Government to unveil COLAs on Oct. 19
Federal retirees will know Oct. 19 the cost-of-living adjustment they will receive beginning in their January paychecks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the consumer price index figures for September at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 19. The numbers are the final data point for determining the COLA. Based on the latest statistics, the COLA is expected to be about 3.6 percent. More
Postal Service remains in limbo
Major reform of the U.S. Postal Service will be on hold for the foreseeable future, as an array of proposals slowly work their way through Congress. The latest continuing resolution to fund the government through Nov. 18 extends the Postal Service's deadline to make a $5.5 billion prepayment to its retiree health benefits account, originally due at the end of September. More
What do federal employees think of their workplace?
The Washington Post Share
Are federal workers happy with their job? Do they like their boss and think they're able to develop a meaningful career? More than 266,000 federal employees participated in this year's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, conducted by the Office of Personnel Management. For reporting purposes, a closer look was taken at how employees rated their agencies in four key categories: leadership and knowledge management, results-oriented performance culture, talent management and job satisfaction. More
Retirees and pre-retirees lack understanding of long-term care
Healthcare Finance News Share
Pre-retirees do not fully anticipate the challenges of retirement, suggests a new poll, and that disconnect has particular implications for the long-term care industry. Twenty-five percent of retirees polled by independent researchers on behalf of the Harvard School of Public Health said that life in retirement is worse than before retirement while only 14 percent of pre-retirees believe that life overall will be worse when they retire. More
Have you had your eyes checked for glaucoma?
John Hopkins Medicine via Yahoo Share
Glaucoma, an eye disorder that can cause visual loss by damaging the optic nerve within the eye, is one of the leading causes of blindness among American adults. People over 60 have a risk six times higher than younger adults for developing this disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma are key to helping prevent blindness. More
Caregivers' stress leads to unhealthy habits
Californians caring for aging, ill or disabled loved ones are stressed out and making some poor health choices for themselves, according a new report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The analysis finds that Californians looking after relatives or friends who can no longer manage on their own report higher levels of serious stress and are more likely to smoke or be obese than those who don't shoulder the responsibilities of caregiving. More
Older workers can compete in job market
The Portland Press Herald Share
You may have noticed that lately it seems a lot of polls and surveys aimed at retirement-aged Americans indicate that folks are not feeling confident about being able to afford to retire. The recession has hit 401(k) retirement accounts, home equity and other investments. With a national unemployment rate at just over 9 percent, can older workers compete in today's tight job market? Absolutely, say those in the job industry. More
Top 10 (surprisingly) best cities for retirees
Bankers Life and Casualty's Center for a Secure Retirement released a survey in September detailing the best U.S. cities, and their surrounding metropolitan areas, for seniors. AdvisorOne culled the top 10 from the survey of 50 cities. Some of the cities, like Denver, have appeared on "best" lists before. Some, however, were a surprise as an overall choice. More
7 tips for saving on holiday flying and lodging
The Associated Press via Forbes.com Share
Flying over the holidays is going to cost more this year. And the longer you wait to book, the pricier it's likely to get. As airlines fly fewer routes and planes to cut costs, there are fewer seats available. Flights are fuller than ever, and airlines can charge more. Airlines have an additional reason to charge families more during the holiday season: there are fewer high-paying business travelers, and airlines need to make up for that loss of revenue. More
A cheat sheet on tipping dos and don'ts
Tipping can be daunting. While most of us know that it's appropriate to tip our server at a restaurant, it's not always clear whether to tip the hotel concierge, funeral chaplain or dog groomer. If you leave a tip, how large should it be? Is 20 percent an across-the-board solution? This list from Bankrate should help you answer these questions as well as give you specific gratuity guidelines. More
A member asks about inclusion of a plan in the 2012 FEHBP
Question: Did the Office of Personnel Management drop California Anthem Blue Cross — HMO (Codes M51 and M52) from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program? It is not listed on the rate chart for 2012. More
NARFE letter in USA Today refutes article on retirement fund
A letter in USA Today from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin refutes an article that ran in that newspaper claiming that federal retirement plans are "almost as costly as Social Security." Beaudoin points out that a 2011 report by the impartial Congressional Research Service said actuarial projections indicate that the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund "will be able to meet its financial obligations in perpetuity." More
NARFE urges supercommittee to protect federal employee retirement security and health benefits
In an Oct. 7 letter, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin urged the congressional supercommittee to "defend the integrity of a system that provides wages and health and retirement benefits compensation to 4.6 million federal workers and annuitants." The supercommittee is charged with finding ways to cut an additional $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade. Beaudoin listed many proposals under consideration that would freeze or cut pay and retirement and health benefits. He said these plans "send the wrong signal to the best and brightest workers federal agencies will need to recruit and retain to make government operate more efficiently, prevent the next terrorist attacks, fight two wars, cure diseases, provide assistance to unemployed and disabled Americans, and treat wounded military personnel and veterans." More
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