For Active and Retired Federal Employees
FEBRUARY 2011, Volume 87, Number 2
LEGISLATIVE REPORT 8 12 12 14 14 16 16 18 20
When to Expect Congressional Action on Spending Cuts Congress Approves Pay Freeze for Feds Payment in Lieu of COLA Defeated President Signs Telework Bill
Cover design by Jim Richards
COLUMNS 6 Message From the National President
2011 House and Senate “Work Periods” Set
26 Managing Money
Whistleblower Bill Fails to Pass in Congress
30 Live Well
Deadline for Legislative Conference February 8
34 Civil Service Career
Civics 101: Counts, Clout and Expectations
44 Report From the
COVER STORY NARFE celebrates its 90th Anniversary. Read about the Association’s nine decades of defending and improving federal benefits.
SPECIAL SECTION 47 NARFE Scholarship Application
DEPARTMENTS 36 42 45 50 51 54
Questions & Answers Retirement Benefits NARFE News Out & About Letters For the Record: TSP Investments, COLA Chart
visit us online at www.narfe.org
NARFE Resources Leg.Conference Registration . . .17 NARFE-FEEA Coupon . . . . . . .45 Membership Application . . . . . .49 Alzheimer’s Coupon . . . . . . . . .50 NARFE Member Perks . . . . . . .52
NATIONAL OFFICERS JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN, President email@example.com Editor Margaret M. Carter Assistant Editor Donna J. St. John Graphic Designer Beth Bedard Contributing Designers Charlene Gridley Jim Richards Editorial Board: Joseph A. Beaudoin Paul H. Carew Elaine Hughes Charles W. Saylor Editorial Office NARFE, Attn: NARFE magazine 606 North Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1914 Phone: 703-838-7760 Fax: 703-838-7781 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org National Headquarters Telephone: 703-838-7760 Fax: 703-838-7785 E-mail: email@example.com Toll-free phone numbers Member Records: 800-456-8410 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Recruitment & Retention: 800-627-3394 E-mail: email@example.com Legislative Hotline: 877-217-8234 Web site: www.narfe.org Advertising Sales Warren Berger Media People Inc. 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725 New York, NY 10168 212-779-7172, ext. 223 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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-NEWSLINEÂŽ service at 866-504-7300 or go to www.nfb newsline.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.
PAUL H. CAREW, Vice President email@example.com ELAINE HUGHES, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org CHARLES W. SAYLOR, Treasurer email@example.com
REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS REGION I Gilbert W. Blaisdell (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) 3 Larnards Court Amesbury, MA 01913-3309 Tel: 978-388-1830 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION II Ronald P. Bowers (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) 404 Kilree Road, #301 Timonium, MD 21093-7599 Tel: 410-308-0420 E-mail: email@example.com REGION III Donald Stewart (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Virgin Islands) 531 Sevilla Ave. Coral Gables, FL 33134-5714 Tel: 305-442-6388 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION IV Paul E. Johnson (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) P.O. Box 234, 7183 Main St. Wadesville, IN 47638-0234 Tel: 812-306-5137 Fax: 812-673-4989 E-mail: email@example.com REGION V Richard G. Thissen (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) P. O. Box 485 Lake Ozark, MO 65049-0485 Tel: 573-365-5679 Fax: 573-964-5074 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGION VI Jerome S. Smith (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Republic of Panama and Texas) 5900 Raleigh Drive Tyler, TX 75703-5636 Tel: 903-534-5849 E-mail: email@example.com REGION VII Betty Lucero-Turner (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) 4437 Turnberry Crescent Pueblo, CO 81001-1175 Tel: 719-583-0910 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION VIII Helen L. Zajac (California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Republic of Philippines) 106 Cottonwood Drive Vallejo, CA 94591-5659 Tel: 707-644-7565 Fax: 707-644-5019 E-mail: email@example.com REGION IX Lanny G. Ross (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington) 7450 Illahee Road, NE Bremerton, WA 98311-9431 Tel: 360-692-9741 Fax: 360-662-0384 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org REGION X William F. Martin (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) 294 Tyler Point Lane Bumpass, VA 23024-4633 Tel: 540-872-3345 Fax: 540-872-3445 E-mail: email@example.com
Volume 87, Number 2. 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. Contents of this magazine are copyrighted ÂŠ 2011. 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.
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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A Message From the National President
A Call to Action
ebruary marks the month that, 90 years ago, NARFE was founded. If you’ve been a NARFE member for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the story about how NARFE came to be. On February 19, 1921, 14 federal retirees met in Washington, DC, to form an association dedicated to improving the status of retired federal employees. And here we are, some 90 years later, still working on your behalf, not only to improve your benefits but also to protect them. Recent actions – both from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s final report and the administration’s call for a freeze on federal pay – threaten to place an unfair burden on federal employees and retirees as the government tries to work its way out of the nation’s fiscal crisis. The Fiscal Commission co-chairs’ final report includes a proposal to create a task force that would make recommendations to Congress to cut federal civilian and military retirement benefits by $70 billion over 10 years. And even more disturbing is the report’s plan that would require federal employees and annuitants to pay a higher share of health insurance premiums. There are a number of other options in the report that further erode our benefits. While we are all aware that these times are difficult, and we want to do our part as tough decisions need to be made, federal employees and retirees should not be singled out for budget cuts while others are not asked to make similar sacrifices. As you read the article on page 20 celebrating NARFE’s 90 years of service, you will find that we also are celebrating the invaluable contributions that federal employees have made and continue to make to society. And you also will read about how NARFE has worked tirelessly to thwart cuts to your benefits over the years and to mobilize members when we were faced with unfair treatment. When a potential crisis or adverse legislation is identified by our Legislative Department, such as some of the Fiscal Commission recommendations, many of you have been willing to respond to our call to action and contact your congressional representatives. To those NARFE members, I want to say “thank you” for making your voices heard on Capitol Hill. And to those members who have e-mail capability and have not shared their e-mail addresses with NARFE, please send them to us so that we can notify you of these proposals and other issues that could adversely affect the federal family. To add your e-mail address to your membership record, go to www.narfe.org; sign in as a member; then click on “Join GEMS” in the left panel of the Members Home Page. You also may call Member Records at 800-456-8410. At NARFE HQ, we have been gearing up for these more recent assaults on the earned compensation of federal workers and retirees, and will continue to take every step imaginable to safeguard your hard-earned benefits. But you need to become involved in this fight, too, because, together, we are “90 years strong.”
YOU,TOO, need to become involved in the fight to safeguard your hard-earned benefits.
Joseph A. Beaudoin firstname.lastname@example.org
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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When to Expect Action on Biggest Fight to Spending Cuts Save Benefits in
he start of the new Congress in 2011, with a dramati-
cally altered balance of power, will set the stage for how
and when lawmakers consider the anticipated and unprecedented assaults on the earned compensation of
federal workers and annuitants. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin calls the congressional battle ahead “the most challenging fight in a generation” to defend federal employees’ and retirees’ earned retirement, pay and health benefits. “But this is a fight we can win,” Beaudoin says. “I call on NARFE members — and all other federal workers, retirees and their survivors — to join us in this struggle.” NARFE officers, advocates and staff should focus their attention on the following important action points in the presidential and congressional agenda and budget process:
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS At press time, a specific date had not been announced, but it was expected that President Obama would deliver his constitutionally required State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in late January. Historically, the president uses the speech to set his legislative priorities for the year ahead. As reported in the January issue of NARFE magazine, the final report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed to
cut federal civilian retirement and health benefits, freeze federal pay and reduce the federal work force by 10 percent. While the commission’s report failed to garner the necessary votes for immediate action, the president will likely embrace some or all of the commission’s proposals and may use his State of the Union address to recommend that Congress give those proposals serious consideration. Some Washington insiders believe such a move would be a strategy employed by the president to control the budget debate before the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives has the opportunity to propose even more severe cuts than the president. “Of 45 proposals made by the cochairmen of the Fiscal Commission, the
A Generation ■ A 65-year-old man who retired
in 2010 with subsidized health benefits from a former employer should expect to need $66,000 in savings for health care expenses in retirement if he wants a 50-percent chance of having enough savings, according to a new report published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. For a 90-percent chance,he would need to save $125,000. ■ Because of women’s longer life
expectancy,a woman would need $88,000 for a 50-percent chance of having enough savings and $143,000 for a 90percent chance. ■ In 2005,only 23 percent of
Medicare recipients also had health coverage as retirees from former employers,the report also said.
LEGISLATIVE HOTLINE Toll-free! (24 Hours): 877-217-8234 Legislative Action Center: www.narfe.org FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
Legislative Report only one unilaterally embraced by the president has been a two-year federal pay freeze,” notes Beaudoin. “This demonstrates that policymakers in Washington have the political will to single out civil servants and, by extension, civil service retirees for budget cuts.”
STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ NARFE is calling on members to focus on several
“YOU CUT” PROPOSALS During meetings with key House members and their staff in December, members of the NARFE Legislative Department heard repeatedly that early in 2011 the new leadership is planning to have the House consider spending-cut proposals offered by Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor, R-VA, as part of his “You Cut” campaign. The timing and method of House action on the leader’s legislation would be outside the regular order of the congressional budget process. Last year, Cantor encouraged visitors to his Web site to vote on specific proposals to cut federal spending. For instance, his site proposed to cut federal civilian retirement by basing annuities on the highest five years of salary instead of the highest three years and to freeze federal pay, denying federal workers a modest 1.4-percent pay raise in 2011.
PRESIDENT’S BUDGET The policy proposals outlined in the State of the Union address are often explained in more detail in the president’s budget, which is scheduled to be released on February 7. Presidential budgets are suggestions to Congress on federal spending and tax policy. They do not have the force of law. Members of Congress may approve, reject or change any of the president’s recommendations.
BUDGET RESOLUTION Congress will respond to the president’s budget with its own budget plan – the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget — the annual roadmap that Congress uses to direct its decisions about spending and taxes. The budget resolution can instruct the committees of the House and Senate to cut spending in entitlement programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and federal civilian and military retirement, and may even suggest specific policies to achieve the cuts. While budget resolutions do not have the force of law, and the president does not sign them, congressional action is influenced, if not bound, by the blueprints. The budget is enacted through the approval of appropriations measures and budget reconciliation legislation, which will be considered this spring, summer and fall. The Budget Act requires Congress to complete action on the budget resolution by April 15.
“action points” in theWashington agenda as the Association gears up to defend federal benefits. The first action point is the State of the Union address,in which President Obama will set out his legislative priorities,which could include proposals made by the Fiscal Commission. A second action point is House consideration of spending-cut proposals by House Majority Leader Eric I.Cantor,which could include a change in the federal retirement formula. Other action points are the president’s budget,the Congress’ budget resolution and legislation to increase the national debt limit. NARFE members should consult the Legislative Hotline to keep up-to-date on these issues.
DEBT LIMIT: TIMING IS EVERYTHING The timing of this year’s budget resolution coincides with the point in time when the national debt is expected to reach its statutory limit of $14.3 trillion. Congress sets specific limits on the authority of the Treasury Department to borrow money to pay the government’s obligations. Increases in the debt limit must be periodically passed to ensure the government does not default on its obligations. Failure to do so would throw the worldwide financial system into chaos. The debt limit and budget resolution could provide budget hawks with powerful leverage to extract massive spending cuts in exchange for votes to increase the borrowing cap. As a result, April could be the month when a huge package of spending reductions based on proposals made by the Fiscal Commission will have its best chance at passage. NARFE members should consult the NARFE Legislative Hotline to keep up-to-date on the latest focus of the Association’s advocacy efforts. The weekly Hotline is available by e-mail to members who include their e-mail address in their membership record; on the NARFE Web site at www.narfe.org; and by phone, toll-free, at 877-217-8234. To add your e-mail address to your membership record, go to www.narfe.org; sign in as a member; then click on “Join GEMS” in the left panel of the Members Home Page. You also may call Member Records at 800-456-8410.
