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NEWS FROM NARFE

Defense bill includes extension of agency authority to rehire annuitants without salary offset
NARFE
House and Senate negotiators released a compromise National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, H.R. 3979, which includes a five-year extension of agency authority to rehire annuitants without a salary offset. The bill passed the House this week and it is expected to pass the Senate next week. The dual compensation waiver originally passed as part of the FY10 NDAA, but had a five-year sunset clause. It has been a top NARFE priority to extend the authority.

NARFE President Richard Thissen applauded the bill's passage in the House in a statement to the press. Thissen also thanked Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, for spearheading the extension in their respective chambers.

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NARFE president to testify at congressional hearing on OPM retirement backlog
NARFE
NARFE President Richard Thissen will testify before Congress Dec. 10, on the progress the Office of Personnel Management is making in decreasing its backlog of retirement annuity claims. Thissen will appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce. Friday's Legislative Hotline will include a recap of the hearing and Thissen's testimony.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Health coverage for spouse
NARFE
My husband and I are planning to retire and want to know the requirement for adding a spouse to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. I have self-only coverage as a federal employee, and my spouse's coverage under a union plan will end when he retires.
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FEDERAL UPDATE


4-day holiday weekend for federal employees at Christmas
FedSmith.com
Federal employees will be delighted to receive a Christmas present, of sorts. President Barack Obama has signed an executive order giving federal employees the day after Christmas off. Sixty-seven percent of FedSmith readers had predicted that the president would take this action in a recent survey and, as it turns out, they were correct.
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Government helps feds repay their student loans less often these days
The Washington Post
The federal government is allowed to help its employees pay off their student loans as a way to attract workers with specialized skills and knowledge, but agencies are doing less of that these days amid budget constraints. Last year, 30 percent fewer federal employees received student-loan repayments from the government, and the total cash amount declined by 25 percent, according to a recent report from the Office of Personnel Management.
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New health benefit offering could drive some feds out of the program
Government Executive
While some federal employees will probably see reduced health care costs as a result of a new offering in 2016, the costs for others might rise so dramatically they could leave the federal program altogether, according to an analysis by the Office of Personnel Management. OPM issued a proposed rule for introducing self-plus-one coverage into the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which will be available to enrollees during the 2015 Open Season for 2016 enrollment.
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FINANCES


Why caring for older adults is getting costlier
U.S. News & World Report
From the outside, Kathryn Robison, 29, looks like any other graduate student on campus at Youngstown State University in Ohio. But as she's finishing her master's degree in American Studies, she's also juggling another big responsibility: caring for her grandmother. She recently took a year and a half break from school to serve as her grandmother's primary caregiver in Raleigh, North Carolina, and now serves as a backup caregiver, since her mom took over the reins full time.
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HEALTH


Mental engagement may preserve health literacy in aging
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health via Reuters
Surfing the net, going to museums or joining a club might have an unexpected side effect: improving the ability of older people to understand drug labels and doctors' instructions, according to a new study in the U.K. "We found that the effects of Internet use and cultural activities, along with other social activities, including civic activities and leisure activities, added up," said lead author Lindsay Kobayashi of University College London.
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TRAVEL


Rick Steves: Top 10 European tourist traps
USA Today
Travel guidebook author Rick Steves writes: "I love Europe, but my responsibility as a travel writer is not to just rave about everything, but to help overwhelmed travelers sort through the superlatives and smartly allocate their limited vacation time. So here — in no particular order — are my top 10 tourist traps."
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SECOND CAREERS


6 job search tips for the 50-plus crowd
RetirementHomes.com
If you are over 50 years old, and looking for employment, you have your work cut out for you. In fact, ExecuNet, an executive-level membership website, reports that a vice president over age 50 requires 20 percent more time to land a position than someone at the same level in their early to mid-40s. So, if you're dusting off your resume, keep these tips in mind to accelerate your job search.
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CONSUMER TIPS


3 ways to stop yourself from making an impulse buy you'll regret
MainStreet
According to CreditCards.com, 3 out of 4 Americans report making "impulse" buys, with 1 in 3 saying they've spent more than $100 on one. That's a problem in the high-volume, high-adrenaline holiday shopping season.
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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. Join now.

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 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
Bianca Gibson, Executive Editor, 469.420.2611   Contribute news
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