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For Active and Retired Federal Employees
AUGUST 2012, Volume 88, Number 8
LEGISLATIVE REPORT 8 10 12
Congress’ To-Do List: Deficit, Budget,Tax Cuts
14 16 18
Changes Coming to 2013 Legislative Conference
New Rules Issued on Conferences and Travel “Meet Your Candidates Month” – Now More Critical Than Ever Before
Civics 101: Redistricting Leads to Opportunities NARFE Legislation Tracker
COVER STORY 20
32 35 40 43 46
Cover design by Jim Richards
America Counts on Us. NARFE is leading a campaign that brings together all 30 members of the Federal-Postal Coalition to fight back against benefits cuts.
COLUMNS 6 Message From the National President
26 Managing Money 28 Live Well 30 Civil Service Career Coach
39 Report From the Regions
SPECIAL SECTIONS 36 National Convention Update
NARFE-PAC Coupon . . . . . . . .19
Questions & Answers
NARFE-FEEA Coupon . . . . . . .39
MembershipApplication . . . . . .41
DuesWithholdingApplication . .42
Out & About For the Record: TSP Investments, COLA Chart
‘Like’ us on Facebook (NARFE National Headquarters) visit us online at www.narfe.org
Alzheimer’s Coupon . . . . . . . . .43 NARFE Member Perks . . . . . . .44
Follow us on Twitter (@narfehq)
Here’s How to Contact NARFE ...
JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN, President; firstname.lastname@example.org PAUL H. CAREW, Vice President; email@example.com ELAINE C. HUGHES, Secretary; firstname.lastname@example.org RICHARD G. THISSEN, Treasurer; email@example.com
If you want to: • Join NARFE Call (toll-free):
800-627-3394 or 800-456-8410 Or go to: www.narfe.org
If you want to: • Change your address • Check your membership status • Find out dues owed • Provide a death notification Call (toll-free):
firstname.lastname@example.org If you want to: • Add your email address to your record (to receive GEMS email messages, the Legislative Hotline and NARFE NewsWatch): Call (toll-free):
REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS REGION I Augie Stratoti (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) Tel: 603-889-1073 Email: email@example.com REGION II Ronald P. Bowers (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) Tel: 410-308-0420 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION III Donald Stewart (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Virgin Islands) Tel: 305-442-6388 Email: email@example.com REGION IV Paul E. Johnson (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) Tel: 812-306-5137 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION V Carol R. Ek (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) Tel: 620-241-1131 Email: email@example.com
REGION VI Jerome S. Smith (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Republic of Panama and Texas) Tel: 903-534-5849 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION VII Betty Lucero-Turner (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) Tel: 719-583-0910 Email: email@example.com REGION VIII Helen L. Zajac (California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Republic of Philippines) Tel: 707-644-7565 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION IX Lanny G. Ross (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington) Tel: 360-692-9741 Email: email@example.com REGION X William F. Martin (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) Tel: 540-872-3345 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to:
• Hear the Legislative Hotline Call (toll-free):
877-217-8234 If you want to: • Get materials to recruit members: Call (toll-free):
For any other NARFE matter: Call NARFE Headquarters
703-838-7760 Email: email@example.com Fax:703-838-7785 Write: NARFE 606 N. Washington St. Alexandria,VA 22314
NARFE MAGAZINE Volume 88,Number 8 Editor, Margaret M. Carter Assistant Editor, Donna J. St. John Editorial Administrator, Toni Vallario Graphic Designer, Beth Bedard Contributing Designers, Charlene Gridley, Jim Richards Editorial Board: Joseph A. Beaudoin, Paul H. Carew, Elaine C. Hughes, Richard G. Thissen Editorial Office: NARFE, Attn: NARFE magazine, 606 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1914; Phone: 703-838-7760; Fax: 703-838-7781; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales: Warren Berger, Media People Inc., 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725, New York, NY 10168; 212-779-7172, ext. 223; Email: email@example.com
NARFE for the Visually Impaired On the Telephone: This publication can be heard on the telephone by persons who have trouble seeing or reading the print edition. For more information, contact the National Federation of the Blind NFB-NEWSLINE® service at 866-504-7300 or go to www.nfbnewsline.org. On Tape: Issues of NARFE magazine are also available on cassette through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. To find out about availability in your area, call 800-424-8567 and ask for the Reference Section. The Association, since July 1970, has been classified by the IRS as a tax exempt labor organization [not a union]; however, dues and gifts or contributions to the Association are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.