By Dan Adcock,Legislative Director Legislative Counsel Alan Lopatin contributed to this article. FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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CongressApproves Fed Pay Freeze
ongress approved a two-year pay freeze for federal employees, proposed by President Obama. Both the Senate and the House took final votes on the legislation on December 21, 2010. The bill would cancel cost-of-living adjustments to the General Schedule and other federal pay scales for 2011 and 2012. But it would not prevent employees from receiving increased pay through step increases or promotions. The freeze applies only to current federal employees; it would not affect retired federal employees. The pay-freeze provisions were passed as part of a continuing resolution that provides funding for the day-to-day operations of the federal government through March 4. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 79-14; the House passed it by a vote of 193-165. The pay freeze would apply to 2011 and 2012 despite opposition from some members of Congress to extending the freeze beyond the reach of the continuing resolution to which it was attached. “We do not believe civil servants should be unfairly targeted outside the context of a comprehensive approach to the federal budget simply because they carry out the work of the federal government,” said eight representatives in a letter to then-House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, D-WI. Reps. Gerry E. Connolly, D-VA; Donna F. Edwards, D-MD; Steny
STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ Congress has approved a two-year pay freeze for
federal employees. ■ The freeze provision was part of a catch-all spending
bill that funds the day-to-day operations of the federal government. ■ The freeze would last all of 2011 and 2012,although the spending bill only funds the government through March 4. ■ NARFE expressed disappointment with the pay freeze.NARFE President JosephA.Beaudoin said federal employees and their families are being “singled out.” H. Hoyer, D-MD; James P. Moran, D-VA; John P. Sarbanes, D-MD; Frank R. Wolf, R-VA; Chris Van Hollen, D-MD; and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC, were the letter’s signatories. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin expressed disappointment with the pay freeze. “We understand the purpose of shared sacrifice. But federal employees and their families once again are being singled out. This action comes at a time when the federal government can ill afford to put recruitment and retention at risk,” he said.
By John Hatton,Legislative Specialist
Payment in Lieu of COLA Defeated
egislation to provide older Americans a one-time $250 payment or tax credit in lieu of a cost-ofliving adjustment for the second year in a row failed to pass either the House or the Senate in the lame-duck session of Congress. On December 8, H.R. 5987 won a simple majority (254153) in the House. But under House rules for suspensioncalendar legislation, it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The same day, the Senate’s attempt to bring similar legislation, S. 3985, to a vote ended when a procedural vote failed to obtain the necessary three-fifths majority. While H.R. 5987 would have offered a one-time $250 payment to Social Security beneficiaries, veterans and disabled individuals, it would not have provided equivalent relief for more than one million federal, postal, state and local
STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ Congress failed to pass legislation to provide relief
to olderAmericans who will not receive a cost-ofliving adjustment in 2011. ■ The House bill would have provided a one-time $250 payment to Social Security beneficiaries, veterans and disabled individuals. The Senate bill also would have provided a $250 refundable tax credit for federal and other public-sector retirees who are not eligible for Social Security. government retirees who are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits. On the other hand, S. 3985 also would have provided a $250 refundable tax credit for public-sector retirees. ■ FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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President SignsTelework Bill
resident Obama signed into law the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 on December 9. The new law will allow federal employees more flexibility to work from outside of the office, from home or elsewhere. Under the law, executive branch agencies are required to establish policies allowing eligible employees to “perform the duties and responsibilities of [employment] . . . from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work.” Agencies have 180 days from the date of enactment to establish the policies under which eligible employees are able to telework, determine each employee’s eligibility to participate and notify all employees of their eligibility to telework. “There is no work force on the planet that lends itself better to telework, yet the federal government lags behind the private sector and local governments in implementing this common-sense program,” said Rep. Gerry E. Connolly, D-VA, a sponsor of the bill. “This legislation will change that and prepare the federal government for the future.” Rep. John P. Sarbanes, D-MD, who introduced the bill, Connolly and Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-VA, joined President Obama at the White House for the bill’s signing. The law aims to help recruit highly qualified employees; improve federal agency operations during natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other emergencies; and reduce traffic congestion and the associated air pollution from vehicle emissions. The law requires an agency’s telework policy to: ensure that telework does not diminish employee performance or
STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ President Obama signed into law theTelework
EnhancementAct of 2010. ■ Agencies have 180 days to establish telework
policies and notify all employees if they are eligible to telework. ■ The law aims to help recruit employees;improve federal agency operations during natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other emergencies;and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. ■ NARFE had urged passage of the legislation. agency operations; require a written agreement between an agency manager and an employee that outlines the specific work arrangement agreed to; provide that an employee may not be authorized to telework if that employee’s performance does not comply with the terms of the agreement; not apply to any agency employee whose official duties require, on a daily basis, direct handling of secure materials determined to be inappropriate for telework or on-site activity that cannot be handled remotely or at an alternate worksite; and be incorporated as part of the agency’s continuity of operations plans. The House of Representatives passed the bill on November 18, 2010, by a vote of 254-151. The Senate passed the bill on September 29, 2010, by unanimous consent. Prior to the House vote, NARFE joined other federal and postal employee and retiree organizations in a letter urging all 435 representatives to vote for the legislation.
By John Hatton,Legislative Specialist
2011House and Senate Home‘Work Periods’ Set
ARFE members are urged to schedule personal meetings with members of their congressional delegations – their state’s two senators and their representative – during scheduled“work periods” when most members of Congress spend time in their home districts. The first two work periods for 2011 are listed below to assist federation,district and chapter legislative leaders in planning visits to the local offices of their senators and representatives. Congressional Work Periods House: The first “Constituent Work Week” is set for January 31 through February 7. The second is set for February 22-25. The full House calendar is posted at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/Calendar/112th1stSession Calendar.pdf. Senate: The first Senate “StateWork Period” is tentatively set for January 17-21; the second, for February 21-25. Once final,the Senate schedule will be posted at:www.senate.gov.Click on“2011 Session Schedule” in the right panel.
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
Whistleblower Bill Fails to Pass
single, unnamed senator put a “hold” on a final compromise bill to increase protections for federal employee whistleblowers, preventing the legislation from passing before Congress adjourned its lame-duck session. The House had passed the compromise measure December 22, 2010. The Senate had passed a different version of the bill by unanimous consent on December 10, 2010. While the original Senate version of the bill appeared to have majority support in the House, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-MI, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, objected to the House proceeding to a floor vote, which forced the compromise. A spokesman for then-House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-OH, said that there were “concerns based on the impact it could have on the intelligence community,” but that “those concerns were addressed” by House amendments that removed protections for national security and intelligence employees. The concerns appeared to have been regarding whether disclosures such as those made by WikiLeaks would be protected. But Democrats supporting the bill argued that by opening confidential, protected and legal channels for reporting classified abuse, the bill would prevent such illegal disclosures of classified information. The House-passed Whistleblower Protection and Enhancement Act would have expanded whistleblower protec-
STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ The Senate failed to consider a compromise bill to
provide increased protections to federal employee whistleblowers. ■ After the compromise bill passed the House,a senator put a“hold” on it,preventing it from passing in the Senate before Congress adjourned. tions to more federal employees; provided whistleblowers the right to jury trials, with some limitations, and normal access to appeals courts when challenging adverse employment actions taken against them in retaliation for the disclosure of illegal activity, waste, fraud, abuse, or threats to public health or safety; and closed a loophole in current law, which protects only the first person to disclose misconduct. “By providing new rights, remedies and protections for government whistleblowers, this bill increases accountability and takes an important step toward curbing waste, fraud and abuse,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD, who introduced the original House version of the bill. “For far too long, federal employees have feared retaliation for disclosing government wrongdoing,” said Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-HI, the Senate bill’s lead author. “This legislation strengthens critical protections federal whistleblowers need to help us stop waste and abuse.”
By John Hatton,Legislative Specialist
Deadline Fast Approaching! Register for Legislative Training Conference by February 8
he deadline to register for the 2011 NARFE Legislative Training Conference is February 8. The biannual conference, held Saturday, March 5, through Tuesday, March 8, will educate NARFE members on the issues facing the federal community and provide the tools to help NARFE members become first-class advocates. In addition to listening to guest speakers and attending break-out training sessions, participants also will spend Tuesday, March 8, on Capitol Hill speaking with their members of Congress. The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.
The conference registration fee is $175 and includes three buffet breakfasts, two full lunches, one buffet dinner (full dinner), training materials, and transportation to and from the Capitol on Tuesday. To register, complete the form on the opposite page and return it to NARFE Headquarters or go online to www.narfe.org/legislation. The 2011 NARFE Legislative Training Conference hotel daily room rate is $159 plus 10.25 percent state and local occupancy taxes, for a total of $175.30 (single and double occupancy). Call the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at 888-421-1442, or go online to make your room reservation no later than February 8. ■ FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
March 5-8, 2011
Registration must be returned by February 8, 2011.
Registration Form Name:
Name as you would like it on badge: __________________________________________________________ Federation or chapter officer title for your badge (choose only one title): ________________________________________________________________________________________ Home address: ____________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________ Cell Phone: _________________________________ Phone number:_______________________________ E-mail address:______________________________ Notify in case of emergency: ________________________________________________________________ Name
$175 registration fee is not refundable. Please complete registration form and return with check made payable to NARFE, or charge to your credit card. Mail to: NARFE Conference, Budget & Finance 606 North Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1914 Please Note: Conference meals and events are for registered attendees. Registered attendees may bring guests to NARFE-provided meals for a separate fee. Will you have a guest(s) (who is not registering) attend any meals? J Yes J No Name of Guest(s)____________________________ __________________________________________ Please add the amount of $175 per guest to your registration check or charge. NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
J Charge to my credit card $____________ J MasterCard
Card # ____________________________________________ Exp. Date ________ / _______ (mm)
Name on card (print) ________________________________ Signature ________________________ Date ____________
For Internal Planning Purposes Only-This is NOT a Reservation. Do you plan to ride the NARFE-provided bus to Capitol Hill on March 8th? J Yes J No Do you plan to return to the hotel from Capitol Hill on the bus later that afternoon? J Yes J No Desired Return Time:* J 12:30 PM J 2:30 PM
J 3:30 PM
*These times will not necessarily be offered.
Legislative Report CIVICS 101:
THE INFORMED CITIZEN
Counts, Clout and Expectations
ARFE staff in the Legislative and Retirement Benefits Service Departments recently obtained current employee and retiree counts by state. These counts, displayed on the facing page, came from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM has promised retiree counts by congressional district. Per our agreement with OPM, once we are provided with the congressional district counts, the counts will be posted on the NARFE Web site.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ The chart on p.19 shows the number of members of
the“federal family” by state. ■ When speaking to their legislators,NARFE advo-
cates should use the number of federal employees and annuitants the officeholder represents,rather than the number of NARFE members.
USING THE ROYAL “WE” MORE ANNUITANTS IN MOST STATES Last published in the November issue of NARFE magazine, the annuitant counts show a year-over-year increase of 14,498 annuitants (22,282 more employee annuitants and 7,784 fewer survivor annuitants). Nine states had lower annuitant counts: Alaska, Alabama, California, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Utah. Despite major reductions at the Census Bureau, the total number of federal employees increased by 4,303. Federal employee counts are by place of employment – not residence.
When speaking to elected officials, always use the number of federal employees and annuitants the officeholder represents rather than only the number of NARFE members. Do not misrepresent our potential membership as our actual membership, but speak on behalf of those who share our “special interest” in fair treatment of current and former federal employees. Once a politician knows NARFE speaks for a very large number of employees and retirees, and works in many coalitions and with military retirees, he or she will expect to hear from a large number of people when urged to take a specific, difficult action.
COLUMN BY COLUMN The first column of numbers is the October 2010 total of federal civilians receiving a monthly annuity. It includes both retirement systems: the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the newer Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Both systems include employee and survivor annuitants. The second column is the money that flows into the state each month to federal retirees. The third column shows the number of employee annuitants, persons who served the nation. The fourth column is the number of survivor annuitants, including surviving spouses and, sometimes, children. The fifth column is the number of September 2010 employees. The final column counts employees of the U.S. Postal Service as of December 14, 2010, according to the Postal Service.
NARFE MEMBERSHIP INCREASES November was the second month in a row to show an increase in NARFE membership. Recruitment benefited from our biennial mailing to recent federal retirees amid especially high-visibility proposals to reduce federal retirement and health benefits.
NO LACK OF BATTLES AHEAD The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform did not obtain the necessary supermajority for immediate congressional consideration of the co-chairs’ proposal. However, during its brief tenure, federal employees and retirees moved into the center of the debate. The co-chairs’ proposal to freeze federal pay for three years was followed by President Obama’s two-year pay freeze proposal. Options in the Fiscal Commission’s final report to cut federal retirement and health benefits could receive serious consideration in the 112th Congress (2011-2012).
