NARFE June 2012 Magazine

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For Active and Retired Federal Employees


JUNE 2012, Volume 88, Number 6

LEGISLATIVE REPORT 8 10 12 14 15 16

What Congress Will Tackle Before Elections I Support Active Federal Employees Because ... Senate OKs Phased Retirement Bill Appropriations Process 2012: Why It Is Not Business as Usual Klement Joins Legislative Staff Civics 101: NARFE – Your Advocacy Organization


Cover design by Jim Richards.

Getting Involved in Political Campaigns. NARFE members have an opportunity to acquaint candidates with issues of concern to the Association – and to make NARFE heard!

COLUMNS 6 Message From the National President

22 24 26 44

Managing Money Live Well Alzheimer’s Update Report From the Regions

SPECIAL SECTIONS 36 National Convention Update

38 Candidates’ Statements 48 NARFE 2011 Financial

DEPARTMENTS 28 35 42 47 58


Questions & Answers Federal Benefits NARFE News Out & About For the Record: TSP Investments, COLA Chart ‘Like’ us on Facebook (NARFE National Headquarters)

visit us online at

NARFE Resources NARFE-PAC Coupon . . . . . . . .12 Alzheimer’s Coupon . . . . . . . . .26 MembershipApplication . . . . . .45 DuesWithholdingApplication . .46 NARFE Member Perks . . . . . . .56


Here’s How to Contact NARFE ...

JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN, President; PAUL H. CAREW, Vice President; ELAINE HUGHES, Secretary; RICHARD G. THISSEN, Treasurer;

If you want to: • Join NARFE Call (toll-free):

800-627-3394 or 800-456-8410 Or go to:

If you want to: • Change your address • Check your membership status • Find out dues owed • Provide a death notification Call (toll-free):

800-456-8410 Email: If you want to: • Add your email address to your record (to receive GEMS email messages, the Legislative Hotline and NARFE NewsWatch): Call (toll-free):

800-456-8410 Email:

REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS REGION I Augie Stratoti (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) Tel: 603-889-1073 Email: REGION II Ronald P. Bowers (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) Tel: 410-308-0420 Email: REGION III Donald Stewart (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Virgin Islands) Tel: 305-442-6388 Email: REGION IV Paul E. Johnson (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) Tel: 812-306-5137 Email: REGION V Carol R. Ek (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) Tel: 620-241-1131 Email:

REGION VI Jerome S. Smith (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Republic of Panama and Texas) Tel: 903-534-5849 Email: REGION VII Betty Lucero-Turner (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) Tel: 719-583-0910 Email: REGION VIII Helen L. Zajac (California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Republic of Philippines) Tel: 707-644-7565 Email: REGION IX Lanny G. Ross (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington) Tel: 360-692-9741 Email: REGION X William F. Martin (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) Tel: 540-872-3345 Email:

E-mail: memberrecords@narfeorg

If you want to:

• Hear the Legislative Hotline Call (toll-free):

877-217-8234 If you want to: • Get materials to recruit members: Call (toll-free):

800-627-3394 Email:

For any other NARFE matter: Call NARFE Headquarters

703-838-7760 Email: Fax:703-838-7785 Write: NARFE 606 N. Washington St. Alexandria,VA 22314

NARFE MAGAZINE Volume 88,Number 6 Editor, Margaret M. Carter Assistant Editor, Donna J. St. John Editorial Administrator, Toni Vallario Graphic Designer, Beth Bedard Contributing Designers, Charlene Gridley, Jim Richards Editorial Board: Joseph A. Beaudoin, Paul H. Carew, Elaine Hughes, Richard G. Thissen Editorial Office: NARFE, Attn: NARFE magazine, 606 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1914; Phone: 703-838-7760; Fax: 703-838-7781; Email: Advertising Sales: Warren Berger, Media People Inc., 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725, New York, NY 10168; 212-779-7172, ext. 223; Email:

NARFE for the Visually Impaired On the Telephone: This publication can be heard on the telephone by persons who have trouble seeing or reading the print edition. For more information, contact the National Federation of the Blind NFB-NEWSLINE® service at 866-504-7300 or go to On Tape: Issues of NARFE magazine are also available on cassette through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. To find out about availability in your area, call 800-424-8567 and ask for the Reference Section. The Association, since July 1970, has been classified by the IRS as a tax exempt labor organization [not a union]; however, dues and gifts or contributions to the Association are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

NARFE (ISSN 1948-4453) is published monthly by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), 606 N. Washington St.,Alexandria,VA 22314. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria,VA, and additional mailing offices. Members: Annual dues includes subscription. Non-member subscription rate $45. Postmaster: Send address change to: NARFE Attn:Member Records,NARFE 606 N.Washington St.,Alexandria,VA 22314.To ensure prompt delivery,members should also forward changes of address without delay. Because of the volume involved, NARFE cannot acknowledge nor be responsible for unsolicited pictures and manuscripts, although every reasonable precaution is taken. All submissions become the property of NARFE. Copyright © 2012, NARFE. Advertisements in the magazine are not endorsements of products and/or services by NARFE, unless officially stated in the ad. We shall accept advertising on the same basis as other reputable publications: that is, we shall not knowingly permit a dishonest advertisement to appear in NARFE, but at the same time we will not undertake to guarantee the reliability of our advertisers.



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A Message From the National President

Ready for Reno?


t’s time to look ahead to summer, and one of the most important events that will take place this summer is our National Convention in Reno-Sparks, NV, August 26-30. We anticipate as many as 1,300 voting delegates and members will meet to decide NARFE’s future. In the July issue, we will list the various committee members who will be assisting us at the National Convention. One committee has been working diligently for almost two years. As mentioned in previous articles in NARFE magazine, a 10-member Bylaws Revision Committee (BRC) has been taking a hard look at NARFE’s National Bylaws. The BRC will evolve into the Bylaws Committee at the National Convention and will be presenting its recommendations for delegates to consider and vote on. It should not surprise you to know that some of the BRC’s recommendations are considered controversial. For this reason, we need all delegates to be familiar with not only the recommendations that will be presented but also the rules for voting on them. If you are a voting delegate to the National Convention, I urge you to prepare yourself with this information. If you are not a delegate, please familiarize yourself with the proposed changes (online at or in the March issue of NARFE magazine) so that you can tell your voting delegate or proxy how to vote. Remember: This set of Bylaws and Standing Rules will dictate how our Association is to be governed over the next few years. I also am urging all chapter presidents to schedule a meeting to discuss the proposed resolutions with members

so that they can direct the chapter convention delegate on how the chapter wants its votes cast. On another topic, let me pose a few questions: Why do you believe we need NARFE? Given our membership losses over the past few years, maybe a better question should be, “Do you still believe we need NARFE?” Are there things that Headquarters is doing that you disagree with? Do you have a better idea? I wonder if you have tried to communicate your concerns and ideas to NARFE Headquarters, through your chapter, federation, regional vice president or directly to Headquarters. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us. NARFE Headquarters works on behalf of all members, and the only way we at Headquarters know if we are doing what you believe we should be doing is by hearing from you. Are the services that we provide satisfactory, or are there additional things that we could be providing? The reason I am asking these questions is that we normally hear from less than 1 percent of our members. Why not give us an opportunity to work with you to respond to your needs and protect our earned benefits by communicating with us? Note: Information on how to contact your National Officers can be found on p. 4 of each issue of NARFE magazine. As your President, I try to respond in a timely manner (usually the same day) to all emails and postal mail that are sent to my attention. I value hearing from all of you, and I take your suggestions and comments very seriously. Let us hear from you.

I AM URGING all chapter presidents to schedule a meeting to discuss the proposed resolutions with chapter members.

Joseph A. Beaudoin



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What CongressWill Tackle Top Priorities Before Elections Include Reform


ith only a few months until the November elections, Congress should be hard at work to complete not only its constitutionally mandated responsibilities, including appropriations, but also

other priorities that must be addressed by the end of the year. But given

the limited number of legislative days left on the congressional calendar due to the traditional August recess, the presidential nominating conventions and the pre-election recess in October, Congress does not have much time to tackle its goals. Below is a list of items NARFE expects Congress to consider during the remainder of the year. POSTAL REFORM One of the top priorities for Congress this year is reforming the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Service’s financial situation is precarious, and there is a rush to pass “reform” soon. With separate bills moving through the House and Senate, lawmakers will have to reconcile significant differences in the two bills before the end of the year. NARFE has two primary concerns as the bills move forward. The Senate version of the bill contains significant changes to the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act structure, which would impact all federal employees and retirees. Chiefly, the bill would reduce workers’ compensation by 25-33 percent when employees reach retire-


Of Postal Service

ment age. Additionally, the Senate bill contains provisions that could remove Postal Service workers from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and allow the Postal Service to set up its own system. The House is considering similar measures.

HIGHWAY BILL Currently, the highway bill is being funded by a stopgap 90-day extension, which expires on June 30. NARFE expects the House either to take up the Senate bipartisan bill (18-month extension) or to vote on its own longer term measure (four to five years), which would likely include some federal employee offsets as a means to pay for the bill. The Senate version did not

■ The House will be out of

session June 11-25. With the exception of June 1, the Senate is scheduled to be in session all month. ■ As of mid-April, a total of

19,718 NARFE legislative activists had emailed or mailed 99,871 letters to Congress this year, using the NARFE Legislative Action Center. Letters from constituents are a vital means of getting the NARFE message to Capitol Hill. To take action, go to and click on Legislative Action Center under Legislation. ■ In addition to those contacts,

NARFE members made 5,380 phone calls to Congress in the same time period, using NARFE’s toll-free line, 866-220-0044.

LEGISLATIVE HOTLINE Toll-free! (24 Hours): 877-217-8234 Legislative Action Center: JUNE 2012 | NARFE


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Legislative Report contain any federal employee offsets except a phased retirement measure (see p. 12), which NARFE supports.

ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS Starting in June, the annual appropriations bills will start moving to the House floor for consideration. This could be a prime opportunity for House members to insert antifederal employee language into the measures, such as extending the federal pay freeze. The appropriations process also leaves open the possibility of a government shutdown in October, should the two sides be unable to agree (see article on p. 14 for more information). However, the chances of a government shutdown are slim, given the momentum for House members to get out of Washington and campaign back home before the election.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ The Senate’s Postal Service reform bill contains

provisions that would adversely impact federal workers and retirees. NARFE opposes these provisions. ■ Sequestration – massive cuts in federal spending – is expected to be taken up after November 6.

board cuts in defense and nondefense spending, starting on January 15, 2013. It is widely speculated that Congress will address sequestration after the November 6 elections, leaving it in the hands of the lame-duck Congress. In order to avoid sequestration, lawmakers must come up with $1.2 trillion in savings by the end of the year or otherwise come to an agreement to short-circuit the automatic process.

SEQUESTRATION Possibly the biggest issue looming in the minds of lawmakers this year is sequestration – the process agreed to in the Budget Control Act that would make massive, across-the-

I Support Active Federal Employees Because . . .


ith much of the recent legislation targeting active federal employees, NARFE asked grass-roots leaders why they continue to fight after their own retirement. Below is only a small selection of their responses. All of them appear on the NARFE website at • “Federal employees are under attack, and NARFE is their only hope to withstand the onslaught!” Geneva “Ginny” Lares, president, Chapter 0171, Huntington, WV. • “We do this because we are continuing the NARFE legacy of selfless support that was done for us when we were in the active federal workforce. ” John Geiger, legislative officer, South Carolina Federation. • “I physically retired from the Postal Service, but emotionally, I have never retired. My family is those I worked with for so many years. An attack on any of my family is an attack on me.” Gary Townson, federal legislative chair, Kansas Federation. • “I oppose attacks on federal employees because their attacks today become retirees’ attacks tomorrow.” David Adams, president, Michigan Federation.

NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT One piece of legislation lawmakers could use to prevent sequestration at the Department of Defense is the fiscal year (FY) 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Leaders of both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have already introduced bills using attrition and an extension of the federal employee pay freeze as a means to avoid cuts to the Pentagon. It is likely that these bills will be part of the discussion as the Committees debate the FY 2013 NDAA.

FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET In March, the budget resolution authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-WI, was passed by the House. The measure closely mirrored his FY 2012 budget, containing $368 billion in cuts over 10 years to federal employee and retiree programs, including: requiring employees to contribute more toward retirement, extending the pay freeze through 2015 and moving from the current high-three to a high-five retirement calculation. At press time, the Senate was still debating how to proceed with the 2013 budget.

OTHER DEADLINES The current “doc fix,” which affects the reimbursement rates for doctors under Medicare, expires at the end of 2012. Additionally, the Bush administration tax cuts, as well as the 2 percent Social Security payroll-tax holiday, also will expire at the end of the year and are likely to be addressed in the lame-duck session.

By Julie Tagen, Legislative Director



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Legislative Report

Senate OKs Phased Retirement Bill STORY HIGHLIGHTS


ederal workers could phase into retirement toward the end of their careers by switching to parttime service, continuing to earn future retirement benefits and collecting a partial annuity under a bill passed by the Senate on March 14. The phased retirement provisions were part of a transportation bill, S. 1813. Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT, added the phased retirement provisions in an amendment that would offset costs for funding rural roads and schools. Although NARFE objects to using the estimated cost savings ($465 million over 10 years) created by the phased retirement provisions to pay for spending unrelated to federal employees, the Association supports phased retirement. The provisions are similar to a proposal included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget. Under the new provisions, current federal employees would be allowed to reduce their hours to between 20 and 80 percent of their full-time schedule. Employees would receive part-time pay and a partial annuity proportional to their work hours. For example, if an employee whose full-time schedule were 40 hours per week phased down to 20 hours per week, the employee would receive 50 percent of his or her previous salary and 50 percent of the annuity he or she had earned up to that point. In addition, the “phased retiree” would be re-

■ The Senate passed a bill that would allow federal

employees to phase into retirement by working part time and collecting a partial annuity. ■ Employees would continue to earn future retirement benefits and also would mentor other employees. quired to spend 20 percent of his or her time mentoring other employees. Upon retirement, these phased retirees would receive their full annuities, with a prorated increase for the time they worked as a phased retiree. With particular exceptions, current law requires that the salary of a federal employee who returns to work for the federal government be reduced by the full amount of any retirement annuity that he or she is collecting. On April 18, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a phased retirement bill, H.R. 4363, that is very similar to the Senate-passed language. But unlike the Senate, the House committee earmarked the savings to allow phased retirees to deposit the value of unused annual leave into their Thrift Savings Plan accounts.

NARFE-PAC Contribution Form I would like to make a monthly credit card contribution to NARFE-PAC of: $10/month


Monthly contributions qualify you to receive a NARFE-PAC Sustainer lapel pin and the red, white and blue NARFE umbrella.

Other: ______/month (minimum of $10) -orI would like to make a one-time contribution of:

By John Hatton, Legislative Representative

Payment Information Name: _____________________________________________ Member ID# (if available): ___________________________ Address: ___________________________________________ __________________________________________________

Check or money order enclosed -or-

Credit Card (below; required for monthly contribution)

$100 (qualifies for Gold 2011-2012 NARFE-PAC lapel pin and NARFE umbrella)

Card Type: MasterCard Visa Discover AMEX

$20 (qualifies for Basic 2011-2012 NARFE-PAC lapel pin, pictured here)

Expiration Date: ____ / ____

$50 (qualifies for Silver 2011-2012 NARFE-PAC lapel pin)

Other: ______

Only members of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association may contribute to NARFE-PAC. NARFE will neither favor nor disadvantage anyone based on the amount of a contribution, or the failure to make a voluntary contribution to this nonpartisan political action fund. NARFE-PAC contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.


Card #: ____________________________________________

Name on Card: _____________________________________ Signature:__________________________________________ Date: __________________ Please send check, money order or credit card information to: Attn: Budget & Finance / NARFE / 606 N. Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1914 JUNE 2012 | NARFE








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Legislative Report

Appropriations Process 2012: Why It Is Not Business as Usual


he U.S. Constitution requires that all expenditures of federal funds be authorized by Congress with the approval of the president. The federal government and the federal budget process operate on a fiscal year basis, running from October 1 through September 30. If Congress fails to pass all of the appropriations measures comprising the annual federal budget or a stopgap funding measure – known as a continuing resolution – extending spending beyond the end of the fiscal year, or if the president fails to sign or vetoes any of the individual appropriations measures, certain nonessential functions of the government may be forced to cease due to a lack of funding. The result is the much-feared government shutdown. Far too often in the past 30 years, the appropriations process has been something of a game of political “chicken,” as one side waits for the other side to blink, all the while threatening to bring government activities to a grinding halt. For most federal agencies, annual appropriations are what fund the salary and expense accounts that finance the pay and benefits of active federal employees, and provide the manpower to handle everything from processing retirement and disability claims to conducting safety inspections at nuclear power plants. After the president submits his budget in February for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning on October 1, Congress traditionally turns to consideration of a congressional budget resolution, which does not require the president’s signature and sets forth the parameters for spending and revenue decisions for the year ahead. The respective Appropriations Committee in both houses of Congress is divided into 12 standing subcommittees, each having responsibility for funding a portion of federal activities. Given the partisanship running rampant in Congress in conjunction with the upcoming elections and the prospect of sequestration, the FY 2013 appropriations process promises to be anything but typical. As a consequence of the budget negotiations concluded in August 2011, the administration and Congress agreed to establish caps on both defense and nondefense appropriations over the next 10 years – achieving savings in excess of


STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ In the past 30 years, the appropriations process has

seldom worked as planned. This year, the 2011 budget-reduction cap puts a new obstacle in the way of passing orderly spending bills. $1 trillion. Rather than go through the election-year hurdle of considering a budget resolution, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, announced that the Senate would forgo the traditional budget resolution and, instead, adhere to the appropriations limits set out in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The House of Representatives, however, took a different approach. On March 29, the House adopted a budget resolution authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-WI, by a vote of 228-191, along party lines. While the plan restores some proposed cuts in defense spending, it would make deeper reductions in nondefense discretionary appropriations. Examples of programs in the nondefense discretionary category of the budget are: education (including grants to school districts for pre-K-12 education and Pell Grants to low-income college students); veterans’ health care; job training; law enforcement; national parks; environmental protection; housing assistance; WIC, Head Start and child care; biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; community health centers; food, drug, product and workplace safety; the administrative costs of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and other entitlements; NASA; and the Treasury and State Departments. Without an agreement between the House and Senate on spending and revenue levels, it will be next to impossible to forge consensus on appropriations bills. In fact, the difference in approaches by the House and Senate leaves uncertain prospects for enactment of any of the “must-pass” appropriations measures before the beginning of FY 2013. Does this raise the specter of a government shutdown before the November elections? Not likely, given the political ramifications. But somewhere along the way, political will may have to overtake a process that does not seem to be working. Stay tuned for a post-election lame-duck session.

By Alan Lopatin, Legislative Counsel JUNE 2012 | NARFE

Klement Joins Legislative Staff


to craft and ultimately pass legislation crediting Federal Emessica Klement joined the NARFE Legislative Deployees Retirement System employees for unused sick leave partment in April as communications and legislaat the time of retirement. She was with FMA tive representative. Prior to coming to for seven years. NARFE, she served five years as the Klement began her Washington, DC, career government and public affairs diin 2001 as a college intern for Rep. Tom Petri, Rrector of the Federal Managers Association WI. Upon graduation, she was hired as a case(FMA). worker in Petri’s office, working on immigraIn addition to serving as FMA’s primary lobtion, Social Security and other constituent matbyist on Capitol Hill, she also coordinated the ters. She later became involved in the legislative activities of FMA’s political action committee, process and policy as a legislative corresponhandled FMA’s media relations and provided dent, drafting responses to constituents’ legpolicy analysis on a range of issues. She islative inquiries. Eventually, she served as worked closely with members of Congress Petri’s legislative assistant, handling issues reand their staffs in drafting legislation perJessica Klement lating to the House Judiciary Committee. taining to federal employee and retiree beneKlement graduated in 2002 from Marquette University fits, as well as prepared congressional testimony for FMA with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a leaders for presentation before the House and Senate. In parbachelor of science degree in finance. ■ ticular, Klement worked directly with congressional staff

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Legislative Report CIVICS 101:


NARFE: Your Advocacy Organization


ARFE’s formation is the classic American story of citizens banding together to accomplish what they could not by working alone. But the group that founded our predecessor organization was not a random group of citizens – they were federal employees. More important, our founding is not about solving other people’s problems. The “cause” or ”shared interest” in the early 1920s was the need for economic security beyond one’s working years. Thus, 10 years before the creation of Social Security, the federal government was persuaded to enact a participatory retirement system for its career employees.

COLLECTIVE ACTION TO DEFEND EARNED BENEFITS As NARFE’s origin was advocacy, so must advocacy be our constant mission. There is a seniors’ organization 140 times our size that uses its market power to obtain deeper and more varied discounts for its members. There are “good government” groups claiming to work in the public interest. NARFE members belong to many of them. Our electoral system lends itself to a two-party system with distinct memberships and platforms. NARFE members are attached to both and neither. None of these groups share our primary interest or may even be hostile to it. Benjamin Franklin’s advice is appropriate here: “We must hang together (collective action) or surely we will hang separately.”

STORY HIGHLIGHTS ■ Senate bills have been introduced that would

reduce federal retirement benefits and seek savings through reductions affecting federal workers and retirees. ■ COLAs and the FEHBP are likely new targets. ■ NARFE must intensify its advocacy efforts through grass-roots initiatives and NARFE-PAC donations.

of current and future federal retirees. Once able to raise $2 million per election cycle (two years), NARFE-PAC is now at only half its peak of the late 1980s. Please use the NARFEPAC coupon (p. 12) to make a contribution now.

WHAT’S AT STAKE Senate bills have been introduced to end the definedbenefit annuity for newly hired federal employees (S. 644) and use the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) as the replacement for Medicare (S. 2196). The House-passed budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 112) seeks savings of $368 billion over 10 years through reductions affecting federal employees and retirees. The resolution “instructs” the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to achieve $79 billion in savings over 10 years from mandatory accounts within its jurisdiction. Income security (cost-of-living adjustments) and health security (FEHBP) for retirees would have to be targeted.

NARFE-PAC Federal campaigns increasingly have become more expensive. Few competitive House races come in at less than a million dollars. Senate campaigns are setting new records every year. Our presidential contestants will raise and spend a billion dollars each. Our political action committee, NARFE-PAC, exists precisely to defend the earned benefits

Are You in the Loop? To get timely Legislative Alerts and the weekly Legislative Hotline, make sure NARFE has your email address. Call 800-456-8410 or go to

FOCUSING ON ADVOCACY With so much at stake, NARFE must intensify its focus on advocacy. Legislative updates and NARFE-PAC solicitation should be a prominent part of every chapter meeting. Place your email address in your NARFE record to receive GEMS messages (NARFE’s electronic messaging system) or call the Legislative Hotline (877-217-8234). Before chapters go dark for the summer months, plan multiple chapter forums for one or more congressional candidates to impact the election. Urge members to revive their role in retail politics – precinct walking and phone banking. See the story on p. 18 to get some ideas on how to get involved in political campaigns.

By Christopher Farrell, Legislative Representative




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By Jessica Klement, Communications and Legislative Representative

Get Involved in

Political Campaigns To Make

NARFE Heard AS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS HEAT UP THIS SUMMER, NARFE members are presented with a prime opportunity to meet not only with incumbents fighting to keep their seats in Congress, but also with candidates who have not previously been elected to office, to acquaint them with NARFE and the issues of concern to federal employees and retirees. What can you do to get involved? Your options are widespread, depending on how much time and effort you can afford to give. Here are three options and a few ideas to get you started.

CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER As NARFE member John Priolo knows, working on a political campaign offers an in-depth look not only at the political process but also at the candidates themselves. Volunteer efforts for campaigns are just as important



as political action committee (PAC) donations, and working on a congressional campaign is a great way to build a relationship with your member of Congress. Priolo takes his role as the NARFEPAC coordinator for the Hawaii Federation very seriously. Currently, he is volunteering on the re-election campaign of Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D, and the Senate campaign of Rep. Mazie K. Hirono, D. And every two years, Priolo sends the NARFE candidate questionnaire to all of the candidates running for Congress in the state. (For a copy of the questionnaire, go to and click on “Resources.”) Through his campaign work, Priolo has been able to get to know the candidates, and share their views with his fellow NARFE members at chapter meetings and other NARFE events. When a candidate knows a NARFE member by name and associates him or her with NARFE, the Association has a better chance of that candidate voting with NARFE and its interests as a member of Congress.

