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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

OPM announces FEHBP premium increase; NARFE issues statement
NARFE
The Office of Personnel Management today announced the average Federal Employees Health Benefits Program premium increase for America's retired and active federal workers will be 6.4 percent in 2015, with the average enrollee's share increasing 7.4 percent. In a press release issued by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, NARFE President Richard G. Thissen discusses the effects of the increase on federal employees and retirees; the need for a new formula to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for retirees; and the addition of a Self Plus One option in this year's FEHBP Open Season.
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OPM data breach update
NARFE
The Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense revealed last week that fingerprint records of 5.6 million individuals were stolen in the OPM cyberattack announced earlier in the summer. This is up from the 1.1 million figure first reported when the data breaches were made public.

Federal experts believe that the misuse of fingerprint data is limited, but this could change over time. As the federal government learns more, it will provide additional information to affected individuals. Notifications to those impacted in the data breach surrounding background investigations will be sent starting at the end of this month. Nearly 22 million people will be notified in the coming weeks.

NARFE has a website dedicated to updating its members and providing resources on the data breaches. If NARFE members have additional questions, they should contact NARFE's Federal Benefits Service Department at fedbenefits@narfe.org or 703-838-7760.

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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.


FERS early retirement
NARFE
Question: I retired under the Federal Employees Retirement System at age 59. I took a 15 percent reduction – 5 percent for each year under age 62. When I turn age 62, will I get my 15 percent back?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Senate backs continuing resolution to avoid shutdown
Federal News Radio
The Senate took a major step to avoid a shutdown, voting to support a continuing resolution to fund the government through mid-December. In a 77-19 vote Sept. 28, the Senate voted to advance Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's, R-Ky., stopgap legislation, clearing the path for a final vote that would move the bill out of the chamber and over to the House for consideration. That vote is expected to happen Sept. 29.
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See who would get furloughed in a 2015 shutdown
Government Executive
The shutdown deadline is just two days away, and while it looks like Congress will temporarily stave off the disaster of an appropriations lapse, agencies are not taking any chances. The Office of Management and Budget has released federal entities' shutdown contingency plans, which detail which programs and offices that would remain functional, as well as which employees would be forced to work without immediate pay and which would receive furlough notices.
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Congress gives disabled vets hired as feds advance sick leave
Government Executive
The House on Sept. 28 passed a bipartisan bill would give disabled veterans hired as federal employees access to their full year's sick leave immediately upon starting their jobs. The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, which passed on voice vote, would give 104 hours of sick leave up front to first-year feds who are vets with a service-connected disability rating of at least 30 percent to attend medical appointments related to their disability.
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STATE ADVOCACY NEWS


Amid court fights, some states consider redistricting commissions
The PEW Charitable Trusts
After one of the most litigious rounds of redistricting in recent history, movements have popped up in at least five states to take the power to draw legislative and congressional maps away from legislators and put it in the hands of commissioners.
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FINANCES


Caring for aging parents
Barron's
Wealthy families are increasingly turning to their private bankers — skipping talks about college savings and financial returns — and anxiously asking, "How do we care for our elderly parents?" and, "How can we remain independent without becoming a burden to our children?" The reason for this is as simple as it is stark: For the first time in history, two generations of retirees are coexisting within a single family, as baby boomers retire while their elderly parents are still alive.
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HEALTH


Is it a cold, the flu or a sinus infection?
Health
Colds, the flu and sinus infections have such similar symptoms that it can be tough to know what truly ails you. That said, a few subtle differences can tip you off.
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TRAVEL


7 reasons to volunteer on your next vacation
U.S. News & World Report
Travel can offer rewarding, life-changing and humbling experiences. Exploring an unfamiliar environment can open your eyes to a world you never thought existed, teach you important lessons and introduce you to people who will heighten your perspective and understanding of a place and its culture. This kind of experience is unlikely to be found on the beaches of five-star resorts or in big group tours, however. For a more meaningful adventure, consider lending a hand on your next vacation.
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SECOND CAREERS


Proven job search tactics for every career level
Business News Daily
If you're actively looking for a job, you've probably read at least a few career articles with advice for your job search. But depending on what stage of your career you're in, the tips you read may not all be relevant to you. Someone who's seven years into his or her career won't need to include extracurricular activities on a résumé, just as a college student likely won't have the formal training that midlevel job seekers are told to include.
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CONSUMER TIPS


Grocery delivery services are exploding, and here's why you might want to give them a try
MoneyNing
Target announced that it is joining Amazon, Costco, Whole Foods, Petco and a host of other private companies in what is becoming an increasingly popular and profitable market: grocery delivery service. They're not the only ones. Wal-Mart also indicated its plans to explore grocery delivery in a a few markets, and jack-of-all-trades Google is launching its own version of rival Amazon's "Fresh" called "Google Express" in test markets later this year.
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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, News From NARFE and State Advocacy News, 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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