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NEWS FROM NARFE

NARFE activists respond in large numbers
NARFE
With little time left and much work still unfinished, the First Session of the 113th Congress may try to rush a conference report vote or, failing that, pass another continuing resolution (the current one expires Jan. 15, 2014). Either route could provide another opportunity for Congress to take from the federal community to offset sequestration or pay for other priorities.

NARFE members responded to a special email alert on Dec. 4 in near-record numbers. While 3,048 NARFE members generated 8,809 messages, the median number of messages received by a representative, since the October launch, is only 22. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin again urges each NARFE member to tell Congress "Enough is Enough" with NARFE's updated message. The federal community has been repeatedly singled out for sacrifices not asked of any other Americans. The NARFE Legislative Action Center's "Enough is Enough" message template is an easy, yet powerful, tool to make your views known to your congressional delegation. Send your three legislators this message today.
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FEDERAL BENEFITS QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Leaving federal service — FERS
NARFE
Question: I am age 50 and under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), with 18 years of service. I’m considering leaving the federal government. What benefits would I retain if I did decide to leave?
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FEDERAL UPDATE


Retirement claims processed nosedives in November
Government Executive
The Office of Personnel Management processed far fewer retirement claims in November than it has in any single month in more than a year, and about half of its October total. OPM processed 5,714 retirement claims last month, just one month after completing more than 11,000, a figure it accomplished despite the government shutdown. November's total marked, by a large margin, the fewest claims OPM has completed in any month since at least July 2012.
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Expected budget deal amounts to a cease-fire as sides move to
avert a standoff

The Washington Post
House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches recently on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington. The deal expected to be sealed on Capitol Hill would not significantly reduce the debt, now $17.3 trillion and rising.
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Under pressure: Tight budgets, aging systems add to logistics challenges
Federal Times
For those responsible for moving people and goods from Point A to Point B, the only thing as challenging as the start of a war is the end of one. "You have all this equipment overseas and a lot of it is in areas where we are not going to leave it," said Greg Diven, a business development manager in the government segment at UPS. He points to the military’s 80,000 containers and 20,000 vehicles now in the Middle East awaiting final disposition. "You have constraints on the budget, and at the same time, in many cases, the cost of the transportation exceeds the value of the goods."
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US government now can pay individual contractors almost
$1 million annually

The Washington Post
Being a jolly sort, and just in time for the Christmas buying season, Uncle Sam has announced that he will pay some contractors nearly a million dollars a year for doing his work. What he calls his "benchmark compensation amount" for government contractors now is set at $952,308. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam's regular crew, his federal employees, are scheduled to get a 1 percent bump next year, after a three-year freeze on their basic pay rates.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
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FINANCES


Prepare your finances to live to 100
MarketWatch
When Lisa Chapman raises the issue of longevity with her clients, some joke that they'll just move in with her if their money runs out. As that joke suggests, it's hard for many people to imagine living, much less planning, for 30-plus years in retirement.
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HEALTH


Report: 'Healthy obesity' is a myth
HealthDay News
The notion that some people can be overweight or obese and still remain healthy is a myth, according to a new Canadian study. Even without high blood pressure, diabetes or other metabolic issues, overweight and obese people have higher rates of death, heart attack and stroke after 10 years compared with their thinner counterparts, the researchers found.
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SECOND CAREERS


6 ways to crack the 'hidden' job market
Next Avenue
It seems almost a cruel joke being played on people desperate to find work: Most jobs getting filled these days aren't even advertised. Instead, they're typically part of the hidden job market — those millions of openings that never get formally posted. It now accounts for up to 80 percent of hires, according to some estimates.
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TRAVEL


Top five off-peak destinations for winter 2013/2014
USA Today
Before you grumble at the arrival of frigid winter weather, remember that the upcoming season heralds untold affordable off-peak travel opportunities. In many of the alluring destinations of the Northern Hemisphere, travel providers slash prices as the touristic crowds bid adieu until spring. If you want to save some coin while seeing the world, winter is prime time for wanderlust — and we know just where you should go. Here are five awesome destinations where the colder part of the year bears off-peak affordability.
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CONSUMER TIPS


BBB: Be cautious when using e-receipts
Idaho Statesman
The frenzy of shopping sometimes leaves people wondering what they actually purchased. When getting to a cashier, the questions seem to come quickly: Discount card? Coupons? Cash back? Email your receipt? Retailers offer e-receipts for both convenience and savings. Beware. After spending a day shopping, you may get notifications from a company or store where you may or may not have been shopping.
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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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