FORUM ORGANIZER Another way to get involved is to help organize a candidate forum. A candidate forum organized by a NARFE chapter or several chapters, or jointly with other organizations with similar goals, is a great way to get the candidates on record regarding federal employee and retiree issues. Recently, NARFE Chapter 443 in Huntsville organized a candidate forum in Alabama’s 5th Congressional District with current Rep. Mo Brooks, R, and his challenger, Parker Griffith, D. After attending several of Brooks’ town hall meetings, Willa Dean Morgan, Alabama Federation and Chapter 443 president, felt that the chapter needed a more intimate setting in which to get to know Brooks, one where chapter members could focus on issues of concern to NARFE members. The chapter invited each candidate to participate in the forum during the monthly chapter meeting and provided questions in advance of the event. “The forum went very well,” Morgan says. “ It was great having both of them together and getting their responses. Because of this event, I will feel more informed when I go to the polls in November.”

In addition to working with other NARFE chapters in your congressional district, it also is helpful to work with your federation legislative officer to coordinate the event. NARFE recommends that federations organize statewide events for Senate candidates. Here’s how to go about inviting candidates: First, pick a date and location, and submit official scheduling requests to the campaign offices for all candidates for the office. You can obtain office contact information from the candidate’s website, the Board of Elections or your local party office. Sample invitation letters are available in the “Protect America’s Heartbeat” (PAH) Toolkit (see story, p. 20). Once the date, time and location for the forum are finalized, work with the campaigns to decide the format. Format questions to be determined with the campaigns include: • Time limits for responses, rebuttals, introductory and closing statements; • The handling of questions from the audience (for example, will the audience address the candidates directly,

Chapter 443 in Huntsville, AL, held a forum for two candidates for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. Candidates Parker Griffith, left, and Rep. Mo Brooks, right, are pictured with NARFE officers, including Alabama Federation and Chapter 443 President Willa Dean Morgan, third from left.

NARFE member John Priolo meets with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Priolo is a volunteer for the Hanabusa campaign.

Build Your Political Involvement With Protect America’s Heartbeat Toolkit


ARFE is committed to fighting to preserve the benefits of the nation’s 3.5 million active and 1.2 million retired federal employees. Your action as a NARFE member is crucial to this campaign. TheAssociation’s legislative staff recently updated theToolkit in NARFE’s“Protect America’s Heartbeat” campaign to better serve its member-advocates. TheToolkit contains the NARFE candidate questionnaire, new talking points on a Congressional Budget Office report on federal employee compensation, updated talking points on federal pay and benefits, and a list of key legislation affecting federal employees and retirees.To access the Toolkit, go to www.ProtectAmericas and click on“Resources.” Get active today!

or will they fill out question cards in advance); and • Whether the media will be invited. Publicity could boost NARFE’s local profile, but candidates may be more forthcoming at media-free events. Remember: Flexibility is key. Congressional candidates, especially incumbents, have very busy schedules. If the candidates are willing to engage in a forum, NARFE chapters should do what they can to accommodate their schedules. Also, don’t forget to check with the NARFE legislative staff to see if the candidates completed a NARFE candidate questionnaire.

TOWN HALL PARTICIPANT Maybe you need more information on a particular member or candidate before deciding to volunteer on his or her campaign. Meeting with members of Congress in their district offices when they are home on recess and at local town hall meetings is an excellent way to stay in touch. The more “face time” you have with your members of Congress, the more likely they are to recognize you and be sympathetic to NARFE’s concerns. Members of Congress typically hold town halls in their home states and districts during recess to connect with constituents, share legislative up-


dates and take questions. Traditionally, these town halls are held in community centers, churches, libraries and other public spaces. But members of Congress, more and more, are relying on telephone conference services to hold “tele-town halls,” where constituents listen and participate from home over their phones. First and foremost, call your senators and representative, and request to be put on their tele-town hall list. This will ensure that you will be included each time one is held. When attending a town hall meeting in person, speak up. Make sure the member of Congress knows you are there representing NARFE by wearing a NARFE button or T-shirt. It also is important to team up with your local PAH campaign captains and activists to attend. The more PAH campaigners who attend, the more likely your voices will be heard. It’s also important to know ahead of time what you want to ask your senators and representative. Come armed with facts and ask thoughtful questions. Here is one example you can use: “Federal employees are continually being asked to make sacrifices to reduce the deficit, despite the fact that they have contributed $60 billion to

deficit reduction with a two-year pay freeze. While we are used to serving the public and doing our fair share, what can you do to ensure that all sacrifices will be shared, and cuts won’t unfairly target federal employees and retirees?”

GET STARTED NOW It’s never too early to make your plans and find ways to get the NARFE message heard in campaigns. There is not a one-size-fits-all plan for meeting the candidates because what may work in one community – or even one state – may not work in another. This is a situation where the best-laid plans for success will come from the local level. Any meeting with a member of Congress or candidate is a good time to mention NARFE’s legislative goals. Talk to them about issues, not specific bill numbers. Bills and bill numbers change with every Congress, but issues or goals often remain the same. You also can provide a packet of information, including NARFE fact sheets, to candidates just as you would a member of Congress. Everything you need to get involved in these activities is in the PAH Toolkit. See the story above and get started today! ■ JUNE 2012 | NARFE

Managing Money

Answers toYour Questions on RMDs By Mark A. Keen, CFP®


erhaps the most common topic I am asked about is required minimum distributions (RMDs). I covered this topic in my column a few years ago, but I think another column on RMDs is warranted, based on continuing questions. Let’s start with some basics. RMDs must be taken from all employer-sponsored retirement plans, including the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The minimum distribution rules also apply to traditional IRAs and IRA-based plans, such as Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) IRAs and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs. Although Roth IRA owners are not required to take minimum distributions, Roth 401(k) account owners (including the new Roth TSP) are. So, anyone who contributes to the new Roth TSP feature should roll over the Roth portion to a Roth IRA after separating from service to avoid RMDs. RMDs must begin in the year the retirement account owner turns age 70-1/2. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permits the first RMD to be delayed up until April 1 of the year following the year in which the account owner turns age 70-1/2. This is why the TSP waits until April 1 to send you your first RMD if you fail to take the required distribution. The deadline for every year following the first RMD year, including the year in which a retirement account owner elected to delay the first RMD until April 1, is December 31. So, if the first RMD were delayed until April 1 following the year in which the owner turned age 70-1/2, he or she would


have to take two distributions in the second RMD year. For example, let’s assume John owns a traditional IRA and that his birth date was June 1, 1942. Because John turns age 70-1/2 in December 2012, his first RMD year is 2012; but John may delay his first RMD until April 1, 2013. If John does delay his 2012 RMD, he would be required to take that distribution by April 1, 2013, then he would be required to take his 2013 distribution by December 31, 2013. Oftentimes, it’s to the account owner’s advantage to delay taking distributions for as long as possible to benefit from the tax deferral. However, in this case, delaying the first RMD until the following year and then having to take a second RMD in the same year may push the owner into a higher tax bracket and result in higher taxes. If you’re still working when you turn age 70-1/2, you may delay taking RMDs from your current employer’s retirement plan until the year you separate from service. Note, however, that you are still required to take minimum distributions from IRAs or any other previous employer-sponsored retirement plan that you may own. This presents a planning opportunity. If you’re over age 70-1/2 and employed, and you neither need nor want to take

RMDs, it’s possible to avoid them by transferring your IRAs and any other employer retirement plans into your current employer’s retirement plan. The amount of the RMD you must take for each account is calculated by taking the prior December 31st balance and dividing it by the appropriate life expectancy factor found in one of two IRS life expectancy tables for IRA and retirement plan owners. These two tables, the Uniform Lifetime Table and the Joint and Last Survivor Table, may be found in IRS publication 590. The Uniform Lifetime Table is used for owners whose spouses are not the sole beneficiaries or whose spouses are not more than 10 years younger. The Joint and Last Survivor Table provides for smaller minimum distributions and is used only when a spouse is more than 10 years younger than the account owner and is the sole beneficiary. There are steep penalties for failing to follow the RMD rules properly: 50 percent on any RMD amount not distributed or not distributed by the applicable deadline. Having said that, according to the IRS, the penalty may be waived if you can establish that it “was due to reasonable error and that reasonable steps are being taken to remedy the shortfall.” If you have multiple IRAs, the IRS

DELAYING THE first RMD until the following year and then having to take a second RMD in the same year may result in higher taxes.


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Mark A. Keen, CFP®, is president and owner of Bennett Financial Advisors, 3600 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax,VA, and an investment adviser representative and registered principal of The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (SFA). Securities and advisory services are offered through SFA. E-mail: NARFE | JUNE 2012

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says that you need to calculate the RMD separately for each IRA, but you are permitted to take the RMD from as few as one IRA. This includes traditional IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and SEP IRAs. From a practical standpoint, you can simply add up the value of all the IRAs, calculate the RMD based on the total value, and take the RMD from one or more IRAs. Similarly, an owner of multiple 403(b) accounts may take the RMD from one or more 403(b) accounts. On the other hand, if you have other types of retirement plans, such as a TSP account, or 401(k) or 457(b) plans, the IRS requires that you take a separate RMD from each of those accounts. One question I am frequently asked is whether RMDs can be transferred to another tax-deferred account or Roth IRA. The answer is no. Another popular question is, can owners take more than the RMD each year. Absolutely! The IRS would love the additional tax revenue and always welcomes you to withdraw more than you need to. But unfortunately, if you do take more than the RMD amount in one year, you cannot use that excess to offset any future year’s RMD. RMD rules are fairly straightforward. Failure to follow them results in severe penalties. If you’re over age 701/2 or are approaching that magical age, be sure to stay on top of the amount you must withdraw each year.

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Is Gluten MakingYou Sick? By Marilyn S. Radke, M.D.


bout one in 133 Americans has celiac disease – an inherited, intestinal disorder in which the body cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When people with celiac disease eat foods or other products (medicine, vitamins, lip balm) containing gluten, their immune systems attack and damage the lining of their small intestines. Without treatment, this damage interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. Among people with a parent, sibling or child with celiac disease, up to one in 22 may have it. Celiac disease is also more common among people with other genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome and Turner syndrome. Symptoms of celiac disease in adults include: • Iron-deficiency anemia; • Fatigue; • Bone or joint pain; • Arthritis; • Bone loss or osteoporosis; • Anxiety or depression; • Tingling numbness in hands and feet; • Seizures; • Missed menstrual periods; • Infertility or miscarriages; • Canker sores inside the mouth; and • Itchy skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis). Approximately one in four people


with celiac disease has dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), and most people with DH have no digestive symptoms of celiac disease. DH is an intensely itchy, blistering skin rash that usually occurs on the elbows, knees and buttocks. People with celiac disease may or may not have symptoms, and they can develop complications, even without symptoms. Long-term complications of untreated celiac disease include liver disease, intestinal cancer and mal-

bodies. A biopsy of the small intestine is performed to confirm the diagnosis. A long, thin tube (endoscope) is eased through the patient’s mouth and stomach into the small intestine to obtain tiny pieces of tissue. The intestinal tissue samples are examined for damage using a microscope. Because celiac disease is hereditary, family members of someone with the disease may want to be screened/tested for the presence of auto-antibodies in

CELIAC DISEASE is an intestinal disorder in which the body cannot tolerate gluten – a protein found in wheat,rye and barley. nutrition, which can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and miscarriage. People with celiac disease also tend to have other autoimmune diseases: • Type 1 diabetes; • Thyroid disease; • Liver disease; • Rheumatoid arthritis; • Addison’s disease; and • Sjögren’s syndrome. Because their symptoms are similar, celiac disease can be confused with irritable bowel syndrome, iron-deficiency anemia, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, intestinal infections and chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors use blood tests and intestinal biopsy to diagnose celiac disease. The blood tests check for high levels of proteins that react against the body’s own cells or tissues (auto-antibodies): anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies or anti-endomysium anti-

their blood, even if they do not have symptoms. The treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Eating even a small amount of gluten can damage the small intestine in people with celiac disease, including people without noticeable symptoms. A registered dietitian can teach food selection, label reading and other strategies to help

To Learn More


or more detailed information, write to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2 Information Way, Bethesda, MD 20892-3570; or call 800-891-5389 (TTY: 866-569-1162); or visit the website at www.digestive.niddk.nih. gov.


