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NEWS FROM NARFE

Final push for 'NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month'
NARFE
Through Sept. 8, members of Congress are in their home districts and states, meeting with constituents and attending public events. Don't let this opportunity go by without contacting your representative and senators about issues important to NARFE members. Face-to-face meetings are the distinguishing feature of NARFE advocacy; calls, letters and emails are all tools at your disposal. Find vital information in the "Protect America's Heartbeat" Toolkit at http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/toolkit.cfm. The legislative staff at NARFE is eager to offer any assistance you need in setting up meetings.

Take action now to defend your earned benefits, and report your activity to the NARFE Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org.
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Constituents deserve an answer
NARFE
If you are rightly concerned about use of the Chained CPI to calculate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), and have sent your congressional delegation letters opposing a change to the COLA formula but have not received a substantive reply, send the letter again with a new opening paragraph expressing the need for a substantive answer. NARFE members who modify our form letter report better responses. Reach the letter template by clicking here.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Interim annuity payments
NARFE
Question: I plan to retire soon. Will any deductions be withheld from my interim annuity payments?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Government works on rules for phased retirement
The Baltimore Sun
For the past year, the Office of Personnel Management has been working on regulations that will allow older federal workers to phase into retirement. The idea is that these employees would continue to work part time, collect a partial pension — and pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of federal workers. Many older workers are eagerly awaiting the program's launch.
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MSPB suspends processing of DOD furlough appeals
Federal Times
The Merit Systems Protection Board, overwhelmed by thousands of furlough appeals from Defense Department employees, has frozen processing of those cases to gain "a better understanding of the claims being raised" and other factors, according to a recent notice posted on the agency's website.
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A pair of victories for largest postal union
Government Executive
The largest labor union for U.S. Postal Service employees announced some good news recently, including a $937 raise beginning in September. The pay hike will apply to all career employees in the American Postal Workers Union as part of a scheduled cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) negotiated in 2010. Just two months after the COLA goes into effect on Sept. 7, APWU employees will receive an across-the-board 1.5 percent pay increase.
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Despite furloughs and pay freeze, feds give record amounts of food
Government Executive
Federal employees are outpacing a record-setting 2012 in their annual food drive to diminish hunger in America. In June, they donated 477,000 pounds of food through the Feds Feed Families program, more than double the amount raised in the same period in 2012. In July, feds donated 1.4 million pounds of food, also a dramatic increase from 2012 totals.
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FINANCES


Tips for talking to your aging parents about their finances
DailyFinance
When the dynamic between adults and their parents shifts because of aging or health issues, it's time to have some important — but difficult — conversations. Some of the toughest topics that need to be covered are related to money.
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HEALTH


Certain antibiotics tied to blood sugar swings in diabetics
HealthDay News
Diabetes patients who take a certain class of antibiotics are more likely to have severe blood sugar fluctuations than those who take other types of the drugs, a new study finds. The increased risk was low, but doctors should consider it when prescribing the class of antibiotics, known as fluoroquinolones, to people with diabetes, the researchers said. This class of antibiotics, which includes drugs such as Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox, is commonly used to treat conditions such as urinary tract infections and community-acquired pneumonia. One expert said the study should serve as a wake-up call for doctors.
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


Baby boomers now the largest source of charity gifts
The Christian Science Monitor
Baby boomers (born 1946-1960) give 43 percent of all the money contributed to charities by individuals. But millennials (born 1981-1995) believe more fervently in volunteering, a new study finds.
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5 affordable entertainment options for retirees
U.S. News & World Report
Many of us envision traveling more, sipping wine in a nice restaurant and enjoying a comfortable life when we retire. However, the reality could be very different from what we imagine. A recent National Institute on Retirement Security study showed that a typical near-retirement household has only $12,000 in retirement assets. Having to watch what we spend will be an unfortunate retirement reality for many of us. However, you don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun in retirement. There are many low-cost options for retirees, especially in the summer.
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TRAVEL


Travel safety tips: The risk free Wi-Fi hotspots pose to travelers
Relaxnews via The Huffington Post
Just like the destination itself, logging onto a foreign free Wi-Fi hotspot can be a journey into the unknown and one that could be full of unpleasant surprises. There's no question that smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way we live. That's why when it comes to taking a holiday with them, rather than from them, there appears to be no debate: the phone and the slate and often even a notebook are as high on the list as packing clean underwear. And because of this, holidaymakers need to keep in mind their digital as well as their personal safety if taking a vacation this summer.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Learn how and when to haggle to save money
The Republic
Who says you have to pay the sticker price all the time? Try haggling. It often can save you money. Consumer Reports recently conducted a national survey that found it pays to haggle. Of those who had tried it, 89 percent said they were rewarded one or more times. "Companies haggle with consumers all the time," said Tod Marks, senior editor at Consumer Reports. "It's called 'sales.' Retailers pay X amount for merchandise, (for) which they turn around and charge the consumer more — 5 to 50 percent more. That gray area in between is wiggle room for negotiation."
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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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