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This issue of NewsWatch is provided by NARFE, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the earned pay, retirement and health care benefits of federal employees, retirees and their survivors. Please join today!

NEWS FROM NARFE

House committee discusses FECA reform
NARFE
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce's Subcommittee on Workforce Protection held a hearing May 20 to discuss ways of reforming the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. Enacted in 1916, FECA was established to provide federal employees compensation for medical expenses and wages lost due to job-related injuries or illnesses. The hearing focused on reforms proposed by the Department of Labor, including noncontroversial modernizations and program integrity measures, which have received broad bipartisan support, and controversial benefit reductions for injured federal workers. Reform proposals discussed at the hearing may be included in budget reconciliation legislation reported out of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

NARFE supports the proposed modernizations and program integrity measures, but strongly opposes the proposals to reduce FECA benefits at retirement age. NARFE President Richard G. Thissen submitted written testimony for the record, which you can read here.
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Civil service reform hearing held in Senate
NARFE
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management held a hearing May 20, titled "21st Century Ideas for the 20th Century Federal Civil Service." Recognizing the need for civil service reform, the Subcommittee solicited ideas on a variety of topics, including rewarding high performers, making it easier to remove poor performers and providing better managerial training. In a letter to the Subcommittee, NARFE President Richard G. Thissen provided general recommendations for modernizing the federal civil service system. The letter is available on the NARFE website, here.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK

NARFE's members are well informed on their benefits and retirement options. Qualified benefit specialists are on hand to help members personally and to publish answers to questions like these every month in narfe magazine. Join NARFE today.


Survivor health benefit
NARFE
Question: I'm under the Federal Employees Retirement System and for the past 10 years have been covered by a Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plan for self and family. If I die before I retire, are there waiting periods for continued health coverage for a spouse?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Generous benefits for feds injured on the job could be on the chopping block
Government Executive
Lawmakers and representatives from the Obama administration advocated May 20 reforming the workers' compensation package awarded to federal employees injured on the job, arguing changes could save more than $300 million over 10 years. A Labor Department official told the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections the current system provides benefits more generous than the compensation employees would receive had they never gotten hurt.
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TSP aims for better customer service, participant education
Federal News Radio
In a few years, the Thrift Savings Plan could feel more like a private plan. With a more participant-focused strategy, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board will make a shift to providing greater access and flexibility and a more informative customer service experience. The goal is to provide more services without increasing costs for participants.
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How to know when it's time to go
Governement Executive
A recent column sparked a discussion on deciding when to retire. Some federal employees are eager and able to retire early, while others feel the need to keep working much longer. This discussion serves as a reminder that retirement planning is not like a Ron Popeil rotisserie oven — you can't just "set it and forget it."
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Retirement, health care score high with workers
FEDweek
Retirement and health insurance rank tops among reasons employees stay with their employers, a probably not surprising finding that once again underscores the value of those programs to federal employees.
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FINANCES


This 1 stat will make you never want to use an ATM again
Entrepreneur
In a time when major data hacks are on the rise — think Target, Home Depot, Sony — it's no surprise breaches on individuals are also up. According to FICO, debit-card compromises at ATMs rose 174 percent from January to April of this year, compared to the same period last year. And that's just breaches of ATMs located on official bank property. Successful breaches at nonbank ATMs rose 317 percent in that period.
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HEALTH


6 ways exercise helps with anxiety
The Active Times via MSN
The benefits of exercise are far reaching, affecting everything from your health to your social life, and there's significant scientific evidence that suggests exercise can greatly improve your mental state as well. The Active Times has written before on the topic of exercise and depression and, though exercise may be tough to start when you're depressed or suffering from anxiety, being active brings many benefits.
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SECOND CAREERS


Why making a career switch isn't as hard as you think
Fast Company
The stigma of "career hopping" is waning. Employers no longer shy away from job seekers who are looking to change their role, or even industry.
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TRAVEL


Is travel insurance worth the cost?
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The come-ons for insurance are constant and often compelling when you travel. Want to insure your airline ticket? Your cruise? Your luggage, pets or rental skis? Almost anything can be insured. It's no surprise that travel insurance is a billion-dollar-a-year business. The industry has recorded steady year-over-year sales increases since Sept. 11, 2001. But is insurance worth it? That depends.
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CONSUMER TIPS


With recall, car owners and mechanics scramble for new air bags
Los Angeles Times
As federal regulators moved to speed up what has become the largest automobile recall in U.S. history, the nation's car dealerships, car owners and mechanics scrambled to cope with a sudden need for new air bags. Seeking to prevent further deaths from defective Takata Corp. air bags that can explode and spray shrapnel into drivers and passengers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started the legal process Thursday to coordinate and accelerate the massive recall and needed repairs.
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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.

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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