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NEWS FROM NARFE

Chained CPI threatens income security: 'Don't tune out,' urges NARFE President Beaudoin
NARFE
Income security and, along with it, the promise of an inflation-protected annuity continue to be threatened. Basing cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for federally administered retirement programs on the Chained CPI is being considered as a way to dig out from under sequestration. The more frequently cited threat would incorporate the Chained CPI into a sweeping package or "grand bargain." Discussions of such a grand bargain are part of the agenda as Republican senators continue meeting with top-ranking White House officials. "As many Americans tune out politics for the summer," says NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin, "I hope you will not only stay tuned in but also take an active part in defending your earned benefits. Talking about NARFE issues, taking your concerns to your lawmakers and reporting your congressional meetings to us are vital in this fight to protect your benefits."

Volunteer and recruit others to participate in "NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month." The next congressional recess is Aug. 3 through Sept. 8. Your legislative staff (leg@narfe.org or 703-838-7760) is eager to work with you on grass-roots advocacy. To tell your lawmakers to vote no on the Chained CPI, visit: http://capwiz.com/narfe/home/.
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NARFE weighs in on postal reform legislation
NARFE
On July 16, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin sent a letter to members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, commenting on the draft pieces of legislation released by Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Beaudoin's timely letter was made part of the hearing record by Committee Ranking Member Cummings during the committee's July 17 hearing, "A Path Forward on Postal Reform." This letter is featured on the NARFE home page, www.narfe.org; click on "Postal Reform." At the hearing, Republicans and Democrats on the committee expressed the desire to finalize a bipartisan bill to reform the Postal Service.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Health coverage for spouse
NARFE
Question: I am 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


OPM nominee pledges to improve pension processing
Federal Times
President Obama's pick to head the Office of Personnel Management recently pledged to bolster the use of information technology to improve processing of retiring employees' pension applications. OPM "fell short" in previous efforts to automate retirement services, Katherine Archuleta said at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. If her nomination wins Senate approval, "I would make sure that we are doing everything we can to make sure that first check gets there as quickly as possible."
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Feds appeal furloughs in droves
Government Executive
Hundreds of federal employees are appealing their furlough decisions every day, according to the agency charged with adjudicating the petitions. The Merit Systems Protection Board — an independent, quasi-judicial agency — had received 2,100 appeals as of July 18, and about 1,000 more are still being processed. The vast majority of those, said MSPB Chairwoman Susan Tsui Grundmann, have come in the weeks since furloughs began for about 650,000 employees at the Defense Department.
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20 percent cut for defense HQs: Hagel's plan could mean RIFs, freezes, reorganization
Federal Times
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's plan to cut funding for Pentagon headquarters staffs by 20 percent could require major restructuring, new information technology investments, layoffs and other moves over the next six years. Hagel announced the plan while addressing civilian personnel at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Fla., one of a series of talks on a trip that took him to three military installations in three days.
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IRS' sequester math: Cut $600 million, lose billions
Federal Times
IRS officials say sequestration will save millions, but cost the government billions of dollars in lost revenue. Internal planning documents released to Federal Times through the Freedom of Information Act detail deep concerns inside IRS about the impact of roughly $600 million in sequester cuts from the agency's $11 billion-plus budget.
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FEEA overwhelmed with furlough aid requests
Federal News Radio
Federal workers hit by furloughs are increasingly applying for aid from the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency loans to feds who have trouble meeting basic living expenses.
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VA senior exec pay in 2014 uncertain
Government Executive
Congressional conferees probably will have to iron out differences between the two chambers related to the pay and bonuses of employees at the Veterans Affairs Department. The current Senate version of the fiscal 2014 Military Construction-VA spending bill does not include a pay cut for senior officials if the department fails to make progress on the disability claims backlog, or prohibit performance awards for high-ranking employees.
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OPM, AFGE test drive new governmentwide mentoring hub
Federal News Radio
Many agencies are missing out on capturing and sharing the knowledge of long-time federal employees before they retire. The use of mentors and knowledge management is inconsistent at best across the government. The Office of Personnel Management and the American Federation of Government Employees are teaming up to change the state of governmentwide mentoring and knowledge sharing. OPM and AFGE are speeding up progress on a year-long initiative to create a governmentwide mentoring hub.
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FINANCES


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How boomers can plan for their health care costs in retirement
Fox Business
Health care costs are often the big question mark hanging over boomers' retirement savings. It's impossible to predict just how much health care will cost as we age, but there are steps we can take to reduce our risks and protect our savings. Mark VandeVelde, certified financial planner at Hefty Wealth Partners in Auburn, Ind., offered several tips for boomers to plan for health care costs in retirement.
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HEALTH


Trying to lose weight? Ditch calorie-rich rewards after exercise
Reuters
If you're spending more time running, walking or pumping iron in the gym and still not losing weight, fitness experts say it could be due to too big a reward for still too little exercise. Although fitness has indisputable health benefits, it takes a lot of walking or running to burn off the calories in a donut.
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Body clock: Best times to eat, sleep and exercise
Minneapolis Star Tribune
When it comes to healthy living, there's no shortage of competing views on how to fight flab, run faster, sleep sounder and feel happier. But what if when you exercise — and eat and sleep — is just as important as how? Mounting evidence suggests that our bodies perform differently at different times of the day. Like all living things, we have an internal clock that affects our hormonal responses, body temperature, heart rate and sleep cycles. It's determined by something called circadian rhythms, which follow the 24-hour pattern of the Earth's rotation.
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SECOND CAREERS


Evaluating your unwritten résumé
U.S. News & World Report
While our formal résumé helps to define our relevant skills, abilities and experience during a job search, there is an entirely different kind of résumé that can have a significant impact upon our work lives. It is the unwritten or "invisible" résumé that lives in the minds of our co-workers, trusted colleagues and supervisors.
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


Where do retirees live the longest? CDC report shows state-by-state results
MSNBC
Retirees might want to say aloha to life in Hawaii. The 65-year-old residents of this tropical paradise may actually live the longest in America, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the first time, the government looked at healthy life expectancy rates for 65-year-olds, state-by-state. To determine the quality of life in those remaining years — measuring time without suffering from any illnesses and disabilities, for example — researchers combined mortality data with health status data.
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TRAVEL


America's best secret national parks
The Huffington Post
When Fred and Debbie Koegler told friends they were taking their two boys to spend Christmas in a national park, everybody assumed they'd be surrounded by rocky peaks and pine trees in some snowbound mountain lodge. In fact, they spent the holiday south of the equator on a deserted jungle-backed beach, snorkeling amid one of the Pacific's most pristine coral reefs in American Samoa National Park, one of America's least-visited national parks.
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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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