PRESIDENT’S BUDGET AND DEBT CEILING On Monday, February 7, the Obama administration releases its budget for fiscal year 2012 (October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012). This may occur even while Congress is considering cutting programs, spending and the number of federal employees for fiscal 2011. Most important, the looming debt ceiling and certain need to raise it will bring fiscal issues into extraordinary focus.
By Christopher Farrell,Legislative Representative FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
THE FEDERAL FAMILY:
CivilianAnnuitants, Employees & Postal Employees Total Annuitants on Roll* Alabama 58,313 Alaska 7,557 Arizona 52,843 Arkansas 24,933 California 214,127 Colorado 47,738 Connecticut 14,809 Delaware 8,943 DC 43,612 Florida 165,158 Georgia 81,493 Hawaii 24,631 Idaho 14,081 Illinois 67,209 Indiana 36,092 Iowa 20,588 Kansas 24,251 Kentucky 32,845 Louisiana 26,457 Maine 13,724 Maryland 153,769 Massachusetts 43,435 Michigan 42,717 Minnesota 28,054 Mississippi 25,126 Missouri 53,448 Montana 12,456 Nebraska 13,329 Nevada 21,681 New Hampshire 12,164 New Jersey 54,513 New Mexico 27,664 NewYork 96,156 North Carolina 71,412 North Dakota 6,224 Ohio 74,354 Oklahoma 48,346 Oregon 32,809 Pennsylvania 107,253 Rhode Island 8,479 South Carolina 43,211 South Dakota 9,894 Tennessee 45,342 Texas 165,398 Utah 34,612 Vermont 4,377 Virginia 139,905 Washington 64,969 WestVirginia 17,228 Wisconsin 26,426 Wyoming 5,641 * As of October 2010
** As of September 2010
NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
Monthly Annuities ($000s)* $131,649 $17,551 $116,428 $48,117 $475,846 $112,014 $31,385 $22,761 $127,782 $378,432 $178,914 $58,432 $30,916 $147,190 $73,751 $40,547 $50,902 $63,701 $54,194 $27,258 $472,306 $91,565 $91,232 $58,636 $51,084 $113,396 $27,977 $26,747 $49,365 $26,912 $127,714 $61,804 $192,697 $160,030 $12,067 $167,560 $98,369 $74,315 $228,488 $17,251 $91,599 $19,929 $97,034 $354,159 $76,331 $9,334 $405,797 $148,457 $37,672 $52,941 $12,070
Employee Annuitants* 43,815 6,200 41,250 18,764 160,518 37,742 10,790 7,097 35,245 125,734 62,146 17,891 11,296 51,692 27,649 15,568 18,711 24,964 20,218 10,278 122,517 31,035 33,436 21,505 19,047 41,609 10,129 10,083 17,345 9,198 39,107 21,925 70,717 55,409 4,775 56,402 36,333 25,651 80,140 5,778 32,788 7,812 34,840 125,671 27,009 3,387 108,926 50,124 13,754 20,522 4,585
Survivor Annuitants* 14,498 1,357 11,593 6,169 53,609 9,996 4,019 1,846 8,367 39,424 19,347 6,740 2,785 15,517 8,443 5,020 5,540 7,881 6,239 3,446 31,252 12,400 9,281 6,549 6,079 11,839 2,327 3,246 4,336 2,966 15,406 5,739 25,439 16,003 1,449 17,952 12,013 7,158 27,113 2,701 10,423 2,082 10,502 39,727 7,603 990 30,979 14,845 3,474 5,904 1,056
Active Federal Employees** 42,267 14,072 42,409 14,741 172,547 40,744 8,671 3,425 44,642 88,933 80,229 25,354 10,496 51,136 24,734 9,245 17,792 26,523 21,075 11,132 128,281 29,223 30,023 18,561 19,353 38,351 12,010 10,686 11,475 4,436 30,101 27,682 68,202 43,678 6,723 53,014 39,463 22,470 69,792 7,135 21,675 8,849 28,822 140,292 31,051 4,495 145,449 57,894 16,287 15,809 6,640
U.S.Postal Service Employees*** 7,081 1,382 9,011 4,501 66,001 9,975 8,266 1,957 1,167 32,221 15,293 2,336 2,105 29,313 11,307 6,555 5,832 6,948 6,971 2,896 15,255 16,296 20,039 11,541 3,968 12,518 1,795 3,742 4,051 3,283 23,530 2,915 43,409 15,212 1,280 21,829 5,919 5,908 27,742 2,426 6,291 1,584 10,426 37,631 3,752 1,291 14,835 11,753 3,178 10,644 900
*** As of December 14, 2010
By Donna J. St. John Assistant Editor his year marks the 90th anniversary of NARFE. Many of you are already familiar with the story of our humble beginnings, when 14 retired civil servants met in Washington, DC, to discuss the economic plight of federal retirees. Since then, NARFE has grown to nearly half a million members and has made remarkable achievements on behalf of federal workers, retirees and their survivors. Below are highlights of NARFE’s history and
milestones showcasing some of the Association’s achievements. NARFE’s history is closely tied to the beginnings of the civil service system. The Pendleton Act, signed in 1883, reformed civil service and established the Civil Service Commission. At that time, there was no provision for retirement. But, after decades of effort, the first civil service retirement law was signed in 1920. Influencing its passage was the Civil Service Retirement Association. After the retirement law went into effect, 14 federal retirees, including the president of the Civil Service Retirement Association, met on February 19, 1921, to form a group
dedicated to improving the status of federal retirees. NARFE was born. For two decades, NARFE worked tirelessly to improve retirement benefits. Among those early successes were increased annuities for those already retired and the establishment of survivors’ annuities. During World War II, the buildup of the federal work force brought about significant legislation, including a new annuity computation method, optional retirement at reduced benefits and a system of periodic annuity increases. Following the war, changes in
the 1948 Retirement Act resulted in significant improvements. NARFE played a major role at every step.
NARFE GOES NATIONAL During the Korean War, another surge in the federal work force occurred, and the post-war era brought with it an unprecedented complexity and variety to government work. NARFE also changed. Membership in the organization mushroomed. Local chapters were created to carry out NARFE’s work in communities, and NARFE held its first National ConvenFEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
tion in 1950. California organized the first federation of state chapters. In 1954, NARFE published a new monthly magazine, Retirement Life, which replaced its original biannual publication, The Annuitant. Two years later, the Civil Service Retirement Act was overhauled, and with it came the success of NARFE’s strenuous fight for annuity increases.
Above: A flagmaker works on a 48-star flag. Right: Workers hang a flag on the Pentagon, damaged on September 11, 2001.
A GREATER ROLE In 1960, NARFE fulfilled one of its primary goals with the enactment of the Retired Federal Employees Health Benefits Act. NARFE emerged as the leader in securing adequate, affordable health care for federal employees, retirees and their dependents. Two years later, a system for auto-
matically adjusting annuities was initiated. The original formula, known as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), did not trigger any increases at that time. But future NARFE-backed revisions to the formula did provide the foundation not only for civil service COLAs but also for similar adjustments in such programs as Social Security.
NARFE enjoyed a number of victories in the 1970s. The Civil Service Retirement Fund was stabilized and strengthened, the government’s share of health care premiums was raised, and retirees were allowed to elect benefits for spouses married after retirement. NARFE campaigned to restore full annuities to retirees who lost their
Some Milestones in Civil Service and NARFE History
The Civil Service Retirement Act is signed into law.
Legislation permits federal employees to work beyond the mandatory retirement age if they have not completed 15 years of service and raises annuity rates. This is the first legislation endorsed by NARFE to become law.
1930 1939 1942 1947 1948 1950
The RetirementAct is revised.
The first issue of Retirement Life is published in October,replacing The Annuitant.
The Federal Employees Health BenefitsAct and the Federal Employees’ Group Life InsuranceAct are passed.
Annuities are authorized for federal employees. Fourteen federal retirees meet near theWhite House. NARFE, then the Association of Retired Federal Employees, is established on February 19.
Surviving spouse annuities are authorized. Optional retirement on a reduced benefit is authorized. NARFE’s constitution is amended to permit the chartering of chapters. Automatic survivors’ benefits are authorized for widows and children of retirees.
NARFE members visiting legislators on Capitol Hill, 1944
NARFE holds its first National Convention inWashington,DC.California organizes the first federation of state chapters. The Civil Service Retirement Act is revised, including a requirement that the government match employee contributions to the Civil Service Retirement Fund.
NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
Attendees at NARFE’s first National Convention in 1950
designated survivors and played a major role in eliminating mandatory retirement at age 70. With the 1980s came major political and economic changes. NARFE established NARFE-PAC to build a greater legislative presence. In the mid-1980s, NARFE’s efforts protected civil service and military COLAs from future cuts, and won enactment of a
provision to assure a stable Civil Service Retirement Fund. The need for a new retirement system also emerged in the 1980s. With input from other federal and postal organizations, NARFE led the effort to develop a plan that would be fair to both current and retired federal workers. The result became the blueprint for the Federal Employees Retirement System – FERS.
CONTINUED CLOUT In 1989, NARFE spearheaded the formation of a coalition to repeal the impact of a “seniors only” surtax that was to be imposed on federal retirees. This grass-roots campaign was so successful that the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act was repealed. NARFE also has been at the forefront of fighting discriminatory tax policies at
The Bureau of Retirement and Insurance is established.
NARFE secures legislation to provide pre-1960 retirees with health coverage under the Retired Federal Employees Health BenefitsAct.
Legislation increases annuities and establishes permanent and automatic cost-of-living adjustments.
NARFE ensures that retirees are eligible to change health insurance plans or options and negotiates a voluntary federal income tax-withholding option for annuitants.
In 1985, NARFE joins with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise research funds.
NARFE alerts Congress to problems of retirees who remarry after retirement and secures passage of laws that allow new spouses to be designated for survivors’ benefits.
Legislation is passed restoring full annuities to retirees who lost their designated surviving spouses and had not remarried.
The mandatory retirement age is eliminated.
1982 1985 1986
NARFE charters a political action committee – NARFE-PAC.
The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Bill is repealed. A landmark Supreme Court decision is issued on a suit filed by a NARFE member,which results in changes in state tax treatment of civil service annuities in 23 states.
The Civil Service Reform Act dismantles the U.S. Civil Service Commission, and replaces it with the Office of Personnel Management and the Merit Systems Protection Board the following year. NARFE joins with the Alzheimer’sAssociation to raise research funds. Legislation is enacted establishing the new Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). NARFE developed the blueprint for FERS.
NARFE President H.T. Steve Morrissey testifies at a l989 House hearing urging equity in cost-of-living adjustments.
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
ernmentwide federal benefits program in 40 years.
OPM Director John Berry addresses the 2010 NARFE National Convention.
the state and federal levels, and, through the efforts of a Michigan NARFE member, successfully won a case before the Supreme Court. NARFE joined with the Alzheimer’s Association in 1985, and members have donated nearly $9 million to Alzheimer’s research. In 1996, NARFE partnered with the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund to provide disaster relief
to NARFE members. Two years later, NARFE created a scholarship program. Both are supported by NARFE members. Responding to an aging society and concerns about long-term care costs, NARFE again took the lead, this time, in helping to develop a long-term care insurance program for federal workers and retirees. The Long-Term Care Security Act of 2000 was the first, new gov-
Since 1993, NARFE has been successful in preventing any legislated reductions to federal civilian retirement or health benefits. Recent legislative successes include allowing the rehiring of retirees on a part-time basis without offset of their annuities, improving the Thrift Savings Plan and allowing FERS employees to credit unused sick leave toward retirement. NARFE also succeeded in ensuring that the health reform bill would allow federal workers and annuitants to keep their current health insurance. Due to NARFE’s commitment to protecting federal benefits, a congressional attempt to cut federal civilian retirement and health benefits by $10 billion over 10 years was defeated.
NARFE succeeds in blocking a budget proposal that would have reduced future survivors’ annuities by some 10 percent.
NARFE achieves passage of legislation to end the practice of source taxing by states.
1996 1997 1998
The NARFE-FEEA Disaster Fund is established.
NARFE is recognized by the White House as the lead organization in drafting,promoting and spearheading into law the Long-Term Care Security Act. NARFE gains legislation making improvements to theThrift Savings Plan.
