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NEWS FROM NARFE

House targets feds again: How did your representative vote?
NARFE
In the final days before its five-week summer recess, the House of Representatives approved several bills as part of "Stop Government Abuse Week" that would negatively impact federal workers. Among the worst was a bill that would cap performance awards for federal employees; allow political appointees to place senior officials on unpaid leave at their own discretion; and allow U.S. citizens to record telephone conversations with federal employees, usurping many state laws.

As NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin wrote in his letter to Congress: "This House continues to be fixated on legislation ripped from the headlines and motivated by a desire to score political points back home. The bill is hardly what Congress should be focusing on before taking a five-week recess." Despite its unsound policy, the legislation, H.R. 2879, passed the House by a vote of 239-176.

Based on how your representative voted, NARFE has prepared a letter for you to send, either telling him/her to stop targeting the federal workforce or thanking him/her for standing up for the federal community and voting against these bills. The action alert can be found here. After entering your ZIP code, you will be brought to one of two letters, depending how your representative voted on the Stop Government Abuse Act.

Should you have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the NARFE Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or 703-838-7760 ext. 201.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Health coverage for spouse
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


Fed group wants more perks, broader eligibility for partial retirement
Government Executive
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association has asked for more benefits for employees looking to partially retire, a new option allowing feds to work part-time as they ease their way into a full retirement. Partial, or phased, retirement allows eligible federal employees to work half their typical hours, while receiving half of their normal pay and half of their normal retirement annuity. The Office of Personnel Management in June issued proposed rules for implementing the change, one year after President Obama signed the new option into law.
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HUD cancels 2 furlough days
Government Executive
You can add the Housing and Urban Development Department to the list. HUD became the latest agency to trim its furlough days, announcing that employees must now take only five days of unpaid leave, instead of the previously scheduled seven, by Sept. 30. HUD joins the Defense Department and the Internal Revenue Service, which also have in the past several days decreased original estimates of the impact of sequestration on their workforces.
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Hale: No more cuts to DOD furlough days for FY2013
Federal News Radio
The Department of Defense has checked all the couch cushions and shook all the pennies out of its piggy bank. There will be no more cuts to furlough days for fiscal 2013, says the Pentagon's top money man.
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DOMA decision triggers federal retirement policy changes
The Washington Post
Retired federal employees in same-sex marriages who were unable to provide survivor benefits for their spouses because of the Defense of Marriage Act may now do so, but that decision will come at a cost, the Office of Personnel Management has said.
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What's the situation with federal furlough appeals?
The Washington Post
As of Thursday, Aug. 8, the tiny Merit Systems Protection Board had received 26,192 appeals from federal workers seeking to recoup lost pay from furloughs imposed by the budget cuts known as sequestration. About 90 percent of the challenges are from Defense Department civilians.
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FINANCES


Reverse mortgages: Big changes ahead
Forbes
Get ready for some major renovations in the federal reverse mortgage program. The U.S. Senate recently joined the House in passing legislation giving the Federal Housing Administration authority to alter its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, protect borrowers and help the agency avoid a federal bailout. The agency is expected to reveal soon exactly how it will alter the rules, which could take effect as early as Oct. 1.
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HEALTH


Closeness between grandparents, adult grandkids may ease depression
MSN
A good relationship between grandparents and their adult grandchildren can provide a psychological boost for both generations, according to a new study. Researchers from Boston College found this type of close-knit bond was linked to fewer symptoms of depression for both the seniors and the young adults. And the closer the emotional ties, the bigger the benefit, they found.
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SECOND CAREERS


Boomers turn to entrepreneurship as new retirement strategy
Entrepreneur
There is one way to avoid outliving your money: Work longer, on your own terms. You may not want to or be able to retire at 65 or 67, but so what? If you're doing work you enjoy in your own business, setting your own schedule, fulfilling goals you've set yourself — it may not even feel like work. Pursuing their professional dreams while working for themselves has enabled many older self-employed workers to secure their financial future.
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


Bored of the suburbs, baby boomers head to cities
CBS News
For years, it was the way things seemed to work. Leave college, move to the city, get married, move to the suburbs — and stay there. A growing number of baby boomers, however, are saying they're not done with city life just yet.
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TRAVEL


10 great dude ranches across North America
USA Today
Old-fashioned dude ranches are attracting a new breed of city slickers looking to unplug from modern life, says Gavin Ehringer, author of "100 Best Guest Ranch Vacations in North America." But now they've expanded their offerings with activities including yoga and fitness classes, mountain biking, spas, river rafting and special packages just for women.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Saving on prescription drugs
KVUE-TV
There are lots of changes with medical care these days, but when it comes to prescriptions, the cost only seems to go up. The latest? Americans spend over $250 billion a year on them. For people taking prescription medicine regularly, Consumer Reports says the average annual cost is more than $700. But there are surprising ways to cut your drug costs.
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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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