Don’t let a fall become a tragedy

Marilyn S. Radke, M.D., is board certified in preventive medicine and practices in Atlanta, GA. NARFE | JUNE 2012

Philips Lifeline will provide you the reliable help you need in an emergency. It is simple, reliable and affordable. Don’t wait until it’s too late… read a real life story below!


hink “that will never happen to me?” Think again. Here’s the story of Helen, an active 86-year old who decided to get Lifeline two years ago because she was having frequent falls as the result of some balance problems: “Shortly after getting Lifeline, I fell in the late evening, getting out of bed. I was unable to reach my cell phone, but I pushed my Lifeline button and spoke with the Lifeline response associate, who called my daughter and asked her to check on me. It was such a relief to know that someone would get help for me if I couldn’t reach the phone.”

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manage celiac disease. For most people, following a gluten-free diet will stop celiac disease symptoms, and heal and prevent intestinal damage. Although improvement begins within a few days of starting the diet, it may take several years for the small intestine to heal and absorb nutrients normally from the bloodstream. If people with celiac disease show no improvement on the gluten-free diet, it is likely that small amounts of gluten are still being eaten. Gluten may be hidden in food additives, such as modified food starch, preservatives and stabilizers made with wheat. Corn and rice products made in factories that also make wheat products can be contaminated with wheat gluten. Some people have refractory celiac disease that does not heal despite a strictly gluten-free diet. Because their intestines cannot absorb enough nutrients, they may need to receive nutrients directly into their bloodstream through a vein (intravenous nutrition). A gluten-free diet means eating no food products made from wheat, rye and barley. This includes most grain, pasta and cereal, and many processed foods. People with celiac disease can use potato, rice, soy, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat or bean flour instead of wheat flour. They also can buy glutenfree bread, pasta and other products. “Plain” meat, fish, rice, fruits and vegetables contain no gluten, and can be eaten freely. Sometimes, oats can be eaten by people with celiac disease, but they should check with their doctor. Contact your doctor for evaluation if you suspect celiac disease in yourself or a close relative.

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Alzheimer’s Update

A Call to Action for Alzheimer’s By Jane Rodgers


s you know, Barb Pretzer resigned as chair of the NARFE-Alzheimer’s National Committee for health reasons. Please keep Barb in your thoughts and prayers as she walks through this health journey. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin appointed me to serve out Barb’s term as committee chair. Gen Boguslawski, Region IX coordinator, is vice chair, and Janice A. Neuschafer has been appointed Region V coordinator. In my first column for NARFE magazine, I want to update you on the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA). Passed unanimously by both houses of Congress, NAPA was signed into law by

NARFE members contributed for Alzheimer’s research:

President Obama last year. NAPA will create the first ever National Alzheimer’s Plan to address the Alzheimer’s crisis. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a draft plan, which was reviewed by the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, and representatives from HHS. Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, is a council member. The council submitted complementary recommendations in April. The final draft is expected to be released some time in May. Here’s how you can help now. The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people to sign an online petition to President Obama, calling on him to issue a strong Alzheimer’s Plan to help the millions of Americans now affected by the disease and the millions more who are at risk. Go to and click on “Sign Now” at the top of the page to read and sign the petition. The NARFE-Alzheimer’s National

Committee will be meeting at the National Convention in August. One of our primary responsibilities is selecting research grants to fund with NARFE member donations raised during the previous fiscal year. Representatives from the Alzheimer’s Associaton will be attending the meeting, including William H. Thies, Ph.D., chief medical and scientific officer, who will walk us through each researcher’s proposal. The committee will then vote on additional research projects to fund. Each regional Alzheimer’s coordinator also will give a report on the donations raised for Alzheimer’s research from NARFE members in his or her state, and chapter fundraising ideas will be shared. I look forward to chairing my first committee meeting and participating in what I know will be a successful National Convention.

Jane Rodgers is chair of the NARFEAlzheimer’s National Committee. Email:


$10 Million Fund

$9,684,435* *Total as of March 31, 2012 100% of all contributed funds go to Alzheimer’s research. If you have any questions, write to: National Committee Chairman Jane Rodgers, P.O. Box 234 Wadesville, IN 47638-0234 Email:

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:


Name _______________________________________________________________

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❑ Discover


Card Number: __________________________________________________________ Expiration Date:________(mm)/_________(yy) 3-Digit Security Code: _________ Name on Card: (print) ___________________________________________________ Signature:_________________________________________ Date: _______________ JUNE 2012 | NARFE

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Questions & Answers NOTE: The following Questions & Answers were compiled by Federal Benefits Service Department staff. These are real questions received by the Department, 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 that members contact an attorney, financial planner or certified public accountant/tax adviser.

ACTIVE EMPLOYEES FERS RETIREMENT BENEFIT QUESTION: What portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuity is the definedbenefit portion? Response: The defined-benefit portion is the FERS basic annuity that you will receive from the Office of Personnel Management at retirement. The rest of your retirement benefit under FERS consists of Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan (a defined-contribution plan). The FERS basic annuity is computed based on a formula set by law, and you have little control over your benefit other than your length of service.

SURVIVOR BENEFIT QUESTION: I will soon retire from federal service.Under the Civil Service 28

Retirement System,my 7 percent retirement withholdings are paid back over many years.If I were to die during that time,would my spouse receive a lump sum or would she be paid at the same rate I would be paid if I were still alive?

such as acquiring an eligible family member, losing a family member, losing other dental or vision coverage, or moving out of the regional plan’s service area.

Response: The treatment of your contributions is different for retirement purposes than it is for federal income tax purposes. For retirement, your annuity contributions are used to pay your annuity until they are expended (usually in about 36 months), after which your annuity is paid from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. If you were to die prior to your contributions being paid out as an annuity, they then would be used to pay a monthly survivor benefit to your spouse. For federal tax purposes, your spouse would continue to be able to claim a portion of her survivor annuity, just as you are now, as tax-free each year. If there are no survivor benefits payable to either a spouse or a child, the unexpended balance of contributions would be paid to the beneficiary as a lump sum.

QUESTION: I am currently a federal employee and am going through a divorce. My spouse wants half of my Federal Employees Retirement System pension.I started federal employment in 1986. We married in December 1989. My husband left me in December 2010. We are both currently age 46.He is planning to remarry,and that will occur before he is age 55.I had planned to retire as early as possible but now will continue working as long as I can.I found the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guide for attorneys on court-ordered benefits, but I am having trouble understanding it.If he is still alive when I retire,and he remarries before age 55, will he be eligible for my pension?


QA &

OPEN SEASON CHANGES QUESTION: My husband has dental insurance from his employer. Can I change my MetLife dental coverage to self-only,or do I have to wait for Open Season? If I go to self-only now,and he were to lose his job,could I add him back on to my dental insurance at that time,or would I have to wait for Open Season?

Response: Changes in coverage under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program can be done outside of the annual Open Season period but only for certain life events,

Response: There is nothing in the retirement law that would bar a court-ordered portion of your annuity to continue to be paid to your former spouse if he should remarry. However, if the court order specifically states that the apportionment of your retirement ends if your former spouse remarries, then OPM will honor the terms.

RETIREES INSURANCE RECORDS QUESTION:My insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is with Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS). I use the BC/BS mail order pharmacy,Caremark. While on JUNE 2012 | NARFE


She will always be your pride and joy...

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rom the day she was born, she has been your treasure. Now, show your daughter just how dear she is to you with this breathtaking heart-shaped pendant, engraved on the back with: “My little girl yesterday, my friend today, my daughter forever.�

Exquisitely crafted. Beautifully Presented Your pendant arrives in a satin-lined presentation box at no extra charge.

This stunning pendant features elegant sterling silver plating and 32 simulated diamond accents. Twelve rubies are nestled within the pendant, just as your daughter is nestled forever in your heart. Hanging gently on an 18-inch chain, this pendant beautifully puts into words all that she means to you.

Makes a great gift – order today! The pendant can be yours for $99 plus $7.50 shipping and service, payable in three monthly installments of $35.50. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not completely delighted, return the pendant within 90 days for replacement or refund. For the next special occasion or as a wonderful surprise, don’t delay — order today!

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* Fitting and programming of the hearing aids, and three adjustment visits are included. Price shown does not include discounted comprehensive hearing exam of $75 (which is covered by the Service Benefit Plan). Service Benefit Plan members get the MemberPlus membership fee waived through December 15, 2012. $108 is the regular yearly cost for MemberPlus membership. Must be a member to access MemberPlus discounted pricing. § The Service Benefit Plan will pay up to $1,250 per ear in a 36-month period, up to a maximum of $2,500 per pair purchased (2012 benefit). Blue365Ž 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, acupuncture, chiropractic and vision services, you must exhaust your Service Benefit Plan benefits first. To find

: MEMBERPLUS AIVED FOR FEP. NDREDS TO EARING AIDS. Cost Example: Phonak® Cassia™ Avg. retail $4,200 per pair—MemberPlus® price $2,190 per pair MemberPlus Membership + Shipping*:


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OFFER VALID THROUGH 12/15/2012 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, BCBSA, nor 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.

Questions & Answers the Caremark website, I went to a page that would allow me to designate family members for access to my pharmacy records. My ex-wife was listed among the eligible family members. We were divorced in the late 1970s, and she has not been carried under my health insurance since that time. Neither Caremark nor BC/BS can explain how this happened.BC/BS is not sure how to correct this. Because this may affect others as well, can you help or at least point me to someone who can? I see no valid reason why someone to whom I haven’t been married in more than 30 years is still in an active database. Response: We have never heard of this situation before. BC/BS has to be able to fix this problem. The Office of Personnel Management will not be able to help because the records involved are the health plan’s. You may want to write to your local BC/BS office and ask for a written response.

RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD BENEFITS QUESTION: I have a question about my wife’s Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) (tier I) benefits.If I should predecease her, will her RRB benefits be decreased because she then will be receiving civil service survivor benefits? If so,what is the formula? Response: We do not get many questions about these benefits. According to the RRB website, for spouses and widow(er)s subject to the public service pension reduction, the tier I reduction is, under current law, equal to two-thirds of the amount of the public pension. The amount of the public service pension is the current gross amount, before any deductions for income tax withholding, Medicare premiums, health insurance or other benefits. Based on this information, we would say that the answer to


NARFE SERVICE OFFICERS are available to answer questions and to 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 website,

your question is yes. Your spouse’s receipt of federal retirement will affect the amount of survivor benefits she receives from the RRB.

SURVIVOR BENEFIT AND FEHBP QUESTION: I retired in 1994 after 30 years of service.I was single at the time and got married three years later. I was unaware that I needed to inform the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) of my marriage,and I was denied survivor benefits for her because I had been married for more than two years when I contacted OPM.My wife is covered under my Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) insurance plan. If I predecease her, will she be eligible to continue to receive FEHBP coverage? Response: No. She will not be able to continue FEHBP coverage because she will not be receiving a survivor benefit.

WITHHOLDING MEDICARE PREMIUMS QUESTION: What is the number of the form that needs to be used in order to have Medicare premiums deducted from a federal annuitant’s monthly retirement allotment? Response: We don’t know of a form number, but we would recommend that you make an appointment with your local Social Security office so that you can make the request in person. Call 800-772-1213 to make an appointment. You cannot have the premiums withheld from your monthly civil service an-

nuity unless you are not eligible for Social Security benefits. In the event that the Social Security Administration representative is not familiar with how to process your request to have the Medicare premiums withheld from your annuity, go to the NARFE website ( to obtain a copy of the procedures. Sign in as a member, click on the Federal Benefits tab at the top of the page and then click on the link in the section on Medicare in the right panel.

