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NEWS FROM NARFE

2013 NARFE Scholarship winners selected
NARFE
NARFE is pleased to announce that 62 high school seniors, all children or grandchildren of NARFE members, have been awarded college scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. The list of 2013 winners can be viewed here on the Scholarship Program page on the NARFE website (both members and nonmembers can access this information). The list also will be published in the December issue of narfe magazine. The next Scholarship Program will run Feb. 1 – April 26, 2014. The official scholarship application will appear in the February issue of narfe magazine and may be downloaded from the NARFE website during the run of the program.
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NARFE 'retirement ticker' calculates federal employee exodus
NARFE
America's most experienced federal employees are leaving the federal workforce at an alarming rate. Since Jan. 1, 2013, an average of 10,000 years' worth of federal worker experience has been lost every single day. Expertise on issues vital to our country's protection and advancement is at risk. Check out NARFE's "retirement ticker" here and watch the numbers mount up.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Social Security and CSRS Offset
NARFE
Question: I am planning to postpone applying for my Social Security benefit until I reach my full retirement age so that I will receive a larger benefit. Since I will not be receiving any Social Security benefit, will the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) postpone the reduction in my CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) Offset annuity until I apply for Social Security?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Pentagon weighs firing thousands under 2014 spending cuts
Bloomberg
The Defense Department may have to fire at least 6,272 civilian employees if automatic cuts known as sequestration slice $52 billion from its fiscal 2014 budget, according to a Pentagon planning document. Additional budget analysis is "likely to produce further reductions" as the services focus on shrinking their contract labor forces, according to a Pentagon "execution plan" obtained by Bloomberg News.
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Wildfire suppression efforts suffer under budget cuts
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
The fire season is surging in Montana and the West, threatening to make up for what was previously labeled a relatively mild fire year. Now it's testing already strained firefighting resources.
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Agency hopes to move on Defense Department furlough appeals after Labor Day
Government Executive
The Merit Systems Protection Board said recently that it expects to start adjudicating furlough appeals from Defense Department employees shortly after Labor Day. The small federal agency announced earlier this month that it would delay processing thousands of Defense appeals until it could get a better handle on them.
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Court ruling leaves many federal workers 'defenseless' and without appeal rights
The Washington Post
A federal appeals court decision could leave many federal employees with nowhere to turn. A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit strips workers whose jobs are deemed "noncritical sensitive" — even those without access to classified information — of some due process rights. Once designated, the employees are in a much weaker position to appeal personnel actions such as a suspension or firing. The danger is that agencies could use the classification maneuver as a way to punish employees without worrying about an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
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Graph: Total furlough days lower than first predicted
Federal News Radio
A great hue and cry occurred in March when agencies suddenly realized the long-dreaded sequester was actually going to happen. As agency heads struggled to find ways to offset billions of dollars in unexpected, automatic budget cuts, the threat of furloughs — temporary unpaid leave — became a reality for many federal workers. The graph in this article compares the number of furlough days originally prescribed by agencies to the number actually taken by employees.
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FINANCES


3 easy ways to bolster your credit card finances
The Street
Credit card consumers face $46 billion in new credit card debt by the end of the year, even though they paid off $32 billion in card debt in the first quarter of 2013 alone, according to CardHub.com. Couldn't households put all that card debt to better use? You'd certainly think so, but like late-night fridge raids and using cellphones while driving, accumulating credit card debt is one of those unhealthy habits Americans just cannot seem to break. But if you're a credit card consumer looking to shed your wicked ways, help is here, and it's simpler than you might think.
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HEALTH


Expert tips on how to relieve exercise-induced muscle aches
Yahoo
A vigorous workout at the gym can leave you feeling immediately revitalized and replenished, as well as fatigued and in pain all in the same day. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the sensation felt in exercised muscles between eight hours and three days following a high-intensity exercise and training regimen, says Sportsmed.info. DOMS not only occurs in those who are less physically trained, it is experienced by most people and even professional athletes who engage in exercises that can potentially damage muscle fibers.
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RETIREMENT TRENDS


How baby boomers are retiring
Government Executive
Many people in government — and across the American economy — have made the decision to move into retirement. And now we're beginning to get more information about exactly how baby boomers in particular are faring in their golden years. The MetLife Mature Market Institute conducts numerous studies on the large population of boomers who are retiring. Its latest report, "The Oldest Boomers: Healthy, Retiring Rapidly and Collecting Social Security," released in May, takes a close look at the first wave of boomer retirees — those born in 1946.
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SECOND CAREERS


Study: Volunteering could add years to your life, may improve mental health
NY Daily News
Volunteering to help others doesn't only feel good — it can also improve your mental health and help you live longer, according to a new study published in the journal BMC Public Health. In a review of 40 academic papers by the U.K.'s University of Exeter, researchers found that volunteers had lower self-rated levels of depression and high levels of well-being and life satisfaction, although findings have yet to confirm this in trials. Volunteers were a fifth less likely to die within the next four to seven years than average.
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TRAVEL


Best places for fall travel deals
Kiplinger
It seems as though everyone is on vacation now. But if you don't like the crowds and high prices associated with summer travel, you're better off booking a fall getaway. You can find great deals on hotels and flights to many U.S. cities and overseas destinations in September, October and November, because it's a slow period for the travel industry.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Facebook scams come in many forms
Boston.com
Rarely does a day go by that Mitch Lipka doesn't hear about someone falling for a scam or coming really close to handing their money to a con artist. A few recent notes from Boston Globe readers suggest some users need to recognize the perils of Facebook.
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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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