NARFE works to avoid billions of dollars in benefit reductions, ensuring that retirement and health benefits are not reduced.
NARFE leads the effort to include non-Social Security recipient public-sector retirees, including many Civil Service Retirement System annuitants,in the economic stimulus bill.NARFE-supported legislation makes improvements to theThrift Savings Plan, allows federal agencies to re-employ federal retirees on a limited, part-time basis and permits FERS employees to credit their unused sick leave toward retirement.
NARFE-drafted language is added to the final health care reform bill to safeguard the FEHBP.
NARFE purchases a new headquarters building inAlexandria, VA. NARFE plays a strategic role in developing the“fair share” premium-sharing formula, avoiding a shift of a greater share of the premium burden on enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The NARFE-FEEA ScholarshipAwards Program is established.
NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
2009 NARFE ads warn federal employees that their retirement benefits could be cut by Congress.
While NARFE’s name has changed over the years, our mission has remained the same – to enhance and protect the benefits of federal workers, retirees and their survivors. Since that founding meeting in 1921, NARFE has and will continue to ensure that federal employees and retirees receive not only the benefits they have earned but also the recognition they deserve for service to our country. ■ Left: NARFE moved into this building on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC, in 1953. It was the first Headquarters building purchased by NARFE. Right: In 1997, NARFE purchased a new Headquarters building in Alexandria, VA.
NARFE opposes proposals to freeze federal salaries and cut or eliminate benefits as a way to reduce the federal deficit. NARFE supports legislation that would help lower the cost of prescription drugs and remains committed to pressing lawmakers on Medicare pre-
mium equity. NARFE also supports civilian/military pay parity. NARFE remains committed to repeal or reform of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision, but progress is unlikely until Congress takes steps to overhaul Social Security.
More 90th News Read more about NARFE’s history in the Association’s new book, “NARFE: Celebrating 90 Years of Service,1921-2011.” See the order form, below, and get your copy today! For other 90th Anniversary commemorative items,see p.45.
Limited Edition 90th Anniversary Book
ars of Service Celebrating 90 Ye 1921-201
Order your copy of NARFE’s 90th Anniversary Book today! Clip and mail to: NARFE 90th Book, 606 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1914 Name __________________________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________________________ City __________________________________________State ______ZIP ___________
Number of Books
____ x $10 = __________ (includes shipping & handling)
Member ID# (As it appears on NARFE magazine label) ________________________
Tax (if applicable) = _______
❏ Charge to my credit card
Virginia residents must add 5% tax ($0.50 per book)
Card # _________________________________________________________________ Exp. Date
Total cost = ______________
________ / _______ (mm)
MAIL ORDER ONLY NO PHONE ORDERS Signature ____________________________________________ Date _____________ Make checks payable to NARFE
Name on card (print) ____________________________________________________
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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Dial 1-888-896-2365 or visit www.beltone.com *Hearing aids are a covered benefit under the FEP Service Benefit Plan for adults age 22 and over, limited to $1,000 per hearing aid per ear per 36-month period. *Hearing aids are a covered benefit under the FEP Service Benefit Plan for children up to age 22, limited to $1,000 per hearing aid per ear per calendar year. Member cost sharing applies. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is an association of independent, locally operated, licensed Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Blue365® offers access to savings on items that you may purchase directly from independent vendors, which may be different from items that are covered under your Service Benefit Plan policy or any other applicable federal healthcare program. For hearing aids, certain hearing tests, and vision services, please remember to use your Service Benefit Plan benefits. To find out what is covered under your policy, contact the Service Benefit Plan. The products and services described herein are neither offered nor guaranteed under any local Blue company’s contract with the Medicare program. In addition, they are not subject to the Medicare appeal process. Any disputes regarding these products and services are not subject to the Service Benefit Plan’s Disputed Claims process. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) may receive payments from Blue365 vendors. Neither the Service Benefit Plan, or BCBSA, or any local Blue company recommends, endorses, warrants or guarantees any specific Blue365 vendor or item. The Service Benefit Plan reserves the right to change, modify, or terminate any items and vendors made available through Blue365, at any time.
Inherited IRAs – Part 2 By Mark A. Keen, CFP®
s discussed in January’s column, spouse and nonspouse beneficiaries play by different rules when inheriting an individual retirement account (IRA). Although a nonspouse beneficiary doesn’t have the same flexibility afforded to a spousal beneficiary, there are several important rules that he or she should know in order to avoid excessive penalties and maximize the tax-deferral offered by IRAs. One of the first things any beneficiary (spouse and nonspouse) should do is determine if the deceased IRA owner took his or her required minimum distribution (RMD) in the year of death. If the owner died after his or her required beginning date (April 1 following the year of his or her 70-1/2 birthday) and had not taken the full RMD for the year, then the beneficiary must take the remaining required amount by December 31 of the year of death. Any year-of-death RMD that the owner did not take is paid directly to the beneficiary and taxable to the beneficiary – not the estate (assuming the estate was not the beneficiary). Once the deceased IRA owner’s year-of-death distribution is satisfied, the IRA should then be retitled. Unlike a spousal beneficiary, nonspouse beneficiaries cannot treat an inherited IRA as their own. Instead, they must retitle it as an inherited IRA and continue it as a beneficiary account. Other than stipulating that the deceased IRA owner’s name must stay on the beneficiary account, there is no official Internal Revenue Service (IRS) language for titling inherited IRAs. That said, a
typical inherited IRA title might read: John Smith IRA (deceased June 1, 2010), inherited IRA for the benefit of Donald Smith. Despite being unable to treat an inherited IRA as his or her own, a nonspouse beneficiary has full control over the investments as well as the ability to move the account to another
following the year of the IRA owner’s death. It’s important for beneficiaries to pay attention to the RMD rules as there is a 50-percent penalty assessed on any RMD, or portion thereof, not taken. A nonspouse beneficiary’s first RMD is calculated by dividing the inherited IRA’s prior year ending balance by his or her life expectancy factor, which can be
A NONSPOUSE beneficiary has full control over the investments as well as the ability to move the IRA to another financial institution. financial institution. However, nonspouse beneficiaries are not permitted to roll over an inherited IRA. (You may recall from January’s column on spousal beneficiaries that a rollover involves withdrawing funds from an IRA, taking possession of the funds, and then returning the money to the same IRA or to another IRA within 60 days to avoid any taxes or penalties.) For nonspouse beneficiaries, therefore, the account should only be moved from one financial institution to another by way of a trustee-to-trustee transfer. Regardless of age, a nonspouse beneficiary is subject to annual RMDs when inheriting an IRA. Assuming the nonspouse beneficiary is a designated beneficiary (a real, live human being), he or she is allowed to spread the RMDs over his or her own life expectancy. The first RMD must be distributed by December 31 of the year
found in the IRS single lifetime table. Unlike an IRA owner (and a spousal beneficiary electing to remain as beneficiary or electing to treat an inherited IRA as his or her own), a nonspouse beneficiary is not permitted to go back to the IRS life expectancy tables and look up his or her life expectancy factor in subsequent years. Instead, in year two, the beneficiary takes the life expectancy factor used in the first year and reduces it by one; in year three, the beneficiary takes the factor used in year two and reduces it by one; and so on. To illustrate, let’s assume an IRA owner dies in 2010 and leaves his entire IRA to his granddaughter. According to the beneficiary RMD rules, the granddaughter must take her first RMD from the inherited IRA by December 31, 2011. To calculate her first RMD, the granddaughter looks up her life expectancy factor in the IRS single lifetime table and then divides the FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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Managing Money prior year (December 31, 2010) IRA balance by this life expectancy factor. Assuming the granddaughter’s age in 2011 (the year of the first distribution) is 30, and the prior year’s ending IRA balance is $100,000, her first RMD in 2011 is $1,876 ($100,000/53.3). For her 2012 RMD, the granddaughter divides the IRA’s balance as of December 31, 2011, by 52.3 (53.3 minus 1); in 2013, she divides the December 31, 2012, balance by 51.3 (52.3 minus 1); and so on. If there are multiple beneficiaries on the IRA, the beneficiaries will want to split the IRA into separate inherited IRAs, with each beneficiary listed separately on his or her own inherited IRA. The deadline for splitting an IRA
and retitling it is December 31 of the year following the year of the owner’s death. If the inherited IRA is not split by the deadline, the RMDs must be based on the oldest beneficiary’s life expectancy. Although this may not sound like a big deal, it could be a huge disadvantage to the younger beneficiary if there is a big age gap. For example, let’s assume the granddaughter from the previous example is co-beneficiary with her 60-year-old mother. If they failed to split the IRA by December 31, 2011, the granddaughter would be forced to use her mother’s life expectancy factor of 25.2 instead of her own life expectancy factor of 53.3. In other words, the granddaughter loses
out on almost 30 years of tax deferral. Although most discussions and strategies are framed in terms of taking the RMD to preserve the advantages of an IRA’s tax-deferral, beneficiaries are always allowed to withdraw more than the minimum, if needed. After all, with most IRA distributions being fully taxable, the IRS would love the revenue.
Mark A. Keen, CFP®, is president and owner of Bennett Financial Advisors in Fairfax,VA, and an investment adviser representative and registered representative of The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (SFA). Securities and advisory services are offered through SFA. E-mail: email@example.com.
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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Peripheral Arterial Disease By Marilyn S. Radke, M.D.
eripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when the arteries carrying blood from the heart to the head, organs and limbs become clogged with plaque (a buildup of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances). Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, blocking the flow of blood that carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. PAD usually affects the legs, but it also can affect arteries that supply blood to the head, arms, kidneys and stomach. Over time, the plaque may crack and form blood clots that block arteries, causing pain, numbness, inflammation and permanent tissue damage in the affected part of the body. If the blockage of blood flow is severe, it can cause tissue death (gangrene), which can lead to leg amputation. PAD also greatly increases your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke and transient ischemic attack (“mini-stroke”). The most common cause of PAD is a buildup of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Although the cause of atherosclerosis is unknown, risk factors are: • Smoking (PAD symptoms usually develop 10 years earlier in smokers); • Being over age 50; • Being overweight; and • Having certain medical conditions (diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood
pressure, heart disease and history of stroke). Smokers and diabetics are at highest risk for PAD complications, such as gangrene. The following lifestyle changes can help prevent or delay PAD: • Quitting smoking; • Eating foods that are low in total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium (salt), and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains; • Getting regular exercise; • Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels; and • Lowering blood glucose levels if you have diabetes. People who have PAD may notice symptoms of pain, aching or heaviness in the leg muscles when walking or climbing stairs. They may have cramping (intermittent claudication) in the affected leg(s) and in the buttocks, thighs, calves and feet, which is relieved by rest. Signs of PAD may include: • Weak or missing pulses in the legs or feet; • Sores or wounds on the toes, feet or legs that heal slowly or not at all; • Pale or bluish-colored skin; • Lower temperature in one leg compared to the other leg; • Decreased growth of leg hair and toenails; and
• Erectile dysfunction, especially in men who have diabetes. A combination of methods is used to diagnose PAD, including medical and family history, physical examination, blood tests to check for PAD risk factors (diabetes and high cholesterol) and medical tests, including: • Ankle-brachial index – compares blood pressure in your ankle(s) to blood pressure in your arm(s) to assess blood flow; • Doppler ultrasound – uses sound waves to show whether a blood vessel is blocked and to assess severity of PAD; • Treadmill test – measures your symptoms during walking; • Magnetic resonance angiogram – uses magnetic and radio waves to take pictures of blood vessels and assess blockage; and • Arteriogram – uses dye injected into an artery and X-rays to show the lo-
SOME RISK factors for peripheral arterial disease include smoking, being overweight, and having high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
To Learn More
or more information, write to the National Institute on Aging Information Center, P.O. Box 8057, Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8057; or call 800-222-2225 (TTY: 800-2224225); or visit the Web site at www.nia.nih.gov.