DELAYED ANNUITY QUESTION: I retired from federal service on December 31,2011.I have not yet received a retirement annuity payment.I have contacted the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and was told that OPM did not receive my paperwork from the National Finance Center (NFC) until February 8,2012. I know that my agency sent the paperwork to the NFC on December 18, 2011. I would like to know if NARFE can do anything about this delay. Response: There is little that we can do to help get retirement records transferred from agencies to OPM. We know that OPM would like all agencies to improve as much as possible in terms of both the timeliness and the quality of retirement records. If, after receiving the records from your agency, the NFC needed additional records from the agency before sending them to OPM, the delay might have been even longer.

NEW SPOUSE BENEFIT QUESTION: I received a letter from JUNE 2012 | NARFE

125:(*,$1 &58,6( /,1(

Northeast Cruise & Tour 10-Day Cruise to French Canada, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland 5-Day Tour featuring: Boston - Cape Cod - New York City

15 Days

from $1798*

Travel with other NARFE members departing September 26, 2012

Start in historic Boston with a city tour including Old North Church and Bunker Hill. Travel to Plymouth and see the Pilgrim’s landing site and then on to “Old Cape Cod” with “sand dunes and salty air.” You’ll also visit Chatham & Provincetown and overnight in the Hyannis area. Your journey continues to Bridgeport, Connecticut; stopping in Newport, Rhode Island along the way and touring two famous mansions, once home to the likes of the Vanderbilts. Then it’s on to the “Big Apple,” New York City for an exciting tour of Manhattan with a local city guide. You will also see and stop at Ground Zero, view Lady Liberty from Battery Park and much more. The next day you will board the NCL Gem for your 10-day FreeStyle cruise. Ports include: Halifax, Nova Scotia and Quebec City, Quebec with its remaining fortified city walls; Château Frontenac; and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Sail on and stop in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Sydney on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Disembark in New York City for your flight home.

Best of England & Scotland 12 Days

Join other NARFE members departing September 27, 2012

from $1698*

Your vacation begins in London with a sightseeing tour of some of the most renowned sights including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. Then travel to Bath, with some of the finest architectural sights such as the Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge. You will also visit the Roman Baths. The following day you will travel to Stratford; (the birthplace of Shakespeare) for one night. Then continue on to the historic City of Chester and The Lake District, England’s largest national park, with stunning scenery and views. Next, cross the border into Scotland and spend two nights in Edinburgh where you will enjoy a city tour seeing the Palace of Holyrood, plus more. Return to England, stopping in Durham; York, with a city tour; Sherwood Forest; Oxford; Blenheim Palace and the Cotswold villages known for their local limestone cottages. Spend your final day with a panoramic and walking tour of Oxford, viewing Carfax Tower and Bodleian Library with a drive to the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world - Windsor Castle.

Autumn Leaves Tour & The Historical East 14 Days

Travel with other NARFE members departing October 12, 2012

from $1548*

Start in Philadelphia with a city tour. Then your scenic journey begins offering spectacular and colorful vistas through Amish Country to Gettysburg where you will see the most important battlefield of the Civil War. Travel north with a stop at the Corning Museum of Glass into Ontario and awe-inspiring Niagara Falls for two nights! Then head back to upstate New York where you will board a cruise through the 1000 Islands. Next, drive through the six-million-acre civilized wilderness of the Adirondack region, with a stop in Lake Placid and then into the forest area of New England: The White Mountains, including Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire, then ride the Cannon Aerial Tramway at Flume Gorge. Next drive along the New England coast to Boston, with a city tour and visit Cape Cod , exploring Chatham and Provincetown with coastal scenery and village shops. View the gorgeous Mansions of Newport, Rhode Island; drive along the Atlantic coast through Mystic Seport and New Haven, Connecticut; and tour New York City seeing all the major sights of the “Big Apple.”

Rose Parade & Hawaii Waikiki Beach ✴ Pearl Harbor ✴ USS Memorial

10 Days

Join other NARFE members departing December 29, 2012

from $2148*

Get away from the colder weather during the first week in January and enjoy the best New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day you have had in years! Start in Los Angeles (4 nights) with a city tour of L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and an exclusive, pre-parade, after public hours, float building and viewing at the Rosemont Pavilion with included dinner. Watch the artists put the “finishing touches” on the floats unencumbered by public crowds! On Tuesday, January 1, 2013, enjoy your reserved grandstand seats at the Rose Parade! On Wednesday, January 2, depart for Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Hawaii where you will be greeted by your Polynesian Tour Director. Spend the next 5 days in exciting Waikiki Beach that will include a city tour of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, Pali lookout and Punchbowl Crater. You will also have time to relax and explore this paradise on your own, before you attend an included exclusive YMT Farewell dinner. Roundtrip Air flights from L.A./Honolulu included. Airfare to/from L.A. extra.

Rose Parade, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon & Arizona Tour Sedona & Red Rocks – Phoenix & Scottsdale

11 Days

Travel with other NARFE members departing December 29, 2012

from $1548*

Enjoy your first 4 nights in Los Angeles as listed above. On Wednesday, January 2, depart for Las Vegas (2 nights). The following day, travel to the Grand Canyon for your overnight stay in the park with an opportunity to marvel at the ever changing colors during the sunset and sunrise, with included breakfast. Then depart to another astonishing landscape - the Red Rocks of Sedona. You will also visit Montezuma’s Castle enroute to Phoenix and Scottsdale where you will spend your final two nights with an included city tour.

*Price per person, based on double occupancy. Airfare is extra.

For details & itinerary call 7 days a week:


Questions & Answers the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) about an actuarial reduction, but I have no idea what it means.I recently got married and had inquired about an annuity for my wife so that if something happened to me, she would still have health insurance coverage. I was married when I retired but later got a divorce,and now OPM is telling me I owe a lot of money if I want to get an annuity for my new wife.Please explain this. Response: Simply put, you can elect to provide survivor benefits for a spouse acquired after retirement, but you must pay the difference between your full gross annuity and the reduced annuity, plus interest back to the time your annuity was increased to the full amount. Luckily, you do not need to pay the


amount in a lump sum. OPM will further reduce your gross annuity to pay for the survivor benefit.

FORMER SPOUSE BENEFITS QUESTION:I have been married to a federal employee for almost 34 years. He retired January 1, 2011, at age 57. He had at least 34 years of service. We separated at the end of May 2011 after 33 years of marriage. What are my rights and benefits concerning his retirement benefits? Response: Under the retirement law, being separated still allows you to be covered under your husband’s family health insurance plan and, if he elected it, entitles you to a monthly survivor annuity. However, as a retiree, he can change his health benefits enrollment

to self-only at any time, and you would be without Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) insurance coverage. If you divorce, you can enroll on your own in the FEHBP under the temporary continuation of coverage provision for three years. You will have to pay the entire premium – both the employee share and the government share, plus a 2 percent administrative fee.

To obtain an answer to a federal benefits question, call 703-838-7760 and ask for the Federal Benefits Service Department; send your question by postal mail to NARFE Headquarters, ATTN: Federal Benefits; or submit it by email to


• Freedom from housework,home maintenance, and property taxes • Camaraderie of friends Mou nta in

Play Golf

• Meals prepared by our famous Sh op chefs

& Di ne • A gym Palm S prings pool, AFVW and Fish & p spa m Ca g for a tin as T workout ne Wi or for relaxation



NARFE offers an online retirement calculator and other financial planning tools for members only. Find out more about this membership benefit at

• Beautiful year-round weather

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Make the right decision at the right time.


i rt L

By Federal Benefits Service Department

An active community for those 60 or better. Southern California’s HUB for places to go and things to do – all less than 2 hours from AFVW.

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for Health Care and Insurance John O’Brien said that prescription drug costs represent almost a third of overall spending in the program. To help drive down these costs, OPM is again asking plans to promote enrollees’ use of generic drugs. Plans also were asked to propose how they will manage the rising cost and use of specialty drugs, which currently account for 10 percent of total prescription costs. The emphasis OPM has placed on health plans to introduce wellness programs continues for 2013. OPM stated that lifetime medical costs related to diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension and stroke among people who are obese are $10,000 higher than among people who are not overweight, and that these costs can be reduced by as much as $5,300 when such an individual loses 10 percent of his or her body weight. OPM has instructed FEHBP plans to submit their 2013 benefit and rate proposals by May 31, so that negotiations with the plans can be finalized by mid-August to ensure a timely FEHBP Open Season this coming fall.



he Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued its annual call for benefit and rate proposals from insurance carriers participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). In its March “call letter,” OPM outlined its initiatives for the next plan year, and called for improvements in the delivery and cost efficiency of prescription drugs as well as for advancing health care quality through increased patient safety and preventive care/wellness programs. OPM also wants FEHBP plans to offer expanded coverage mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in advance of the law’s 2014 effective date for this type of coverage. For 2013, OPM expects FEHBP plans to eliminate all annual limits on the dollar amount of essential health benefits, provide coverage for approved clinical trials, and provide additional preventive care and screenings for women with no cost-sharing. Working to improve the cost efficiency of prescription drugs has long been a major goal of OPM. In an address in March to the FEHBP Carrier Conference, OPM’s Deputy Director


OPM Issues‘Call Letter’ For 2013 FEHBP Plans

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NARFE: Our Best Bet for the Future

32nd National Convention RENO-SPARKS, NV AUG 26-30, 2012

‘Nevada Night’ Plans Announced


elegates to NARFE’s National of Samuel Clemens,” the real name of is excited and eagerly looking forward Convention August 26-30 in Mark Twain, and appeared in A&E’s bi- to welcoming all delegates to the 32nd Reno-Sparks, NV, will be ography of Mark Twain and in the Dis- Biennial NARFE National Convention,” treated to an evening of humor, Mark covery Channel’s Cronkite Award-win- Brown says. “We are sure that you will Twain style, at the traditional “state ning documentary, “Adventures of enjoy the beautiful location for this year’s convention. Huckleberry Finn.” night.” “Sparks has a small-town atmosClemens lived and worked The Nevada Night planned in Virginia City, NV, writing phere and is immediately adjacent to by the Convention Comfor the Territorial Enterprise Reno, so 20 minutes is all it takes to get mittee features a performnewspaper, during the just about anyplace in the two cities,” ance by McAvoy Layne, an 1860s. It was there that he Brown adds. “Virginia City is about 30 acclaimed Twain imperbegan writing as Mark minutes’ drive, and Lake Tahoe is 45-60 sonator. “McAvoy Layne Twain. “He also spent some minutes away. has become the ‘reincarna“The daytime temperature should time in the Lake Tahoe area tion’ of Mark Twain,” says and fell in love with it,” Brown be in the 90-degree range, but the eleDon Brown, chairman of the says. “Of all his world travels, vation is 4,200 feet above sea level in NARFE Convention ComMcAvoy Layne he was most impressed with Sparks, and it does cool off nicely at mittee. “He lives at Lake Tahoe as Mark Twain the Sierra Nevada Mountains.” night. A light jacket is advisable for and runs a Mark Twain inter“The Nevada Federation of Chapters evenings.” pretive center there.” Layne’s show, Tuesday, August 28, will last 45 minutes to an hour, Brown says, “and he can keep an audience in stitches for the HOTEL RESERVATIONS whole time.” Hotel reservations may be made by phone with the convention hotel Layne refers to himself as “The Ghost

(to get the NARFE rate,you must mention the NARFE Convention) or online at

CONVENTION DEADLINES Details on these deadlines and other convention information are available at Sign in as a member and click on the 2012 Convention logo.

JOHN ASCUAGA’S NUGGET CASINO RESORT 1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks, NV 89431 800-648-1177 - HOTEL RATE: $95 single/double + 13.5% county tax. Triple and quad occupancy rates are an additional $10 per person over the quoted rate. Rates apply three days before and three days after the arrival and departure dates, based on availability.

Delegate Form: June 30

PARKING: Valet and self-parking;rate included in the $3 per room per night resort fee.

Proxy Form: August 11 Registration: Postmarked by August 2




Online Registration Is Available at Sign in and click on the Convention logo.


32ND NATIONAL CONVENTION August 26-30, 2012 PLEASE CHECK: ■ (Guest) Member ■ (Guest) Nonmember


■ Delegate* ■ Delegate-at-Large* ■ Alternate*

*NOTE: This is NOT a voter registration form. Voter registration is confirmed by your chapter on Form C/12-2.