NARFE (ISSN 1948-4453) is published monthly by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), 606 N. Washington St.,Alexandria,VA 22314. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria,VA, and additional mailing offices. Members: Annual dues includes subscription. Non-member subscription rate $45. Postmaster: Send address change to: NARFE Attn:Member Records,NARFE 606 N.Washington St.,Alexandria,VA 22314.To ensure prompt delivery,members should also forward changes of address without delay. Because of the volume involved, NARFE cannot acknowledge nor be responsible for unsolicited pictures and manuscripts, although every reasonable precaution is taken. All submissions become the property of NARFE. Copyright © 2012, NARFE. Advertisements in the magazine are not endorsements of products and/or services by NARFE, unless officially stated in the ad. We shall accept advertising on the same basis as other reputable publications: that is, we shall not knowingly permit a dishonest advertisement to appear in NARFE, but at the same time we will not undertake to guarantee the reliability of our advertisers.
AUGUST 2012 | NARFE
25 to Lim 00 th it re e f ed sp ir on st de nt s
Spectacular Treasure from Mount St. Helens
The Beauty in the Beast F
or almost a hundred years it lay dormant. Silently building strength. At 10,000 feet high, it was truly a sleeping giant, a vision of peaceful power. Until everything changed in one cataclysmic moment. On May 18, 1980, the once-slumbering beast awoke with violent force and revealed its greatest secret. It was one of nature’s most impressive displays of power. Mount St. Helens erupted, sending a column of ash and smoke 80,000 feet into the atmosphere. From that chaos, something beautiful emerged… our spectacular Helenite Necklace. Produced from the heated volcanic rock dust of Mount St. Helens, this brilliant green creation has captured the attention of jewelry designers worldwide. Today you can wear this 6½-carat stunner for the exclusive price of only $129! Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Our Helenite Necklace puts the gorgeous green stone center stage, with a faceted pear-cut set in gold-layered .925 sterling silver. The explosive origins of the stone are echoed in the flashes of light that radiate as the piece swings gracefully from its 18" gold-plated sterling silver chain. Today the volcano sits quiet, but this unique piece of natural history continues to erupt with gorgeous green fire.
Add the 3-carat earrings!
Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Bring home the Helenite Necklace and see for yourself. If you are not completely blown away by the rare beauty of this exceptional stone, simply return the necklace within 30 days for a full refund of your purchase price.
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Smar t Luxuries—Surprising Prices
A Message From the National President
Countdown to the Convention
s you read this column, we are about a month away from the kickoff of the 2012 NARFE Biennial National Convention. Both the federation conventions and the national convention are an integral part of NARFE. This spring, I had the pleasure of representing NARFE Headquarters at eight federation conventions, commencing with Panama and ending with Connecticut. It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to visit with members in various states and discuss issues affecting all NARFE members. The other federations that I visited this year were New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Vermont. Although different in many ways, each convention proved interesting, and I enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones. While at the conventions, exchanges took place among the federation and chapter officers and members, as well as the regional vice presidents and me, regarding membership. NARFE members are aware that our membership is declining, even though the threat to our benefits and annuities is growing. It baffles me why our membership is not growing because our main goal is to protect the earned benefits of federal workers and retirees. One of our staff members said that we need to have a more positive approach to our situation. As she stated, if you talk “gloom and doom,” you will never move forward. But if you talk about success, you are more apt to grow and succeed. Well said! So let’s be positive, and let’s work together in making NARFE a bigger and better organization. NARFE offers our members much more than legislative representation. How many of you take advantage of the NARFE Perks that are listed in the back of each issue of this
magazine? Did you know that when you stay at any of the Choice Hotels, you can save 20 percent? The NARFE Premier Federal Credit Union – NARFE’s official credit union – has some of the best rates available for loans and investments. Life Line Screening, a communitybased provider of preventive health screenings, has provided information to hundreds of members who then began treatment for conditions they were not aware they had. NARFE also has contracted with Bekins Van Lines to provide discounted competitive pricing for all interstate and intrastate shipments of household goods. Another popular NARFE Perk is NARFE Insurance Services, which offers a variety of insurance plans that are designed exclusively for NARFE members. GEICO is another of our affinity partners that can save you money. Our newest Perks partner is Ivy Bridge College of Tiffin University, and you can see their offer on p. 44. These are just some of the companies you should consider if you want a quality option as you shop and compare prices for products and services. All of these discounted options are benefits you receive through NARFE membership. And here’s one final reminder to join us at the National Convention in Reno-Sparks, NV, August 26-30. An added feature this year will be six training sessions. Four “Lunch and Learn” sessions, on membership topics, will be held on Wednesday and Thursday (see p. 38 for information on presenters). A fifth Lunch and Learn session, on the Online Activities Module, will be on Tuesday. And service officers training will be held on Monday evening of convention week. If you are interested in the Wednesday and Thursday membership sessions, call or email National Secretary Elaine C. Hughes (703-838-7760, firstname.lastname@example.org), as we are limited on the number of delegates who can attend these sessions. It’s not too late to register.
NARFE OFFERS much more than legislative representation. How many of you take advantage of NARFE Perks?
Joseph A. Beaudoin email@example.com
AUGUST 2012 | NARFE
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