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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cation, type and extent of blockage in the artery. To treat PAD, your doctor may prescribe medicines that relieve leg pain, improve circulation, prevent blood clot formation, and lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. If blood flow in an artery is blocked or nearly blocked, your doctor may recommend one of these surgical procedures: • Bypass grafting surgery – a synthetic tube or blood vessel from another part of the body is used to make a graft to go around (bypass) the blockage and allow blood to flow around it, as needed; • Angioplasty – a catheter with a balloon or other device on the end is inserted into a narrowed or blocked artery, and the balloon is inflated to widen the artery and restore blood flow; or • Stent – a small mesh tube (stent) is placed in the artery to keep it open. If you have PAD and feel pain in your calf or thigh muscles after walking, take a break and allow the pain to ease before walking again. Over time, this may lengthen the distance that you can walk without pain. Talk to your doctor about joining a supervised exercise program to reduce symptoms, and learn about treatment to slow or stop disease progress and reduce your risk of complications.
Get your NARFE 90th Anniversary book and other commemorative items.See p.45.
Copyright © 200 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. All rights reserved.
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
Civil Service Career Coach
Writing Your Résumé By Dale S. Brown
very federal employee should have an updated résumé. You never know -you might see an announcement for your “dream” job, but the closing date is fast approaching. Or, you have worked hard to be in line for a promotion. When the position is announced, you will still have to apply. To help NARFE members who want that new job, the civil service career coach interviewed Kathryn Troutman, author of The Federal Résumé Guidebook, and founder and president of The Résumé Place, Inc. “If you want a promotion, start working on it now!” says Troutman. “If you want your high-three years, start writing a good résumé. Otherwise, you will retire at your current grade.” She suggests looking for samples. Books, she explains, are a better source than Web sites (see sidebar). Then, start listing your accomplishments.
IDENTIFYING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS Troutman says that long-term federal employees often have difficulty listing their accomplishments. They
can confuse their duties with accomplishments -- the results of their efforts. “What are your stand-out good works?” she asks. “You need to feature something outstanding if you are going to be considered the best qualified and referred for an interview.”
• Have you improved your efficiency by cutting out steps or making better checks for quality? • What compliments have you heard or received about your work? You may want to look at notes from your performance appraisals.
IF YOU have been applying for jobs and are not being referred for interviews, something is probably wrong with your résumé. Accomplishments are particularly important because the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities essays, which used to be required for most applications, are on the way out. So the information that was once in these essays must be included in your résumé. To identify your accomplishments, ask yourself these questions: • What are (or have been) your most successful or important projects? • What is changing in your agency or department? What is your role in that change?
WRITING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS Review your list and select between five and 10 accomplishments from the past 10 years. Troutman, along with most résumé-writing experts, suggests turning them into stories, using the following format: Context. Set the stage. What was the problem? What was your job or role? Challenge. What obstacle made your achievement particularly noteworthy? Action. What did you do? What
Resources forWriting Résumés
SA Jobs (www.usajobs.opm.gov) is the federal government’s official one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information. TheWeb site lists almost every open federal position.It also has a résumé builder but lacks samples. Tips and guidance are provided. The following books provide sample résumés and information that can be helpful to federal workers: The Federal Résumé Guidebook, 4th Edition, Kathryn
Troutman, JISTWorks,Indianapolis,IN (2007) Ten Steps to a Federal Job,2nd Edition,KathrynTroutman, The Résumé Place,Inc.,Baltimore,MD (2009) How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job, Lily Whiteman, American Management Association, New York, NY (2007) The Book of U.S.Government Jobs,10th Edition,DennisV. Damp,Bookhaven Press,McKees Rocks,PA (2008).
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
WHEN TO GET HELP? If you’ve been applying for jobs and are not being referred for interviews, something is probably wrong with your résumé. You might want to consider hiring a résumé writer. You also might need help if you are struggling with getting started. Troutman says, “You need to get books and take a look at samples. And you may need professional help.” There is hope. Troutman cites an accounting technician who had been a GS-7 for 12 years. He didn’t have the confidence to apply for another job. But he heard a speaker talk about résumé writing and was inspired. He applied for a career-ladder position at the GS-9 level and got the job.
Dale S. Brown, nationally recognized for her contributions during her 25 years in the civil service, is the author of five books, including one co-authored with Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
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were your specific activities? Results. What happened? How did it help meet your office’s mission? Troutman provides an example. An archive specialist with the National Archives and Records Administration received a request from a senator’s wife for Mamie Eisenhower’s recipe for doughnuts. The Eisenhower Library and the family did not have it. The archive specialist went through all of the databases and visited the Suitland, MD, location. He looked through the Eisenhower records and then looked in boxes that had not yet been archived. And he found it. This accomplishment demonstrated his in-depth knowledge of the databases and excellent customer service. It helped him get a promotion.
Questions & Answers NOTE: The following Questions & Answers were compiled by Retirement Benefits Service Department staff. These are real questions received by the Department and real answers, based on the members’ personal circumstances. The answers are not universal and may include information that is relevant to the correspondent’s particular situation. NARFE does not provide legal advice or assistance, does not provide financial planning advice or assistance, and does not provide tax advice or assistance. For legal, financial planning or tax advice/assistance, NARFE recommends members contact an attorney, financial planner or certified public accountant/tax adviser.
ACTIVE EMPLOYEES EX-SPOUSE BENEFITS QUESTION: I have put in for VERA/VSIP (Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/ Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay).How can I find out what my retirement annuity will be and the portion that my ex-wife would get? I have been told that I would have to wait until I actually retire to find out.But I need to determine if I can afford to retire after my ex-wife gets her portion.I have called the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and have gone to my human resources office, but I have not been able to get an answer. Also, if I get the $25,000 buyout, is my ex-wife entitled to any portion of it? Response: The answers to your ques-
tions are in your final divorce decree. While your agency can provide you with an estimate of your retirement, your divorce decree provides the state court’s ruling on the amount of your retirement, if any, that will be divided and paid to your former spouse. The final decree and any associated documents, such as property settlement agreements, must first be reviewed by OPM in order for OPM to determine if the provisions affecting your retirement benefits are acceptable for processing and the amount payable to your former spouse. Lump-sum payments from your agency, such as an incentive payment to retire early, are not part of your retirement benefit.
BENEFICIARY FORMS QUESTION: I need to change the beneficiaries for my Federal Employees Retirement System benefit and life insurance. Is it possible to do this online? If not, where do I get the necessary forms? Response: You should be able to get the required forms from your agency human resources office. Another way is to go to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Web site, www.opm.gov. Click on “Subject Index” near the top of the page, then click on the letter “F.” Scroll down to ”Forms” and click on “Standard Forms.” Scroll down and click on SF 2823, “Designation of Beneficiary, Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program,” and SF 3102, “Designation of Beneficiary, Federal Employees Retirement System.” You can download the forms, complete them and take them to your agency human resources office to be included in your records.
SS BENEFITS AND WEP QUESTION:I plan to retire in March 2011.I am under the Civil Service Retirement System.I also have 40 quarters under Social Security.I am going to elect to take Social Security at age 62. I was under the impression that, since I retired after 1985, I would not fall under the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP),but my Social Security benefit would be reduced by about 60 percent when I start to draw it. Is this correct? Response: The WEP applies if you reach age 62 or become disabled after 1985 and first become eligible after 1985 for a monthly pension based in whole, or in part, on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes. In addition, if you begin drawing your Social Security early – prior to your full retirement age – your benefit would be further reduced. The amount of reduction depends on when you were born. For instance, if you apply at age 62, and you were born between 1938 and 1959, your Social Security primary amount would be reduced between 20 and 30 percent. If you were born on or after 1960, it would be reduced by 30 percent. The Social Security Administration will apply the WEP formula to your benefit first and then apply the agereduction formula.
EX-SPOUSE BENEFITS QUESTION:I am trying to get some information regarding what my soonto-be ex-wife is entitled to under the terms of our divorce.I have almost 30 years of federal service and was married for almost 25 of those years.I understand most of what she is entitled to receive, but my questions center on the annual and sick leave that I have FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
Response: Your sick leave is paid as used. If it is not used, the accrued amount under the CSRS is added to your total service in the computation of your CSRS benefit. As you state, sick leave has value only as used for medical reasons while you are still employed. However, it does add to the amount of your CSRS benefit at the time of retirement. Your accrued annual leave is treated as if you continued to work for computation purposes and is paid in a lump sum at the time of your retirement. If you are not now enrolled in FEGLI, there would be no benefits due.
MANDATORY RETIREMENT QUESTION:I am an employee of the Bureau of Prisons. As of March, I will have 27 years of service and will be required to retire this year due to the mandatory law enforcement retirement age of 57. In 1998, I was eligible to retire, and at that time I switched over to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). I carried 1,935 hours of sick leave when I switched and also had 10 months of active military service counted, for which I made a deposit.I was already eligible for Social Security at that NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
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accrued and Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI). I am under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and currently have more than 2,600 hours of sick leave. She is asking for a cash settlement for those hours.From reading the federal employees handbook,it appears that sick leave has no monetary value until it is used.I have the same question regarding my accrued annual leave. In regard to FEGLI, I currently do not have life insurance under FEGLI. Can she request that I have FEGLI, and, if so, who pays the premium?
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Questions & Answers NARFE SERVICE OFFICERS are available to answer questions and to time and felt that I could increase my Social Security benefits and add more to my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).I have recently been told that if someone spent five or more years under FERS, the reduction of Social Security under theWindfall Elimination Provision (WEP) would not apply.Is this true? I also want to know about making monthly withdrawals from my TSP account.Because I am required to retire, am I able to make monthly withdrawals from my TSP immediately without penalty, or do I have to wait until age 59-1/2, which would mean that I would have to wait two and a half years after I was forced to retire? A human resources specialist recently stated in a training session that people who are required by law to retire could draw unemployment compensation since they did not voluntarily leave employment.Is this true? Response: Your Social Security may be reduced by the WEP. Social Security may be reduced if you reach age 62 after 1985, or you first become eligible for a monthly pension based, in whole or in part, on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes after 1985. Your previous civil service retirement time, where you did not pay into Social Security, may lead to a WEP application. Switching to FERS for five years will exclude you from the Government Pension Offset, which limits the Social Security benefit you can receive from a spouse. The early withdrawal penalty tax only applies to TSP distributions if you retire prior to age 55. You would not be subject to any penalty. It is our understanding that unemployment compensation rules vary from state to state. You should check with your local state employment office.
assist in helping with a variety of benefit matters. Check your chapter newsletter for the name and phone number of your service officer. Call NARFE toll-free at
800-456-8410 for the nearest service officer. NARFE Service Centers are also available in some areas. Use the Service Center listings on the NARFE Web site, www.narfe.org.
RETIREES MEDICARE QUESTION: I am a federal retiree. I was notified by the Social SecurityAdministration that I had not earned enough quarters to draw Social Security, but I had paid enough to be eligible for Medicare. My wife is currently employed by the federal government. I am covered by her insurance under a family option. I will soon be age 65. Will you please advise me? Response: As long as your health benefits coverage is through your wifeâ€™s active employment, you do not need to enroll in Medicare Part B. You will not be penalized for late enrollment. You can enroll in Part A at age 65, since it is premium-free, but wait until your wife retires before you sign up for Part B. You have eight months after the employerprovided coverage ends to enroll. As long as your wife carries insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) as an active employee, the FEHBP plan would be the primary payer and Medicare secondary, if you have it. In this case, Medicare would rarely pay. Once she retires, Medicare becomes primary, and the FEHBP is secondary, and you must enroll if you wish to avoid the penalty for enrollment at a later date.
SS OVERPAYMENT? QUESTION: I have been receiving Workersâ€™ Compensation since July
1990. In 2010, the state of NewYork retired me on full disability.I was then put on Social Security. The Social Security Administration (SSA) made a mistake on my payments.The SSA now claims that I was overpaid by $26,000. This is incorrect. Is there a statute of limitations involved? Response: There are procedures that the SSA follows when the agency believes you have been overpaid. Your rights include requesting a waiver, filing a reconsideration form, requesting a hearing, filing a request for review by an administrative law judge and, finally, appealing in a court of law. Richard Renaud has agreed to help NARFE members with Social Security overpayment problems. You may want to contact him at P.O. Box 44, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920; or by telephone at 321-783-6833.