Mail Preregistration Form to: NARFE, Treasurer’s Office 606 N. Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1914

Name for badge: Chapter #:

■ A nonrefundable fee of $65 (payable to NARFE) must accompany this form. ■ Onsite registration fee will be $80 in Reno-Sparks. ■ Each attendee must complete a separate registration form. ■ Form must be postmarked by August 2, 2012.


■ Charge to my credit card

Notify in case of emergency:

Card type: ■ MasterCard ■ Visa ■ Discover ■ AMEX


Card# __________________________________________ Phone Number:

Expiration Date_______ / _______ (mm) / (yy)

Name on card (Print) _______________________________ Signature ________________________ Date __________

Form C/12-4


32ND NATIONAL CONVENTION August 26-30, 2012 ■ Tables will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Tables seat 10 people. ■ RESERVATIONS LIMITED TO 2,000 PEOPLE. ■ Groups wishing to sit together should submit only one request specifying number of seats desired. Please attach name list. ■ A receipt will be mailed to you by August 2 acknowledging payment and showing your table assignment. ■ All banquet tickets will be held for pickup at the convention registration area at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort. ■ BANQUET REFUNDS AVAILABLE ONLY IF RESERVATIONS ARE CANCELLED 72 HOURS PRIOR TO THE BANQUET.

NARFE ID #: Name: Address:

Chapter #: Nonmember Guest: Please reserve _____ tickets at $50 each, total $_____.

■ Charge to my credit card Card type: ■ MasterCard ■ Visa ■ Discover ■ AMEX

Make check payable to NARFE and send to: NARFE, Treasurer’s Office 606 N. Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1914

Card# __________________________________________ Expiration Date_______ / _______ (mm) / (yy)

Name on card (Print) _______________________________ Signature ________________________ Date __________

Form C/12-16



t has been an honor to serve as Region III Vice President and now my honor to announce my candidacy for re-election. My experience in NARFE has served me well. I have gained knowledge and experience that I can share with you over the next two years. I thank our membership for sharing ideas and positive responses for calls to action. I also appreciate receiving chapter and federation newsletters that keep me informed of grass roots activism! My candidacy will continue based on my commitment to the only organization that exists to protect our earned and paid for benefits. To this end, as a member of the NEB, I have supported Protect America’s Heartbeat and Marketing General Incorporated’s 2012 Membership Marketing Plan. In December, I sent out an initial plan of action to implement the mar-

keting plan setting reinstatement goals for Region III to reach by the end of this year. I pledge to continue working closely with you and NARFE’s coalition partners supporting mutual efforts to monitor our legislative agenda and to counter, in a timely manner, any potentially adverse legislation. We know that we must share in the economic sacrifices that are imminent. Increased membership and continued legislative activism will enhance these efforts. It is obvious that we cannot continue business as usual if we are to make a difference! It is imperative that we subject ourselves to self-scrutiny and find ways to improve internal operations, programs and practices to continue our progress into the 21st century as well as improving our effectiveness and relevance to the membership.

Early last year, we had our first Region III federation presidents’ meeting via “Go To Meeting” at no cost to NARFE! More of these meetings will be scheduled to discuss matters affecting NARFE on how to improve operations and contribute to further NARFE’s effectiveness. I have made every effort to be with each Federation for your events and meetings. I pledge to continue to emphasize openness while serving you and faithfully representing the interests of Region III in the NEB. The challenges we face will increase in this election year. I ask for your continued support to help strengthen NARFE. I have truly enjoyed serving you and NARFE over the past two years. I now ask for your vote to re-elect me. See you in Reno. ■

CAROL R. EK Candidate for Region V Vice President


hank you to everyone for your support during the past year following my election by the Federation Presidents to fill the unexpired term of now National Treasurer, Richard Thissen. It has been an honor and challenge to serve in this position since April 15, 2011. With this “Thank You,” I am also announcing that I will seek election to the


office of Region V Vice President during the 2012 National Convention in Sparks, Nevada. It continues to be a very rewarding experience to serve the members of Region V and the total NARFE membership. If elected, I will continue to work hard to protect our annuities and benefits, while representing the wishes to initiate actions to resolve the concerns

of the members from Region V. I have met so many terrific NARFE members who are dedicated to this association from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The experience gained from attending the conventions and special meetings has given me insight to concerns and JUNE 2012 | NARFE

hopes of the many dedicated members from Region V. We have many challenges ahead of

us during the coming years. I ask that you support me in my election to address those challenges and changes;

and trust that I have the knowledge and experience to carry out this mission. ■

JEROME S. SMITH Candidate for Region VI Vice President


his is to announce that I am a candidate for re-election as the Vice President for Region VI. The knowledge, skills and abilities obtained over the course of my 27 year career as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, as well as over a decade of NARFE experience, qualifies me for this position. I want to continue to utilize this experience to serve you, the NARFE Members of Region VI, for another two years. Open communications between NARFE members, Federation Officers and National Officers are a major responsibility of the Region VI Vice President. Throughout my NARFE career communications has been one of my strong points. There is an often used adage: “Are you listening or just waiting to talk?” It is almost impossible to lead and serve if you are ‘just waiting to talk’.

I will continue to listen! NARFE Members from Region VI require someone who will listen and address their concerns. I believe that I have done that and if re-elected will continue to serve you to the best of my ability. If you elect me, I will again place Legislative issues as the focal point of protecting our benefits and annuities. I believe in strong Legislative activity at the Chapter and Federation levels as well as at the National level. All NARFE members must get involved in order to keep what they have earned and ensure all Active and Retired Federal Employees and spouses are treated with the respect and dignity they have earned. Having served NARFE on many levels has given me the experience and knowledge necessary to serve all NARFE Members. During the past 16 years I have held positions of in-

creasing responsibility in my home Chapter, the Texas Federation of Chapters and as Vice President for Region VI. My knowledge has been enhanced by serving on National Convention Committees. I also served NARFE as the Chairman of a Special Bylaws Review Committee in 2005. Over the years I have learned a lot about NARFE and want to continue utilizing that knowledge to help Protect the Annuities and Benefits we have all worked for and earned. Therefore, I seek your vote for another two year term as the Vice President for Region VI. If elected, I will continue to serve all NARFE members of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, the Republic of Panama and Texas to the best of my ability. Your support is appreciated. Thank you! ■

FRANK IMPINNA Candidate for Region VII Vice President


s a candidate for NARFE Region VII Vice President, it will be a pleasure to serve the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. With declining membership, the years ahead will be challenging to turn this around but we cannot wait another moment to put off any action now. We must work diligently using new ideas if what we are doing is not working. The main thrust of any association is retention and a strong retention strategy action plan working with the National ExecNARFE | JUNE 2012

utive Board can change and bring about a reversal in this decline. We can also work together to use your fruitful ideas and guide our organization toward future growth. Therefore, my vision is to strengthen Region VII in obtaining greater prosperous heights and success in recruitment, retention, and other NARFE related issues. Throughout my life and career, I have been wholeheartedly involved in numerous training facets. One can find that this will be an asset to Region VII

in the continuing effort to enhance methods to improve leadership among our members. Most people are mentored toward management; running a chapter, not toward leadership. We need to unleash the creativity, resourcefulness, talent, and energy of the vast majority of those who are leaders. I believe chapters are very important and necessary in our organization. They are the grass roots of our organization whereby its members meet to


discuss resolutions for conventions, Legislation, and Membership; it is the initial step for future leaders of the organization, for camaraderie, social encounters or discussion on legislative is-

sues. Again this is from where our future leaders will come. And most assuredly, we must seek out and be more responsive to our members’ needs and provide them what they want.

Using available technology to move NARFE forward into the future, I promise to tackle the needs of our Organization. I will work tirelessly for all of you to keep this Association strong! ■

HELEN L. ZAJAC Candidate for Region VIII Vice President


am a candidate for re-election to the office of Region VIII Vice President. This is an exciting and scary time for NARFE and the initiatives that this National Executive Board has adopted will go far in spreading the name of NARFE to potential members and re-vitalizing those members who have become apathetic about NARFE and its ability to retain their earned benefits. Our focus has been on the vigorous attacks on the federal employee, rather than enhancements for retirees. The fact remains that retirees have not lost any earned benefits – and we want to keep it that way while also considering the fact that the employees today are the future of NARFE. We need to cultivate new members and teach them the value of NARFE’s proud 91 year history, while encouraging them to take up and lead the

battle to retain our earned benefits. That is why I have been an advocate for working with new members and educating them about NARFE and how we need to continue our advocacy in support of the federal community. Federal employees are an asset to this great country – and through our Protect America’s Heartbeat campaign, NARFE is attempting to refute the media’s effort to show the federal employee as overpaid; in spite of the fact that the federal employee actually earns 23% less than those employed in similar jobs in the private sector. As a member of the National Executive Board I voted in favor of the Protect America’s Heartbeat campaign, the National Information Technology Advisory Committee (NIAC), the Configuration Advisory Board (CAB), and the Marketing General Incorporated mem-

bership initiatives, all of which have identified and implemented positive steps to further NARFE’s objectives. I have been assertive in bringing your concerns to the attention of Headquarters staff and the National Executive Board. I believe that we need to address some of our outdated practices to make positive changes for the betterment of NARFE. I advocate working with other associations which share our concerns for the future of the federal community. Working together we can make a difference and encourage more members of the federal community to join with us. The experience I have gained serving you for the past four years will be of value to me as I continue to serve you for the next two years. I thank you and appreciate your continued support. ■

LANNY G. ROSS Candidate for Region IX Vice President


am announcing my intention to seek re-election to the position of Region IX Vice President at the 2012 National Convention in RenoSparks, Nevada. I was elected to this office at the National Convention in San Diego, California in 2000 and over the past twelve years I have gained much experience that, I believe, makes me an effective


and knowledgeable Region IX Vice President. Our great association is seeing many changes and new challenges coming our way. The threats to our benefits are of real concern to all of us. As your Region IX Vice President I have been working very hard and will continue to work hard to help ensure that we receive fair treatment concerning our

benefits and tackle the many changes that will face NARFE in the future. I have been very active in giving NARFE presentations at many preretirement seminars in the past twelve years. I am encouraged that we are making some good progress in recruiting active federal employees. Of JUNE 2012 | NARFE

course, much more needs to be done in this area and we need to develop more strategies for getting our name out to all federal workers and retirees so they know that NARFE is the only association devoted exclusively to serving and protecting the earned entitlements, rights, and benefits of all federal retirees, survivor annuitants and active federal employees. In addi-

tion to recruiting, my efforts will be to work on retaining our current members. I pledge to work with Chapters and Federations to find ways to better address how to keep the members we have. The experience of working for NARFE as a Regional Vice President these past twelve years has allowed me to work with many NEB members and

because of my tenure on the board I am able to help mentor new National Executive Board Members. We have many new challenges ahead of us. With your support for reelection I will work very hard to help meet all of NARFE’s new challenges. I hope I can count on you to cast your vote to re-elect me as your Region IX Vice President. ■

WILLIAM F. (BILL) MARTIN Candidate for Region X Vice President


irst, thank you for electing me to this position at the 2010 Grand Rapids convention. I have been actively working with the other members of the National Executive Board (NEB) and leaders of Region X Federations to do what we can to protect your earned benefits and to work to do what can be done to improve the same for those who are currently employed. At this time, I am announcing that I will be a candidate to continue in this position as your Regional Vice President (RVP). I hope to see most of you in Region X at your federation convention but until then, I am asking that you support me again as Regional Vice President. In addition to my experience this past year as RVP, I have held most po-

sitions in the Virginia Federation as well as those in my home chapter including President, Vice President, Area Vice President, and as program chairs of various committees. As Region X Vice President, I will continue to be the liaison for field operations focusing on interaction with the Region X Federation Presidents and other Federation Officers. I will continue to work with these officers to increase membership. I have a proven record of working with NARFE members and this won’t change. I know I have the experience to help lead NARFE through the difficult challenges we are facing. As your Region X Vice President, you can count on me for honesty, dependability and to get the job done. I will be your voice on the NEB.

Final Candidate Statements Appear in July Issue of NARFE


he July issue of NARFE magazine will be the final one before the NARFE National Convention in which candidate statements will be carried. Candidate statements are also available on the NARFE website, All statements appear as submitted and are unedited.


