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NEWS FROM NARFE

Legislation passed, signed into law;
government reopens (for now)

NARFE
In the late evening of Oct. 16, Congress passed a continuing resolution (H.R. 2775), funding all federal agencies and programs through Jan. 15, 2014, and raising the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, 2014. The 35-page measure, signed into law by the president in the early hours of Oct. 17, provides for payment of wages to furloughed federal employees on the next pay day. Earlier in the week, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin sent a strongly-worded letter to Congress.

As written, the law allows for a 1 percent pay raise for federal employees in January. However, a lot of uncertainties still remain. Click here to read a NARFE advisory on the status of the 2014 pay raise.
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Federal community still at risk for further sacrifices
NARFE
By Dec. 13, a committee comprised of members of the House and Senate will present budget recommendations. It is likely that these negotiations will consider proposals that threaten the federal family. NARFE's fight is not over.

Primarily, NARFE is concerned that the Chained CPI could be included in any budget deal. NARFE remains strongly opposed to any change in the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) formula that would negatively impact seniors, veterans and federal retirees.

NARFE has created a new webpage with all the information you need to know going into the next budget battle. New action letters are also available on NARFE's Legislative Action Center to send these messages to your members of Congress and the White House. Do not delay.

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Consumer price news
NARFE
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced that September consumer price indices will be reported on Wednesday, Oct. 30. With September data, we will publicize the next cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), as will major news organizations. October consumer price news, scheduled for Nov. 15, will be delayed, but no date has been set.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


FEHBP survivor benefit
NARFE
Question: I will soon retire and plan to continue my current Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) coverage for me and my spouse. What is the minimum monthly amount that he must receive from my retirement program to maintain the insurance? If we decide on a monthly amount for my spouse to receive, and it turns out that the cost of the insurance at the time of my death is more than his payment from my retirement plan, can he pay the additional cost from his own funds and maintain the insurance coverage?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Pentagon says shutdown wasted at least $600 million
Federal News Radio
Tallying the total cost of the government shutdown is not a simple task, but in the Defense Department, officials say at least $600 million went to waste. The dollar figure is a very conservative estimate, but the easiest one to calculate, Defense officials said recently.
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Furloughed feds might have to repay unemployment benefits
Federal Times
Federal employees furloughed during the partial government shutdown might have to repay any state unemployment benefits received during that time, according to guidelines released by the Office of Personnel Management.
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OMB head warns more employee furloughs possible and worker morale is a problem
The Washington Post
Whatever glow Sylvia Mathews Burwell took from her 96 to 0 Senate confirmation vote in April must have quickly disappeared as she stepped into the deep muck of government budgeting. Employee furloughs, resulting from sequestration budget cuts, were just beginning when she took over as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
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Attention shifts to House-Senate budget conference
Government Executive
The Senate is out on recess, but the House returns to session for the start of what could be a bellwether week to gauge the political tone in Washington for the rest of the year. Much of the attention is already shifting to focus on the formal start of negotiations in the joint House-Senate budget conference.
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CIOs may struggle to keep IT staff on board next year
Nextgov
Furloughs, budget cuts and three years of frozen pay already are posing challenges for federal agencies in terms of recruiting and retaining information technology workers. Those challenges may grow even greater in the next year, as more and more IT workers could potentially be on the hunt for a new job, new research suggests.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
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FINANCES


Reverse mortgage strategy can open door to 2nd home
The Spokesman-Review
A reverse mortgage must be made against a primary residence, but the loan can absolutely be used to help purchase a second home. While the proceeds of a reverse mortgage typically help seniors to "age in place" by making their home more comfortable for their retirement years, there are no limitations on how reverse funds can be used.
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HEALTH


11 super health benefits in just 1 celery stalk
Care2
Apples walk away with most health accolades, and spinach leads the healthy veggie brigade. Compared to them, celery is somewhat unsung, but once you read its incredible — and nearly endless — list of health benefits, you will quickly join its growing list of lovers.
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SECOND CAREERS


Baby boomers build new careers as artists
The News Journal
One was a stockbroker, another a computer whiz. There’s a therapist and a small-business owner. Each retired from a traditional career and launched into another in the arts.
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TRAVEL


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5 ways to save on holiday travel
U.S. News & World Report
The holiday season is several weeks away, but now is a great time to start booking that flight or hotel for your Thanksgiving or New Year's celebrations. According to Kayak.com, you'll find the best deals on holiday flights when you book in mid-October. Fares will start to increase by as much as 25 percent the closer you get to the end of the year.
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CONSUMER TIPS


The best tools to save money on grocery shopping
NerdWallet
Grocery stores aren’t in it to help your wallet or your waistline: Advertisements, promotions and even layouts are designed to maximize spending, both on expensive products and tasty impulse buys. This article breaks down the best tools and tricks to save money on groceries.
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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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