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Main Home Page   Members Home Page   Public Relations Dec. 27, 2011
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I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy New Year on behalf of your elected officers at NARFE Headquarters, the National Executive Board and the NARFE staff. In 2012, rest assured that NARFE will continue to do what it has done for more than 90 years: defend and protect your earned rights and benefits. As we reflect on the past year, we would like to provide the readers of NARFE NewsWatch a look at the most-accessed articles from 2011. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 3.

Joseph A. Beaudoin, National President

Top 10 NewsWatch articles in 2011

Federal worker pensions emerged as target in debt-reduction talks
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From May 17, 2011: The generous pension system enjoyed by millions of federal workers from clerks to senators and judges emerged as a key target in negotiations between Vice President Joe Biden and congressional leaders looking to restrain the growing national debt. Republicans have proposed saving more than $120 billion over the next decade by requiring the civilian workforce to contribute more toward retirement — a plan that would effectively impose an immediate 5 percent pay cut on more than 2 million federal employees. More

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OPM pension errors force thousands to pay up
Federal Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 11, 2011: Due to its own errors, the Office of Personnel Management for nearly five years undercharged thousands of federal employees for pension contributions. Now, OPM is demanding they immediately pay — in some cases thousands of dollars — to correct their pension accounts. The reason: OPM charged about 8,500 federal employees the wrong interest on their service credit deposits or redeposits since 2006. More


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OPM speaks out: Why your tax withholding went up and your federal annuity check went down    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 15, 2011: As many readers know, many retirees are noticing an increase in the amount of federal tax being withheld from their monthly annuity payments. And, of course, this means that the amount of money you have to spend in your daily life is diminished as a result. The Office of Personnel Management has apparently had a number of questions directed to that agency about this change and, in response, has distributed the following information. More

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GOP budget plan cuts federal workforce, freezes pay for 5 years
The Associated Press and Federal News Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From April 5, 2011: House Republicans unveiled a plan that would cut the federal work force by 10 percent in the next three years through attrition and freeze federal pay for five years. The plan — called the Path to Prosperity — would also reform government workers' "generous benefit programs," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in a press conference. The House plan far exceeds the $1 trillion in cuts in President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget plan released in February 2011. More

Federal employees, retirees rattled by move to cut health benefits
Federal Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 14, 2011: A federal employees' organization fears that "the next shoe to drop" in budget-cutting measures could be a revived proposal to shift more health care costs to feds and retirees. The White House's deficit-reduction commission, headed by former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, in December 2010 proposed turning the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program into a premium support system. Under this plan, employees and retirees would receive a fixed subsidy to cover their health insurance premiums that would grow by no more than the gross domestic product, plus 1 percentage point, each year. Participants would cover the remaining premium cost if their plans cost more than the subsidies provide. More

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How congressional budget cuts may cut into your retirement income    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 28, 2011: Our country's financial system is in a dire state. Congress is looking at several proposals that would cut into federal employee benefits. If these cuts are enacted, how will they affect the average federal retiree? There are many cuts being proposed, but this article focuses on the ones that will have a severe impact on retirement. More

Federal workers surprised by Obama proposal to reorganize agencies
Federal Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 1, 2011: Management and union leaders expressed surprise at President Barack Obama's announced plan to reorganize government and impose a five-year domestic spending freeze. Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, which represents the government's top career executives, said that, while a reorganization of agencies may be worthwhile in the long term, "you know for certain in the short run there are going to be costs to do that." More

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Feds' health premiums to increase 3.8 percent
Federal News Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 4, 2011: Federal employees enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will pay 3.8 percent more, on average, for health insurance in 2012. They will see no significant changes in benefits, the Office of Personnel Management said. The rate increase is the lowest since 2008. More

Fed pensions underfunded by $673 billion
Federal Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 18, 2011: Two years of pay freezes and no pension adjustments haven't made federal employees and retirees very happy, but they have had one benefit: eliminating part of the retirement systems' unfunded liabilities. The Federal Employees Retirement System at one point was predicted to be about $9.7 billion in the red. But the Office of Personnel Management on Oct. 7, 2011, told Federal Times that due to freezes in pay and cost-of-living adjustments, FERS has not only eliminated its unfunded liability, but also is now projected to be in surplus for 2011. More

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House panel approves bill to shrink federal workforce
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Nov. 8, 2011: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently approved a bill that would reduce the federal workforce through attrition by 10 percent over the next three years. In a 23-14 vote, the panel approved the measure, which calls for hiring one federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job, shrinking the workforce across the board by 10 percent by 2015. More

Are you a member of NARFE? If not, join today!
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting and enhancing the health care and retirement benefits of federal employees and their survivors.

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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, senior content editor, 469.420.2611   Contribute news
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