My NARFE and previous work experience provide me with the skills and abilities to represent Region X. In addition to NARFE activities, I am active in the community serving on the local Planning Commission, treasurer of the Louisa Crime Solvers and the Lake Anna Advisory Committee and as a member of Lake Anna Rescue. I have successfully served at the local, state, and now regional level and I am asking you to support me once again at the 2012 National Convention this August in Reno/Sparks, Nevada. I am asking for your vote, your support, and I thank you for your consideration. Please encourage your chapter to support me and vote for Bill Martin for Region X Vice President. ■

NationalAutomobile Museum Dinner August 29 Registration for this optional convention event is available at See that site for details. Registration deadline is August 3. 41

NARFE News Is eNARFE Our Future?


ARFE has been shrinking. This is an inescapable fact. Since 2001, when data on chapter closings were first accumulated, 28 chapters, on average, closed annually, while an average of only three chapters opened or reopened annually during this time period. Similarly, total NARFE membership in 2001 of 404,909 has decreased to fewer than 300,000, as of March 2012, for a loss of approximately 30 percent. Despite valiant efforts by many in recruiting new members, mortality rates and the exodus of disillusioned members, for whatever reasons, offset any positive contributions to membership stability and growth. The immediate future of NARFE rests with recruiting and retaining recent federal retirees and active federal employees (AFEs) who have left or will soon be leaving federal service in droves. Yet, this is easier said than done. NARFE members from this generation have said that we are missing out on recruiting and retaining this cohort because we don’t understand and recognize their values, nor appreciate their modes of communication. For AFEs and recent retirees, formally structured organizations with traditional rules of order and social interaction through such groups as chapters, clubs, etc., are, for the most part, considered artificial and old-fashioned, and hold little or no interest. Minimal hands-on organizational involvement is the name of their game. Cyber-based interaction and high-tech communications are their preferred modus operandi. Sadly, as the older generation of NARFE members continues to pass from the scene, the generation that should be stepping up to grow our


membership is mostly staying away. Inevitably, membership falls and chapters close. A solution to this problem was providing AFEs and recent retirees with a chapter model that addressed their objections by focusing on their lifestyle and communication choices. In November 2010, the National Executive Board approved the eNARFE program, specifically to stimulate mem-

For example, Chapter 2363 policies and procedures include: • With the one-year anniversary of the chapter’s chartering, elections will be held later this spring to select a new slate of officers for the coming year. • Members will receive information on National Convention activities, including candidates for office, resolutions, etc. The members will then be surveyed for their voting preferences and instructions for their delegates. There has been member interest in attending the convention as a delegate. • Members have responded actively to NARFE legislative alerts and calls to action by contacting their senators and representatives via email, Facebook and Twitter. While applauding the success of both eNARFE chapters, is the eNARFE program the total solution to our membership problems? The answer is “no.” But if the eNARFE chapters had not been chartered, there would be 3,000 members absent from NARFE’s rolls, as they probably would not have joined. It’s important to remember that increased membership provides greater clout on Capitol Hill and more dues money in our treasury, and we must explore every means to recruit and retain members.

IF eNARFE chapters had not been chartered,there would be 3,000 members absent from NARFE’s rolls. bership recruitment and retention. An integral part of the program was the establishment of an eNARFE chapter. Joining the eNARFE chapter was optional, as a prospective member would be offered the choice of joining a traditional chapter or the eNARFE chapter. Chapter 2363 was duly chartered in Alexandria, VA, and activated in February 2011 as a paperless chapter, with all NARFE-related business conducted online. To date, Chapter 2363 has more than 3,000 members, 42.2 percent of whom are AFEs (versus 8 percent for NARFE as a whole). Approximately 150 members are transfers from traditional chapters. The program also authorized the creation of eNARFE chapters by the federations. In April 2011, the Florida Federation did just that, chartering Chapter 2364. Though it has grown at a slower rate, it now has more 100 members. Chapters 2363 and 2364 are normal NARFE chapters in every way, except that they are online.

By Joseph A. Beaudoin National President Paul H. Carew National Vice President Elaine Hughes National Secretary Richard G. Thissen National Treasurer JUNE 2012 | NARFE

Apply for a low rate, no hassle credit card. r No annual fees or cash advance fees r Zero balance transfer fees

Visa Platinum Rewards r 5.99% APR1 on balance transfers for the first year2 r Rates as low as 10.90% APR1 for purchases r Bonus points redeemable for travel, merchandise and gift cards3

MasterCard Platinum r Rates as low as 9.90% APR1




= Annual Percentage Rate. All terms and conditions subject to change without notice. Rates based on credit worthiness. applies to balance transfers completed within first 90 days of card issue; 5.99% APR for first 12 months of the balance transfer. After the 12 month promotional period, the rate will adjust to the purchase rate. This offer may not be used to pay or make balance transfers from any existing NARFE Premier FCU accounts, loans or credit cards. 3Points expire five years from time of issue. 2Rate

Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Report From the Regions NARFE Spousal Membership By Lanny G. Ross Region IX Regional Vice President


joined NARFE in 1984 and immediately paid to have my spouse be a member also. As a member of the NARFE National Executive Board (NEB) for almost 12 years, I am amazed by the number of spouses who are not members of NARFE. More times than I like to recall, I have heard spouses say they did not even know that they were eligible to join NARFE. Spouses of federal annuitants and active federal employees have always been eligible for membership in this great Association, and have given much in volunteer time to help keep us vibrant and alive. Our most wellknown spousal member is our immediate past National President, Margaret L. Baptiste. As I travel around my region, it is clear to me that many spouses, male and female, are involved in chapter

and federation business. They chair committees, serve on committees, and hold chapter and federation offices. If more nonmember spouses would join our wonderful Association, there would be more members to select from to hold these critical

legislation in the 1950s. Just think, if every NARFE member whose spouse is not a member would recruit him or her, NARFE’s membership would increase considerably. At a time when NARFE’s membership numbers are not as large as they should be, these new members would greatly increase our strength when we go to Capitol Hill to fight for our benefits. Please consider recruiting your spouse to join NARFE to ensure that we have as strong an organization as possible. ■

SPOUSES of federal annuitants and active federal employees have always been eligible for membership in this great Association. offices and serve on committees. Spousal members have all the same benefits as other members. It is important to note that NARFE pushed through the survivor benefit




sther Crandall,former president and secretary of the South Carolina Federation, died March 16 at the age of 66. She worked at the Charleston Naval Shipyard for 31 years and Southern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command,for five.She was a member of Chapter 72 in Charleston. In 2011, she received the Judy Kemp Outstanding Service Award from the South Carolina Federation. She also received a citation for distinguished service to NARFE in 2008.

Florida Service Officer Wins National Award


ohn R. Ledman of Chapter 1137 in Brevard County, FL, has been chosen NARFE National Service Officer of the Year. He also was named

Convention Delegates: To view submitted resolutions, go to, sign in and click on the Convention logo.


the Region III Service Officer of the Year. Ledman became chapter service officer in 2001. In 2007, he was appointed service officer for the Florida Federation. Other regional winners are: Region II-Don Bender, Chapter 1519, Glen Burnie, MD Region IV-Gene Wiggins, Chapter 1019, Belleville, IL Region V-Harold Klaege, Chapter

280, Salina, KS Region VI-Geneva Howe, Chapter 1583, N.E. Tarrant County, TX Region VII-Eloise Wittleder, Chapter 241, Colorado Springs, CO Region VIII-Bill Doll, Chapter 4, San Diego, CA Region IX-Ralph Angulo, Chapter 1006, Olympic Peninsula, WA Region X-Sam Alexander, Chapter 1050, Elizabethtown, KY. ■ JUNE 2012 | NARFE



Who can join?


To apply:

Membership is open to civilians in any agency of the federal government 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

Check out eNAR FE, ou r new electronic m embership option, at www.NAR FE .org

• 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 website at • Or call us at 800-627-3394 and join today!

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 __________________________

Contact Information: ESTHER CRANDALL


Full Name: Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. sther Crandall, former president and secre-

tary of the South Carolina Federation, died March at the age of 66. She worked at the Street16 Address Apt./Unit 3. Please enroll me in NARFE chapter ______________ Charleston Naval Shipyard for 31 years and 4. __________ Southern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering $45 x __________ = __________ City/State/ZIPfive.She was a member of Chapter Command,for Membership Fee # of People Total full name

Per Person



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. ___________________________________________

Phone Number Email Address Date of Birth Spouse’s Date of Birth (if applicable) Recruiter’s Membership and Chapter Number

Expiration Date ________________ (MM)


Name on Card (Print) ________________________________ Signature ____________________________ Date __________



NARFE Member Records 606 N. Washington St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1914 Fax: 703-838-7783

1Q 45

NARFE Dues Withholding Application Retired Federal Employees Only If you are a Retired Federal Employee and you would like your NARFE dues to be deducted from your annuity payments, fill out the form below.

Dues Withholding Application (Retirees Only) Fill out this form completely and mail to: Attn: Member Records, NARFE, 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314 (Do Not Send Money With This Form). (Please Print) —



Civil Service Annuity Number

Social Security Number (9-digits)

(Include prefix CSA or CSF) (Include any applicable suffix)

(Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.) Address


City, State, ZIP


Date of Birth

NARFE Membership Number

NARFE Chapter Number

Authorization I authorize the United States Office of Personnel Management to make appropriate deductions from my annuity payments, not to exceed the amount certified by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association as the amount of dues for which I am annually obligated, in accordance with elections I make below and to pay the deducted sum to the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). This authorization shall also apply to any and all dues changes certified by NARFE membership in accordance with elections I make below:

Do You Authorize Your Spouse’s Dues to Be Withheld from Your Annuity? If YES, enter your spouse’s name and membership number below.



❑ Yes

❑ No

You authorize: Annual NARFE dues of $34.00 plus Chapter dues of record to be withheld annually.

I understand that this authorization shall be valid until NARFE receives & processes my written notice of cancellation in accordance with its agreement with the Office of Personnel Management & that any disputes regarding this authorization shall be a matter between NARFE & myself. I hold the Office of Personnel Management harmless for any erroneous allotment deduction made pursuant to this authorization. Signature of Annuitant or Survivor-Annuitant



Dues payments & gifts or contributions to NARFE are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.


Out & AW bout ith the Chapters LEFT: CONGRESSIONAL VISIT. Members of Chapter 87 in Columbia, SC, visited Rep. Joe Wilson. Pictured, from left to right: Tom Daniels, past chapter treasurer; W. K. “Chub” Jordan, sgt. at arms; Clara L. Gillentine, 1st vpmembership; Wilson; William M. Toney, 3rd vplegislative; and Paul D. Donahue, South Carolina Federation historian and web coordinator.

Visit our online photo gallery at Click on NARFE magazine.

RIGHT: CANDIDATE SPEAKS. Chapter 977 in Griffin, GA, hosted Kent Kingsley, candidate for Congress from Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District. Pictured, from left to right: Kingsley; Larry Harper, Georgia Federation legislative officer; Shirley Coleman, president of Chapter 977; and Jimmy Coleman, District 5 vice president.

To submit a photo: Email it to or send it by postal mail to NARFE Headquarters, ATTN: Out & About.