RETIREMENT BENEFITS & SS QUESTION:My husband spent more than 21 years in the military and is receiving military retirement pay. He went to work as a civilian for the federal government in 2003.He suffered a heart attack in 2004 and is now on civil service disability retirement. He applied for Social Security because he has enough quarters. He will be subject to a 20-percent reduction because he is age 62 and not at his full retirement age.He also will have a reduction because of his civil service disability pension. The Social SecurityAdministration employee said that the Defense DeFEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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partment and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) did not have to be notified about the Social Security benefit because it did not affect either of these other benefits. The military and civil service years were not combined, and OPM said that there would not be an offset for his military retirement pay at age 62. The civil service disability pension was figured on his years as a civilian federal worker. Please let me know if he is entitled to all of these pensions or how one affects the other. Response: Social Security benefits at age 62 do not affect your husband’s federal retirement benefits. Since he did not waive his military retirement pay, there is no adjustment in his federal retirement benefits for receipt of Social Security based, in part, on post-1956 military service. There is never an offset of civil service retirement disability benefits for receipt of Social Security. The modified formula under the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) applies to employees who reach age 62 or become disabled after 1985, and first become eligible after 1985 for a monthly pension based, in whole or in part, on work where the employee did not pay Social Security taxes. It appears that the WEP will reduce your husband’s Social Security benefits. However, this does not reduce civil service retirement benefits.
FEHBP & TRICARE FOR LIFE QUESTION: I am retired from both the military and from federal civilian service. Currently, my only health insurance coverage is under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Will the FEHBP plan that I now have be required to take me back if I opt for TRICARE For Life and sus-
pend my FEHBP coverage? Response: TRICARE For Life coverage first became available for retired reservists, military personnel and eligible family members on October 1, 2001. Enrollment in TRICARE For Life requires participation in Medicare Parts A and B. TRICARE For Life is a Medicare supplement plan, which fills gaps in Medicare coverage, provides a prescription drug benefit with low copayments and is otherwise premiumfree. If someone is covered by Medicare Parts A and B, TRICARE For Life and the FEHBP, Medicare is the primary payer, the FEHBP is the secondary payer, and TRICARE pays third. With respect to your question about whether you should enroll in TRICARE For Life and suspend your FEHBP coverage, we offer these facts. TRICARE For Life does not have a premium. If you suspend your FEHBP coverage, you will be saving the annual FEHBP premium for as long as your suspension is in place. If you are married, and you suspend FEHBP coverage while enrolled in family coverage, your spouse will have the right to re-enroll in the FEHBP in the event of your death.
REINSTATE BENEFITS? QUESTION: My friend forfeited her survivor’s annuity by marrying too soon after becoming a widow.She was married for about 10 years in her second marriage. Her second husband is now deceased. Can she be reinstated for survivor’s benefits,and is it possible for her to reenroll in her medical plan? Response: Tell her to contact the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) immediately. She may be able to have her survivor’s annuity reinstated as well as her health benefits, if she had them FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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when her survivor’s annuity was terminated. She can call 888-767-6738. She should provide OPM with her old CSF claim number, her first husband’s name and Social Security number, and her Social Security number. She also will need to provide OPM with a document verifying the date and cause of her most recent husband’s death.
MEDICARE QUESTION: I am age 64 and retired under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) (Standard,self-only).I have been reading in NARFE magazine about enrolling in Medicare. What part(s) of Medicare should I consider? How would enrolling be beneficial to me, and at what age should I enroll? Response: You don’t enroll in Medicare until age 65, so you still have time to make your decision. If you are fairly healthy and only use your Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) plan for routine medical exams, it does not make financial sense to pay another $115.40 per month for Medicare Part B and have your BC/BS act as a Medigap plan. You would be paying two premiums for duplicate coverage. On the other hand, the combination of both programs would cover your medical costs completely. If you have chronic medical conditions and are paying a lot of out-of-pocket expenses now, enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B when you are first eligible is probably a sound decision. You can read more about Medicare and the FEHBP by going to the NARFE Web site, www.narfe.org. After you log in as a member, go to “Retirement and Insurance Benefits” and then to “Medicare and Federal Health Benefits.” ■ NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
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How to Ease theTax-Time Burden By Glenn Keen, EA, CFP®
s our modern tax system has become overrun with temporary fixes, credits and deductions, the process of filing a tax return is more confusing than ever. Here are some ideas to help make the process less confusing and get you the deductions to which you are entitled. Many tax filing mistakes are the result of poor organization, so your first order of business should be to get organized and establish a tax folder. Use one of those expandable, divided file folders with a fold-over cover to collect your tax documents. In fact, you should have your tax folder ready to go at the beginning of each tax year, so set up two – one for 2010 and one for 2011. As documents arrive, be sure to open each one and check for errors. Pay close attention to spelling and Social Security numbers. Furthermore, don’t assume the figures reported are necessarily accurate. Double-check the numbers with paystubs and other documents that you have received throughout the year. Be sure to notify the issuer promptly of any mistakes to avoid delays that could cause you to file an extension, which is certainly not something you want to do if you are expecting a refund. Along with all the recent changes to the tax code, investment firms now have until February 15 to mail tax statements for brokerage accounts, so exercise patience. Once you do finally receive your tax statements, don’t rush out to file your return. With the complexity of today’s rules, there is always the possibility of an investment firm is-
suing a revised statement, which is more likely if you have mutual funds or publically traded partnerships in your account. If you have rushed to file your return and then receive a revised statement that results in a change to your tax liability, you will need to file an amended return. If you itemize (or think you will), be sure to collect and track expenses and other items all year long to ensure that you don’t miss any potential deductions – particularly important for medical expenses and charitable donations, which require detailed documentation. When it comes to medical expenses, you will be able to claim a deduction for those expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. So, make sure you keep track of all of your out-of-pocket medical expenses, including travel expenses, parking expenses and lodging expenses. Don’t forget your mileage; you can deduct $.165 per mile. Also, don’t forget to include any after-tax health insurance premiums, Medicare premiums and long-term care insurance premiums. Be particularly vigilant when documenting charitable contributions. This is an area where the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has stepped up its correspondence audits. It’s quite simple: The IRS sends a letter requesting verification of your deductions, including copies of your documentation. If you don’t have the proper documentation, the IRS will disallow the deduction and send you a bill. To pass the audit, you will need to maintain detailed records, including bank statements and written communications provided by the charity, for any charitable donations made by cash or check. The communications must
show the charitable organization’s name, date of contribution and amount donated. Cancelled checks alone are no longer sufficient as documentation. Also, be sure to make a list and get receipts or statements from the charity for those noncash items you donate. There were a number of tax breaks and tax savings opportunities in 2010. Here are two new credits that have been overlooked by tax filers: • The Personal Energy Property Tax Credit gives homeowners an opportunity to qualify for a 30-percent tax credit (up to a maximum $1,500) of the purchase price of products and appliances designed to boost the energy efficiency of a home. Examples include exterior doors and windows, insulation and hot water heaters, to name a few. • The Making Work Pay Credit is worth 6.2 percent of an individual’s earned income, up to a maximum benefit of $400 per person. Although employees will receive the benefit throughout the year by way of reduced tax withholding, you will still need to claim the credit on your tax return by filing Schedule M. Don’t forget about your state and local tax breaks. Many states have additional tax credits available if you file a tax return. Staying organized, maintaining detailed documentation and keeping abreast of tax law changes will help to ease the tax-time burden.
Glenn Keen, EA, CFP®, is president of Keen & Company in Roswell, GA, and an investment adviser representative of The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (SFA). Securities and advisory services are offered through SFA. E-mail: email@example.com. FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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ARFE thanks those members who support the Association through their membership. Your financial support enables NARFE to continue in its efforts to safeguard our earned benefits. But I want to talk to you about something more that you can do to continue to make NARFE a vital and viable organization. We have lost 122 chapters over the
past five years. You may be asking why this is the case. The major reason is the lack of volunteers to assume leadership roles as officers. We take for granted the chapter officers who work tirelessly year after year to keep the chapters active and strive to keep members informed. It is not “OK” to assume that these same officers will continue to carry the chapter indefinitely. The responsibility of leadership needs to be shared. NARFE depends on volunteering as the first step toward assuming a leadership position, and what better way to connect with your fellow federal associates than by giving back to the only association whose sole mission is to enhance and protect your benefits. Each NARFE member is important and has something to contribute. When
you volunteer, you join a select group of truly dedicated members who understand what it takes to sustain NARFE and make it stronger. Chapter officers also welcome the opportunity to work with members in using their skills and talent. Think about an empty flower vase sitting on your kitchen table. You place one beautiful flower in the vase, and suddenly it brightens the room a little. Then, slowly, you add more flowers, bringing the room to life. Volunteering is a little bit like that. One single member can make a difference. And if many members come together to support NARFE through volunteering, they will only make it stronger. So, step up – we’re counting on you. ■
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
NARFE News 90th Anniversary Merchandise Celebrate 90 With Us! NARFE has the following 90thAnniversary merchandise for sale.Learn more about NARFE and tell the world we are“90Years Strong.” • 90th Anniversary Book,NARFE:Celebrating 90Years of Service,1921-2011, $10. To order: See order form,p.24. • 90th Anniversary PowerPoint Presentation,$5; • 90th Anniversary Lapel Pin,$3.
To order: Go to www.narfe.org,click on Leadership at the top of the page,then click on NARFE 90thAnniversary Merchandise.
Macrostic Macrostic, a puzzle that ran frequently in NARFE magazine, is online. NARFE member James Cowie has authored a new Macrostic with a 90th Anniversary theme. Go to www.narfe.org. Log in as a member. Then click on 90th Anniversary Macrostic on the Members Home Page. Print it out and give it a try!
NARFE Opens 2011Scholarship Competition
ith the publication of the application form in this issue of NARFE magazine, the 2011 NARFE Scholarship Competition opens. The scholarship form appears on pp. 47 and 48. It also will run in the next two issues. In addition, the form also will be available February 1 on the NARFE Web site, www.narfe.org.
The competition is open to all children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and stepchildren of all current NARFE members. A total of 60 scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded, six in each of NARFE’s 10 regions. Deadline for receipt of the application is April 30, 2011. The essay judged
to be the best from all regional winners will be featured in NARFE magazine. Winners will be notified by August 31. Scholarships are made possible by donations to the NARFE Scholarship Fund, which is administered by the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund. To donate to the fund, see coupon below. ■
NARFE-FEEA PROGRAM FUND CONTRIBUTION FORM
YES! I would like to help with my contribution. Please check appropriate box(es). To make credit-card contributions,call 800-338-0755. Scholarships are available to children and grandchildren of federal civilian retirees and current federal employees who are NARFE members.
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YOUR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW.
3333 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Suite 300 Lakewood, CO 80227
Kathy Thigpen,NARFE Staffer,Dies
athy Thigpen, a 22-year President Joseph A. Beaudoin. “She will NARFE employee, died De- be missed by NARFE members throughout the country.” cember 4 after a Thigpen started with long illness. NARFE in January 1988 as a As manager of Federation data entry clerk. Because of her and Chapter Services, excellent work, she was proThigpen was known to many moted twice during her first NARFE members. In fact, year of employment. She rose NARFE National Officers through the ranks to manager often said that when they visof Member Records and evenited chapters, one of the first tually to manager of Federation things they were asked was Kathy Thigpen and Chapter Services. whether they knew Thigpen. To honor her service, NARFE has set “For years, chapter and federation officers counted on Kathy to provide up a Silver Circle Memorial Fund in her timely, accurate information, always name. Members donating $25 or more with a smile in her voice,” said NARFE will have their names published in
NARFE magazine as Silver Circle donors, and Thigpen’s name will be placed on a plaque in the lobby at Headquarters. When you donate, please specify that the money is to go to the Silver Circle Fund in memory of Kathy Thigpen. ■
NARFE Is on Facebook “Like” our page on Facebook today! After logging in to Facebook, search for “NARFE National Headquarters” and click“Like.”
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FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 2011 Scholarship Application
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All NARFE Scholarship Applications for the 2011 competition must be postmarked by April 30, 2011. Photocopies of this application are acceptable. Please do not fold or bind any pages with staples. Please check each box to ensure that your application packet is complete: ❏ Essay Topic: “In President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address in 1961, he stated: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.’ With this in mind, and if you were inspired to consider a career in federal service, what type of service would you prefer and why?” (Essay must be typed, double-spaced, and not exceed two pages.) ❏ Written recommendation/character reference from a teacher or counselor. Recommendation must be submitted together with application package. ❏ Full transcript including fall/winter 2010 grades. All applicants must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on an unweighted 4.0 scale. (Report cards and photocopies are acceptable.) ❏ Check here if transcript is being mailed separately by the school. If checked, must be postmarked by April 30, 2011. ❏ List and briefly describe awards and/or community service activities (not to exceed two pages). ❏ Copies of American College Testing (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Testing (SAT), or other entrance examination scores as applicable. ❏ Your e-mail address (your application receipt will be sent to this e-mail address; please add “confirmation@ feea.org” to your address book). If you do not provide an e-mail address, please include one stamped, self-addressed envelope in your application packet. Please note: All materials submitted with the application will become the property of FEEA and will not be returned under any circumstances. If needed, make a copy of the information for yourself before mailing.
