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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

Congress passes short-term spending bill, government shutdown avoided
NARFE
The federal government has avoided a shutdown ... for the time being. Just hours before the Sept. 30 midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a continuing resolution that will fund the government through Dec. 11. Specifically, the bill provides funding for federal government operations for the first 10 weeks of fiscal year 2016 at an annualized rate of $1.017 trillion, the top-line, post-sequester discretionary spending level for FY16 set by the Budget Control Act. The Senate passed the bill by a 78-20 vote early Wednesday morning, and the House followed suit later that day, passing the bill 277-151. NARFE will score the vote in its voting scorecard for the 114th Congress.

Threats of a government shutdown are expected to grow as we get closer to December. As Congress tries to pass more comprehensive, long-term spending legislation, NARFE is closely monitoring the situation. Any grand bargain could take from the federal community to offset other spending priorities. Stay up to date and be prepared to take action when asked.
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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.


Survivor benefits
NARFE
Question: Both my spouse and I are retired federal employees. If I predecease my husband or he predeceases me, may we receive more than one annuity?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Months after government hack, 21.5 million finally being told, given help
The Washington Post
Following a long summer of uncertainty over the theft of their personnel information, 21.5 million federal employees, applicants, contractors and their families are being officially notified of the pillage and of the services the government is making available to them.
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Federal health care plan costs to rise by most in 5 years
The Washington Post
The enrollee share of premiums in the health insurance program for federal employees and retirees will rise by 7.4 percent on average in 2016, the largest increase since 2011, the government announced. However, enrollees have an opportunity ahead to switch among plans in search of lower costs and many of those with family coverage could benefit by changing to a new self plus one coverage option.
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This week in Federal Times
Federal Times
In this video interview with Carten Cordell, NARFE Legislative Director Jessica Klement and NARFE Federal Benefits Service Director David Snell discuss how the FEHBP insurance premium increase will impact feds.
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Some FEHB enrollees to be asked to prove family member eligibility
FEDweek
OPM has separately announced a random sample of FEHB enrollees to check whether they are carrying ineligible family members on their coverage. Those chosen will receive a notice directly from that company, HMS Employer Solutions, asking them to provide a legal document such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate that shows the relationship of family members under their enrollment, OPM told agencies.
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CIA director: Push for federal employees to donate to charitable campaigns
The Washington Post
The Combined Federal Campaign raises millions every year for charities across the nation from federal employees. They have made a significant difference with this form of service, donating more than $7 billion since the campaign launched in 1961. But contributions to the self-described "world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign" have been falling steadily since 2009.
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STATE ADVOCACY NEWS


A state-by-state analysis of voter list availability
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Although most of the data included in statewide voter registration lists is considered public information, laws determining who can acquire the lists and the costs to obtain them vary by state. The United States Election Project recently conducted an analysis of the availability, data included, layout, price and ordering information for voter lists from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and developed an online resource detailing each state's approach to sharing these lists.
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FINANCES


10 expenses you can cut today
U.S. News & World Report
Household expenses often have a sneaky way of getting past you without you noticing. In fact, many of the costs you're shelling out for on a daily or weekly basis might be ones that you can cut from your budget altogether. Here are 10 expenses you should consider getting rid of today.
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HEALTH


Study: Calcium from supplements or dairy doesn't strengthen bones
NBC News
A new study should put the final nail in the coffin for any lingering beliefs that calcium supplements are good for you. The new study finds that people over 50 don't get stronger bones either by taking supplements or from eating extra servings of calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products. The findings, reported in the British Medical Journal's online publication BMJ.com, support what U.S. health officials have been telling Americans for a few years now — taking calcium supplements is not just a waste of time, but it could be harmful.
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  • TRAVEL


    Mind your manners: 10 dining customs from around the world
    TravelPulse
    There are some people for whom table manners come easily. They handle their meal with sophistication and grace, never once letting an errant slurp pass their lips, and they could tell you exactly which fork goes with exactly which course. If you are one of those people, we have bad news for you. In your travels, you're going to find that tables around the world do not all play by the same set of rules. One culture's good manners is another culture's faux pas.
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    SECOND CAREERS


    How to work in retirement and still have fun
    TIME
    Just because you retire doesn't mean you have to stop working. In fact, if you want to earn a paycheck after finishing up your career, you've got company: Two-thirds of workers 50 and older say their ideal retirement includes part-time work, according to a Merrill Lynch Age Wave survey. No wonder. Working in retirement can keep you connected with a social network, give you new challenges to tackle, and — oh, yes — earn you some dough.
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    CONSUMER TIPS


    8 items you'll find deals on in October
    Consumerist
    The season is changing, and that doesn't just mean pumpkin spice lattes and piles of leaves to jump in. It also means that shoppers can get deals on a mix of products from three different seasons in the coming months, if they know where and when to shop. Fortunately, Consumer Reports watches prices on items as well as testing them, and here's what they say you should shop for in October.
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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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