting consumers from malicious online ads.
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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
Patrick McCoy, senior content editor, 469.420.2603   Contribute news
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