Please complete the following. Incomplete applications and applications sent to NARFE Headquarters will not be considered. Student’s Name: Complete Home Address: _________________________ Home Telephone:
E-mail Address: Applicant’s Grade Point Average. (Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average [GPA] of 3.0 on an unweighted 4.0 scale): College or University (planning to attend): (Must be a college freshman by fall/winter 2011)
If taking college courses while in high school, please indicate
NARFE Member’s Name: Relationship to Applicant:
NARFE Member No.:
Member’s Complete Home Address:
All of the above materials (except transcript – if necessary) must be mailed, unfolded, in the same 9” x 12” (or larger) envelope postmarked no later than April 30, 2011, to: NARFE Scholarship Award, 3333 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80227 NO STAPLES OR PAPER CLIPS, AND DO NOT FOLD NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
2011 NARFE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION PROCEDURES
• Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and stepchildren of ALL current NARFE members are eligible to apply. Applicant must be a high school senior planning to attend college full time by fall/winter 2011. A total of 60 scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded.
• All applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2011. • All applicants must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on an unweighted 4.0 scale. Provide full transcript, including fall/winter 2010 grades. Photocopies are acceptable. If mailed by school – still must be postmarked by April 30, 2011.
• Provide copies of American College Testing (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Testing (SAT), or other entrance examination scores as applicable.
• All applicants must provide a written recommendation/character reference from a teacher or counselor. Recommendation on school letterhead must be submitted with application package.
• All applicants must list and briefly describe awards and/or community service activities on a • Applicants should provide an e-mail address (your application receipt will be sent to this e-mail address; please add “email@example.com” to your address book). If you do not provide an e-mail address, include a stamped, self-addressed # 10 envelope with your application. Qualified applicants will be notified by August 31, 2011. Incomplete applications will not be acknowledged.
• All applicants must submit a typed, double-spaced essay not to exceed two pages on the topic: “In President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address in 1961, he stated: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.’ With this in mind, and if you were inspired to consider a career in federal service, what type of service would you prefer and why?”
• Please do not bind any pages with staples or paper clips.
• Please mail all materials (except transcript, if necessary) in one package, unfolded, in a 9” x 12” (or larger) envelope postmarked by April 30, 2011. The NARFE Scholarship Program is administered by the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) and is made possible by your tax-deductible contributions to the NARFE/FEEA Scholarship Fund, 3333 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80227.
For more information, obtain a copy of NARFE publication F-105
A Guide to
NARFE’S ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS PROGRAM To get your copy,send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org;download it from the NARFEWeb site,www.narfe.org; or call Headquarters and ask for the Office of the National Vice President. May also be ordered using the F-18.
A Guide To
NARFE’S ANNU AL SCHOLARSH IP AWARDS PROGRAM
INVESTING IN OUR
FUTURE FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
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separate page. Provide enough information so the selection committee will know what you did, but do not exceed two pages.
Who can join?
Membership is open to civilians in any agency of the federal or D.C.* governments including: • Retirees • Active federal employees • Spouses and former spouses of active and retired federal employees • Former employees eligible for deferred annuity • Survivors of those eligible to join NARFE
• Complete the application below. • Enclose payment information, bill pay, check or money order payable to NARFE, or request to be billed. • Or go to our Web site at www.narfe.org. • Or call us at 800-627-3394 and join today! *Prior to October 1, 1987
Enrollment includes membership in a local chapter and the national association, plus a subscription to NARFE’s monthly publication, NARFE magazine.
NARFE MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION For Active and Retired Federal Employees 1. Choose all that apply: Retiree Spouse Survivor
Active employee Former spouse Former employee
2. Also enroll my spouse __________________________
Full Name: Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms.
3. Please enroll me in NARFE chapter ______________
4. __________ $45 x __________ Membership Fee # of People Per Person Enrolling
= __________ Total Payment
Total payment (check, bill pay or money order payable to NARFE) Bill me (Membership starts when payment is received) Charge to my credit card The first year membership fee includes national and chapter dues.
Credit Card Information: MasterCard Card type: Discover
Card no. ___________________________________________ Expiration Date ________________ (MM)
Name on Card (Print) ________________________________ Signature ____________________________ Date __________ NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
Phone Number E-mail Address Date of Birth Spouse’s Date of Birth (if applicable) Recruiter’s Membership and Chapter Number
NARFE Member Records 606 N. Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1914 Fax: 703-838-7783
Out & AW bout ith the Chapters
Chapter 1270 in Woodbridge,VA, held its 5th Annual Fashion Show and raised $6,900 for the NARFE-Alzheimer’s Research Fund. This is the chapter’s biggest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s.
Members of Chapter 664 in Philadelphia, PA, worked at a NARFE table during the Health and Benefits Fair at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Pictured are, from left: Betty Robinson, 1st vp; Hassen Ahmen, past president; and Osolene Nelson, secretary.
Visit Our Online Gallery
o see more NARFE chapter and federation photographs,please go to www.narfe.org. Click on NARFE magazine.
Approximately 100 members of the Indiana Federation traveled to the State House in Indianapolis to participate in Organization Day and promote a state tax exemption for federal annuities.
NARFE members contributed for Alzheimer’s research:
SUPPORT ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH
$9 Million Fund
$8,904,066* *Total as of November 30, 2010 100% of all contributed funds go to Alzheimer’s research. If you have any questions, write to: National Committee Chairman Barb L. Pretzer, 4817 Rockridge Ct. Manhattan, KS 66503
Enclosed is my NARFE Alzheimer’s contribution: $ ___________. Every cent that is contributed is used for research. Please circle:
NARFE-Alzheimer’s Research and mail to: Alzheimer’s Association 225 N. Michigan Ave., 17th Floor Chicago, IL 60601-7633
Address _____________________________________________________________ City _______________________________ State _________ ZIP ______________ Chapter number _______________________ Credit Card Information: ❑ Visa
Your charitable contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Write your chapter number on check; make it payable to:
Card Number: __________________________________________________________ Expiration Date:________(mm)/_________(yy) 3-Digit Security Code: _________ Name on Card: (print) ___________________________________________________ Signature:_________________________________________ Date: _______________ FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
Letters Demonstrating Leadership
n 18-member Fiscal Commission has issued recommendations of concern to federal and postal employees and retirees. To fight the battles to come, and to help resolve issues affecting our membership, we must realize that we cannot work alone. One thing we can do in this regard is strengthen our partnership with our other federal/postal coalition colleagues. As a member of both NARFE and the National Association of Letter Carriers, I hope that leaders of these organizations will open the lines of communication more broadly. Joseph A. Beaudoin, the new NARFE president, and Fredric V. Rolando, president of the NALC, must work together for our common goals. Together, we are 600,000 strong voices. Carl R. Bernacky, Hammond, IN
Photo Calendar Contest deadline is February 11. Submit photos to NARFE’s PR Department.
the decline in membership is directly related to poor health and death, a major part is due to a lack of perceived and real value. I urge the new National Executive Board to sharpen the focus of this organization. We need to have meetings and conventions that are more missionoriented and less arguments about internal processes. I urge the new leadership to get more into the external game and move our legislative agenda. Marc Harris, Windermere, FL
Federal Pay Sharpen Focus
have been a member of NARFE for many years now and have observed its membership numbers steadily decline. I have been to chapter meetings, federation meetings and conventions, and one national convention. I have been a chapter and federation official. While, obviously, a large part of
read the article “Federal Workers Overpaid? No!” in the December 2010 issue with some satisfaction, knowing that NARFE people and rankand-file federal workers understand the federal work force. It’s just a shame that the rest of the country rarely has the same level of understanding. Steve Fowler, Colville, WA
Contact Us NARFE HEADQUARTERS 606 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1914 Phone: 703-838-7760 Fax: 703-838-7785
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Contact Member Records toll-free at 800-456-8410, or send change of address by postal mail to NARFE Headquarters, ATTN: Member Records, or by e-mail to email@example.com. Q&A: To obtain an answer to a retirement benefits question, call 703-838-7760 and ask for the Retirement Benefits Service Department; send your question by postal mail to NARFE Headquarters, ATTN: Retirement Benefits; or submit it by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. OUT & ABOUT: Submit photo with caption information by postal mail to NARFE Headquarters, ATTN: Out & About, or by e-mail to email@example.com.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Letters to the editor may be edited for grammar, clarity and length. All letters must be signed. Send by postal mail to NARFE Headquarters, ATTN: Letters to the Editor, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
NARFE Perks NARFE Perks are designed to provide NARFE members with a quality option in their search for commonly used products and services. NARFE makes no guarantee on any products and services listed below and encourages its members to shop and compare before making a decision on any financial matter.
NARFE MEMBER HOMEBENEFITS 1-800-666-9203 http://narfe.myhomebenefits.com • Earn thousands in cash-back rewards when you buy or sell a home* • Shop competitive mortgage rates, receive discounts on closing costs, plus take advantage of your VA Loan Benefits • Receive preferred pricing on interesete moving services with the nation’s most trusted moving company – Allied Van Lines! *State restrictions apply. Call or visit website for details.
BEKINS VAN LINES 1-800-456-6832 (M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. CT) email@example.com All NARFE members will receive discounted pricing for all interstate shipments. Discount will apply to packing and moving services and valuation protection. All intrastate shipments, locals and international moves will be competitive in cost based on your geographical location. Mention you are a NARFE member and transportation agreement #00930.
Endless Vacation Rentals® As a member of NARFE, you will receive 10% off the “Best Available Rate” at vacation rental properties booked at www.evrentals.com/narfe or by calling 1877-670-7088, prompt 3, and providing promotion code 20672 at time of booking.
NARFE INSURANCE SERVICES
ALASKA CRUISE Specials!
1-800-233-5764 Insurance plans designed and administered exclusively for NARFE members. Call for information on Whole and Term Life, Hospital Indemnity, Accidental Injury and Death Plan, Dental Plan and Cancer Care Plan. For information on Long Term Care call the Long Term Care Unit at 1800-358-3795.
GEICO: 1-800-368-2734 NARFE members with good driving records may be eligible for quality automobile insurance from GEICO. Ask about the NARFE discount now available to members in many states. Call today for your free, no-obligation rate quote. Be sure to mention that you’re a NARFE member! • Discount amount varies in some states • Discount not available in all states or in all GEICO companies • One group discount applicable per policy.
EMERGENCY SERVICES SINCE 1974 1-800-423-3226 Medical Air Services Association has been the industry leader in prepaid emergency assistance services for more than 30 years. NARFE members have experienced MASA’s “peace of mind” services since 2001. Now NARFE members are entitled to even more: air ambulance transportation, helicopter transportation, ground ambulance, vehicle return, mortal remains transport, and much more! Call MASA Today. It Could Save Your Life!
7-nt rates starting at just $489 • Round trip, One-Way and CruiseTours • Extra amenities on many sailings • Exclusive NARFE Group rates • Discounted insurance and shore excursions! Special NARFE Hosted Cruise August 27, 2011 ~ from $669!
1-800-607-4538 Website: www.NARFEtravel.com
HEARING BENEFITS TRUHEARING The TruHearing program can save you hundreds of dollars: • Free hearing screening • 45-day, money-back guarantee • 3-year warranty • Free one-year supply of batteries • 1,400 hearing professionals nationwide • 12-months, no interest financing (available upon approved credit)
Call to schedule your appointment
877-360-2442 Operators available Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (East Coast time)
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
ALAMO/NATIONAL CAR RENTAL
NARFE’S OFFICIAL CREDIT UNION
CHOICE HOTELS INTERNATIONAL With 6,000 hotels in the United States and throughout the world, Choice Hotels® offers something for everyone. Join the Choice Privileges® rewards program and earn points with every qualifying stay toward free nights, Airline Rewards, gift cards and more. As a NARFE member, receive 20% off your next stay at participating hotels when you use Special Rate ID 00801967. This offer is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offer. Advance reservations required. To book, visit choicehotels.com or call 800-258-2847.
1-800-354-2322 — www.alamo.com Welcome to Alamo Country. Where NARFE members get unlimited mileage and year-round discounts off Alamo’s already great rates. Book with your travel agent or Alamo®. Be sure to request I.D. Number 262544 and Rate Code BY (A-1 for weekend rentals) at the time of reservation. (Same ID number and code applies to National Car Rental.)
As a member of NARFE, you have the privilege of joining NARFE Premier Federal Credit Union, which has been serving members since 1935. We offer extensive services at competitive rates to members nationwide. Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. For more information, call 800-3281500, e-mail jparish@narfepremierfcu. org or visit us at NARFEpremierfcu.org.
CREDIT CARD AVIS: 1-800-331-1441 WYNDHAM HOTEL GROUP As a member of NARFE, you will receive up to 20% off the “Best Available Rate” at participating locations when you travel. Book online or call and give agent your special discount ID number, #20672, at time of booking to receive discount. Whether you are looking for an upscale hotel, an all-inclusive resort or something more cost-effective, we have the right hotel for you... and at the right price. So start saving now. Call our special member-benefits hotline 1-877-670-7088 and reserve your room today at one of these fine hotels: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Days Inn®, Ramada Worldwide®, Super 8®, Wingate By Wyndham®, Baymont Inns and Suites®, Hawthorn Suites® By Wyndham, Microtel Inns and Suites®, Howard Johnson®, Travelodge® and Knights Inn®.
NARFE | FEBRUARY 2011
The employees/owners of Avis offer guaranteed low rates and quality services to members of NARFE. Mention ID# A991900.
LIFE LINE SCREENING
Bank of America now offers the officially approved credit card program for NARFE, featuring the Platinum Plus® MasterCard® with WorldPoints. This is the only credit card that helps support NARFE every time you use it to make a purchase–at no additional cost to you. Call toll-free 1-866-438-6262 Use NARFE’s full name, not NARFE. Use priority code: UABEWD.
Life Line Screening, America’s leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will conduct the following screenings using NARFE MERCHANDISE state-of-the-art ultrasound technology NARFE in your neighborhood: GENERAL STORE 1. Stroke/Carotid Artery 2. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 3. Atrial Fibrillation 4. Peripheral Arterial Disease. You will receive a confidential written report within 21 days. Life Line Screening and NARFE encourage you to share Order NARFE name badges and these test results with your doctor. All four apparel, including jackets, baseball screenings cost just $135. To schedule an caps, polo shirts and T-shirts! appointment, please call 1-800-324-9906 See MEMBER PERKS and give the operator code number: on the NARFE Web site, or go to: BKHN075 or visit www.lifelinescreening. www.narfegeneralstore.com. com/NARFE. Toll-Free Phone: 877-866-0102 Coverage may vary and may not be Fax: 301-371-6824 available in all states.
For the Record The chart below tracks the CPI-W, the monthly inflation change, and the cumulative percentage gain for the next CSRS and Social Security COLA. CPI-W October 2010 November December January 2011 February March April May June July August September
MONTHLY % CHANGE % CHANGE FROM 215.5
Stocks Finish On Upswing ByTracey Ray
tocks ended 2010 on a high note, and all of the Thrift Savings Plan Funds had positive returns in December, except the F Fund. The F Fund declined for the second month in a row as positive economic news caused interest rates to rise and bond prices to fall. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose a half a percent to 3.29 percent at year end. The I Fund, which had been a laggard in 2010, was the best performing fund for the month as news from the eurozone turned positive. The C Fund returned over 15 percent in 2010, rising back to levels not seen since September 12, 2008, the day before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy led to a 46-percent drop in the price of the fund through March 2009. Since then, it has rebounded 63 percent.
Tracey Ray is chief investment officer of the Thrift Savings Plan. 54
November Index Increased
he Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 0.1 percent in November. To calculate the 2012 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), the indices of July, August and September 2011 will be averaged for a thirdquarter determinant, which will be compared with the 2008 thirdquarter base of 215.495 (because of price deflation in the past two measurement years, the 2008 third-quarter average is still the point of comparison). The November index of 214.750 is down 0.4 percent from the base. Benefits awarded under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) to individuals suffering work-related injuries or illnesses are adjusted according to each calendar year’s percentage change in the CPI-W. November’s index is 1.4 percent higher than the December 2009 base index of 211.703. The December CPI-W was scheduled to be released on January 14, after this issue of NARFE magazine went to press. ■
Thrift Savings Plan Investments* Month G Fund 0.29% 2010 January February 0.24% March 0.27% April 0.28% May 0.28% June 0.24% July 0.23% August 0.22% September 0.17% October 0.18% November 0.17% December 0.20% Last 12 Months 2.81%
F Fund 1.54% 0.38% (0.11%) 1.07% 0.85% 1.56% 1.07% 1.28% 0.17% 0.36% (0.57%) (1.05%) 6.71%
C Fund (3.60%) 3.11% 6.04% 1.58% (7.99%) (5.24%) 7.01% (4.51%) 8.92% 3.80% 0.01% 6.68% 15.06%
S Fund (2.43%) 4.89% 7.39% 4.82% (7.51%) (6.90%) 7.00% (5.59%) 11.47% 4.48% 3.00% 7.38% 29.06%
I Fund (5.17%) 0.06% 6.28% (2.35%) (11.20%) (1.75%) 10.78% (3.14%) 9.81% 3.63% (4.84%) 8.12% 7.94%
Month 2010 January February March April May June July August September October November December Last 12 Months
L 2010 (0.58%) 0.81% 1.61% 0.51% (1.64%) (0.68%) 1.81% (0.62%) 2.00% 0.92% (0.05%) 1.49% 5.65%
L 2020 (2.03%) 1.61% 3.75% 0.76% (4.98%) (2.34%) 4.82% (2.29%) 5.54% 2.29% (0.49%) 4.08% 10.59%
L 2030 (2.49%) 1.94% 4.52% 0.94% (6.07%) (2.98%) 5.80% (2.88%) 6.77% 2.78% (0.56%) 4.96% 12.48%
L 2040 (2.88%) 2.18% 5.15% 1.05% (6.97%) (3.47%) 6.60% (3.33%) 7.76% 3.16% (0.64%) 5.67% 13.89%
L Income (0.45%) 0.74% 1.43% 0.50% (1.50%) (0.61%) 1.81% (0.63%) 2.00% 0.92% (0.05%) 1.49% 5.74%
*This chart is provided as a service to NARFE members who enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan while employed by the federal government. Retirees are not eligible for enrollment. These returns are net of the effect of accrued administrative expenses and investment expenses/costs. Percentages in ( ) are negative. Source: tsp.gov.
FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE
Finally, a cell phone that’s… a phone!
y ice b Pr ced du 48 Re $
o t N trac n Co
“Well, I finally did it. I finally decided to enter the digital age and get a cell phone. My kids have been bugging me, my book group made fun of me, and the last straw was when my car broke down, and I was stuck by the highway for an hour before someone stopped to help. But when I went to the cell phone store, I almost changed my mind. The phones are so small I can’t see the numbers, much less push the right one. They all have cameras, computers and a “global-positioning” something or other that’s supposed to spot me from space. Goodness, all I want to do is to be able to talk to my grandkids! The people at the store weren’t much help. They couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want a phone the size of a postage stamp. And the rate plans! They were complicated, confusing, and expensive… and the contract lasted for two years! I’d almost given up when a friend told me about her new Jitterbug phone. Now, I have the convenience and safety of being able to stay in touch… with a phone I can actually use.”
Questions about Jitterbug?
Try our pre-recorded Toll-Free Hotline1-888-890-1658. The cell phone that’s right for me. Sometimes I think the people who designed this phone and the rate plans had me in mind. The phone fits easily in my pocket, but it flips open and reaches from my mouth to my ear. The display is large and backlit, so I can actually see who is calling. With a push of a button I can amplify the volume, and if I don’t know a number, I can simply push one for a friendly, helpful operator that will look it up and even dial it for me. The Jitterbug also reduces background noise, making the sound loud and clear. There’s even a dial tone, so I know the phone is ready to use.
Aﬀordable plans that I can understand – and no contract to sign! Unlike other cell phones, Jitterbug has plans that make sense. Why should I pay for minutes I’m never going to use? And if I do talk more than I plan, I won’t find myself with no minutes like my friend who has a prepaid phone. Best of all, there is no contract to sign – so I’m not locked in for years at a time or subject to termination fees. The U.S. – based customer service is second to none, and the phone gets service virtually anywhere in the country. Monthly Minutes Monthly Rate Operator Assistance 911 Access Long Distance Calls Voice Dial Nationwide Coverage Trial Period
$14.99 24/7 FREE No add’l charge FREE Yes 30 days
$19.99 24/7 FREE No add’l charge FREE Yes 30 days
More minute plans available. Ask your Jitterbug expert for details.
and receive a free Car Charger. A $24 value!
Available in Red, White (shown), and Graphite.
Call now and get a FREE GIFT. Try Jitterbug for 30 days and if you don't love it, just return it. Why wait, the Jitterbug comes ready to use right out of the box. The phone comes preprogrammed with your favorite numbers, and if you aren’t as happy with it as I am you can return it for a refund of the purchase price. Call now, the Jitterbug product experts are ready to answer your questions.
Jitterbug Cell Phone Call now for our NEW low price.
Please mention promotional code 41760.
IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: All rate plans require the purchase of a Jitterbug phone and a one-time set up fee of $35.00. Coverage and service is not available everywhere. There are no additional fees to call Jitterbug’s 24-hour U.S. Based Customer Service. However, for calls to an Operator in which a service is completed, minutes will be deducted from your monthly balance equal to the length of the call and any call connected by the Operator, plus an additional 5 minutes. Rate plans do not include government taxes or assessment surcharges. Prices and fees are subject to change. Savings are based on marketing materials from nationally available cellular companies as of June, 2010 (not including family share plans). The full price of the Jitterbug Phone will be refunded if it is returned within 30 days of purchase, in like-new condition, and with less than 30 minutes of usage. A Jitterbug Phone purchased from a retail location is subject to the return policy of that retail location. The Jitterbug phone is created together with worldwide leader Samsung. Jitterbug is a registered trademark of GreatCall, Inc. Samsung is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and its related entities. Copyright ©2010 GreatCall, Inc. Created together with worldwide leader Samsung. Copyright © 2010 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. All rights reserved.
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4" of Hidden S-t-r-e-t-c-h!
Haband #1 Bargain Place, Jessup, PA 18434-1834 Imported FOR MAXIMUM COMFORT, Send _____ pants. I enclose ORDER YOUR USUAL WAIST SIZE! $________ purchase price plus $5.99 toward postage. In GA add tax. Waist: 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 Big Men (SAME LOW PRICE):
Famous Maker Set of 3 Belts! 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 Even sizes. 32 to 58. Inseams: XS(25-26) S(27-28) M(29-30) Genuine Leather. L(31-32) XL(33-34) Black & Brown assorted colors. On-Line Quick Order Add Just $10 per set!
What Size: ______
Haband Visa MC AmEx Discover® Network Duke Habernickel
#1 Bargain Place Jessup, PA 18434-1834
When you pay by check, you authorize us to use information from your check to clear it electronically. Funds may be withdrawn from your account as soon as the same day we receive your payment, and you will not receive your check back from your financial institution.
7FH–Ø1V1P WAIST? INSEAM? MANY? WHAT
70R64 (31) assorted
How Many Sets: ______
Shop Online: Haband.com
per pair in lots of 2 or more! 2 for 20 3 for 30 4 for 40
Best Styling Appointments: Trim flat front, 4 pockets, hook close, nylon zipper. Waist Sizes 32 to 60. Neatly finished bottoms. Magic Expansion Fit-Forever Waistband.
LAST CHANCE at Only
Ø2 N7 8A 6B Ø3 Ø1
TAN CORDOVAN SLATE PEWTER NAVY BLACK
Card # _________________________________________Exp.: ______/_____ Mr. Mrs. Ms. ____________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________ Apt. # ______ City & State ______________________________________ Zip ___________ 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed or Full Refund of Purchase Price at Any Time!