Recruitment and Retention 2012 In the first three months of 2012, 2,528 new members joined NARFE. Alaska, South Carolina and eNARFE showed gains over the same period in 2011. – Jacqueline Johnson-Bryant, Recruitment and Retention Assistant REGION I

REGION V Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Kansas . . . . . . . . . . .39 Minnesota . . . . . . . .55 Missouri . . . . . . . . . .41 Nebraska . . . . . . . . .17 North Dakota . . . . .15 South Dakota . . . . . .20 Total . . . . . . . . .222

REGION IX Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Idaho . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Montana . . . . . . . . . .10 Oregon . . . . . . . . . . .21 Washington . . . . . . .52 Total . . . . . . . . .120

Dist. of Columbia . . .19 Delaware . . . . . . . . .18 Maryland . . . . . . . .172 New Jersey . . . . . . . .27 Pennsylvania . . . . . .124 Total . . . . . . . . .360

California . . . . . . . .154 Guam . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Hawaii . . . . . . . . . . .20 Nevada . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Philippines . . . . . . . . .0 Total . . . . . . . . .179

REGION X Kentucky . . . . . . . . . 33 North Carolina . . . . 63 Tennessee . . . . . . . . . 34 E-Chapter (eNARFE) . 349 Virginia . . . . . . . . . . 191 West Virginia . . . . . . 18 Total . . . . . . . . . 688



Illinois . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Indiana . . . . . . . . . . .38 Michigan . . . . . . . . . .45 Ohio . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Wisconsin . . . . . . . .32 Total . . . . . . . . .212



Arizona . . . . . . . . . .35 Colorado . . . . . . . . .45 New Mexico . . . . . .24 Utah . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Wyoming . . . . . . . . . .5 Total . . . . . . . . .215


Connecticut . . . . . . .10 Massachusetts . . . . .24 Maine . . . . . . . . . . . .13 New Hampshire . . .11 New York . . . . . . . ..64 Rhode Island . . . . . . . .2 Vermont . . . . . . . . . . .6 Total . . . . . . . . .130


REGION VI Arkansas . . . . . . . . . .15 Louisiana . . . . . . . . .20 Oklahoma . . . . . . . .24 Panama . . . . . . . . . . . .0 Texas . . . . . . . . . . .112 Total . . . . . . . . .171


Alabama . . . . . . . . . .44 Florida . . . . . . . . . .125 Georgia . . . . . . . . . .82 Mississippi . . . . . . . .28 Puerto Rico . . . . . . . .3 South Carolina . . . . .43 Total . . . . . . . . . . .325


Consolidated Financial Statements for theYear Ended December 31,2011 REPORT OF THE NATIONAL TREASURER As required by the NARFE National Bylaws, I present the results of the audit of the Association’s financial condition for the calendar year ended December 31, 2011. The consolidated statement of activities shows a decrease in net assets from operations of $650,738. This is a marked improvement from the $1,287,088 decrease in 2010 and the $1,099,841 decrease in 2009. In all, total net assets decreased by $678,235 compared to $764,478 and $266,146 in 2010 and 2009, respectively, mainly because investment income produced mixed results over the three reported years. The consolidated statement of cash flows shows a $95,946 decrease in cash and cash equivalents compared with much steeper decreases in 2010 and 2009. Specifically, the net cash used in operating activities was only $31,715, a monumental improvement from the two previous years, even though the dues increase was not in full effect in 2011. This improvement reflects the effectiveness of our cost-saving measures. In particular, I credit the generosity of the NARFE membership in our fundraising efforts. I wish to commend the Treasurer’s staff for their dedication and professionalism, and thank them for the great work that they do.

Richard Thissen, National Treasurer

INDEPENDENT AUDITORS’ REPORT The Executive Board National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association We have audited the accompanying consolidated statement of financial position of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and Affiliate as of December 31, 2011, and the related consolidated statements of activities and cash flows for the year then ended. These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Association and Affiliate’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audit. The prior year’s summarized comparative information has been derived from the Association and Affiliate’s 2010 and 2009 consolidated financial statements, and, in our reports dated March 24, 2011, and March 25, 2010, respectively, we expressed unqualified opinions on those consolidated financial statements. We conducted our audit in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion. In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and Affiliate as of December 31, 2011, and the changes in their net assets and their cash flows for the year then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Bethesda, Maryland March 26, 2012


Certified Public Accountants JUNE 2012 | NARFE

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and Affiliate Consolidated Statement of Financial Position December 31,2011 (With ComparativeTotals for December 31,2010 and 2009) 2011 Unrestricted Operating


Total Unrestricted

Temporarily Restricted

2011 Total

2010 Total

2009 Total

Assets Current Assets Cash and Cash Equivalents Short-Term Investments Accounts Receivable–Net Interorganization Receivables Prepaid Expenses and Deposits Investments

$ 579,685 200,297 190,757 88,084 184,202 1,798,543

247,262 $ 826,947 201,256 959 190,757 – 88,084 – 184,202 – 4,650,365 2,851,822


442,142 $ 1,269,089 $ 1,365,035 $ 1,570,998 – 201,256 351,247 351,291 23,675 214,432 190,147 150,405 55 –* –* –* 1,773 185,975 193,659 212,592 – 4,650,365 4,770,604 5,120,666 6,521,117 *

6,870,692 *

7,405,952 *

– – –

700,000 3,976,188 1,632,114

700,000 3,904,342 1,657,432

700,000 3,904,342 1,670,533









$ 6,540,083

$ 3,100,043

$ 9,640,126


467,645 $10,019,632 * $10,457,868 * $11,237,661 *



– $ 588,284 32,612 32,557 158,326 – 2,963,540 178,964


215 $ 588,499 $ 585,259 $ 446,422 55,527 –* –* –* – 158,326 171,003 148,003 – 2,963,540 2,470,913 2,630,009

Total Current Assets Property and Equipment Land Buildings Furniture, Equipment and Software Less Accumulated Depreciation and Amortization Net Property and Equipment Total Assets






700,000 3,976,188 1,632,114

– – –

700,000 3,976,188 1,632,114



Liabilities and Net Assets Current Liabilities Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses Interorganization Payables Chapter Dues Payable Deferred Revenue Total Current Liabilities Noncurrent Deferred Revenue Total Liabilities Net Assets Unrestricted Temporarily Restricted Total Net Assets Total Liabilities and Net Assets

588,284 55 158,326 2,784,576

3,710,365 *

3,227,175 *

3,224,434 *




4,827,499 *

4,587,500 *

4,602,815 *

– 411,903

4,780,230 411,903

5,409,191 461,177

6,268,018 366,828
















2,376,996 –

2,403,234 –

4,780,230 –




$ 6,540,083

$ 3,100,043

$ 9,640,126


467,645 $10,019,632 * $10,457,868 * $11,237,661 *

*Interorganization receivables and payables eliminated in consolidation. See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.



National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and Affiliate Consolidated Statement of Activities For theYear Ended December 31,2011 (With ComparativeTotals for the Years Ended December 31,2010 and 2009) 2011 Unrestricted Operating


Revenues and Support Membership Dues $ 7,926,038 $ Contributions–Calendar and Cards 2,018,075 Contributions–PAC – Contributions–Silver Circle and Other 99,975 Contributions-Protect America’s Heartbeat 876,852 Advertising 960,425 Royalties 189,232 National Convention Revenue – Other 170,003 Net Assets Released from Restrictions 220,289 Total Revenues and Support Expenses Program Services Communications Rebates to Federations New Member Rebates to Fdrns & Chptrs Legislative Program Retirement Benefits Program Public Relations Program Pre-Retirement Seminars Program National Convention Protect America’s Heartbeat NARFE-PAC NARFE Alzheimer’s Fund Life Membership Fund Total Program Services Supporting Services General Administration Membership Recruitment Membership Services Fund-Raising Total Supporting Services Total Expenses Increase (Decrease) in Net Assets from Operations Investment Income (Losses) Increase (Decrease) in Net Assets Net Assets, Beginning of Year Net Assets, End of Year

Total Unrestricted

(57,150) $ 7,868,888 – 2,018,075 – – 61 100,036 – 876,852 – 960,425 – 189,232 – – – 170,003 60,000 280,289

Temporarily Restricted $

– – 186,229 42,657 – – – – – (280,289)

2011 Total

2010 Total

2009 Total

$ 7,868,888 $ 7,085,183 2,018,075 1,476,202 186,229 1,204,154 142,693 151,455 876,852 – 960,425 920,758 189,232 190,199 – 214,555 170,003 83,469 – –

$ 7,290,140 1,655,396 140,582 44,339 – 823,289 166,694 – 158,392 –








2,001,145 832,487 233,324 804,954 233,470 587,441 103,590 – 746,995 237,632 42,658 –

– – – – – – – – – – – –

2,001,145 832,487 233,324 804,954 233,470 587,441 103,590 – 746,995 237,632 42,658 –

– – – – – – – – – – – –

2,001,145 832,487 233,324 804,954 233,470 587,441 103,590 – 746,995 237,632 42,658 –

2,020,926 666,632 305,197 680,350 223,657 450,897 134,278 275,446 – 1,109,851 22,616 25

1,990,116 718,687 289,145 754,276 220,373 455,925 117,730 – – 152,298 28,343 –






4,514,810 616,209 745,890 1,245,547

116,983 – – –

4,631,793 616,209 745,890 1,245,547

– – – –

4,631,793 616,209 745,890 1,245,547

4,493,521 665,798 795,952 767,917

4,472,521 553,797 852,654 772,808



























(502,484) 2,879,480

(126,477) 2,529,711

(628,961) 5,409,191

(49,274) 461,177

(678,235) 5,870,368

(764,478) 6,634,846

(266,146) 6,900,992

$ 2,376,996 $ 2,403,234 $ 4,780,230


411,903 $ 5,192,133

$ 5,870,368 $ 6,634,846

See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.



National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and Affiliate Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows for theYear Ended December 31,2011 (With ComparativeTotals for the Years Ended December 31,2010 and 2009) 2010

2011 Cash Flows From Operating Activities Decrease in Net Assets Adjustments to Reconcile Decrease in Net Assets to Net Cash Used in Operating Activities Depreciation and Amortization Net Realized and Unrealized (Gains) Losses on Investments (Increase) Decrease in Assets Accounts Receivable–Net Prepaid Expenses and Deposits Increase (Decrease) in Liabilities Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses Chapter Dues Payable Deferred Revenue


Net Cash Used in Operating Activities Cash Flows From Investing Activities Purchases of Investments Sales and Maturities of Investments Purchases of Property and Equipment Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities Net Decrease in Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, Beginning of Year Cash and Cash Equivalents, End of Year Supplementary Disclosure of Cash Flow Information Cash Paid During the Year for Income Taxes







242,169 180,953

264,693 (329,970)

291,159 (557,732)

(24,285) 7,684

(39,742) 18,933

121,326 (15,553)

3,240 (12,677) 249,436

138,837 23,000 (177,152)

19,125 (8,347) (259,310)




(4,066,203) 4,155,480 (153,508)

(1,617,392) 2,297,468 (20,160)

(8,150,815) 8,491,594 (18,296)




(95,946) 1,365,035

(205,963) 1,570,998

(352,995) 1,923,993

$ 1,269,089










See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and Affiliate Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements / December 31,2011 NOTE 1. ORGANIZATION National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (the “Association”) was established to advance the general welfare of its members and to aid them in securing their rights under federal retirement laws. Fifty-four (54) federations, located in the United States, Panama, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, are affiliated with the Association and conduct local independent programs. Ten percent of all eligible member national dues collected are rebated to these federations to facilitate local association activities. In addition, there are 1,383 chapters affiliated with NARFE | JUNE 2012

the Association that are located in the United States and some international locations. The chapters are established by members to increase the scope and effectiveness of the Association. Chapter dues, which are not reported as revenues and expenses of the Association in the accompanying consolidated statement of activities, are established by the chapters and are billed and collected by the Association with the national dues. However, the Association rebates to the chapters one-third of the national fee charged for all new members. The consolidated financial statements include the assets, liabilities, net

assets, activities and cash flows of the Association and its political action committee (NARFE-PAC or Affiliate), which was authorized by the executive board of the Association. All significant interorganization balances and transactions were eliminated in consolidation. The financial information of the 54 federations and the 1,383 chapters is not included in the Association and Affiliate’s consolidated financial statements. NOTE 2. SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES Basis of Accounting The consolidated financial state-


ments have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting. Use of Estimates The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and cash equivalents consist of cash deposits in checking accounts, certificates of deposit with original maturities of less than 90 days, money market accounts and overnight investment accounts. Investments Investments in debt and equity securities are stated at fair value as determined from published sources. Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Accounts receivable consist primarily of amounts due to the Association for advertising in the December 2011 issue of NARFE magazine, royalties and seminars. Accounts receivable are reported at their outstanding balances. The Association provides an allowance for doubtful accounts, as needed, for accounts deemed uncollectible. The allowance for doubtful accounts as of December 31, 2011, was $2,000. Management periodically evaluates the adequacy of the allowance for doubtful accounts by considering the Association’s past receivables loss experience, known and inherent risks in the accounts receivable population, adverse situations that may affect an obligor’s ability to pay, and current economic conditions. The allowance for doubtful accounts is increased by charges to bad


debts expense and decreased by charge-offs of the accounts receivable balances. Accounts receivable are considered past due when no payments have been received for 30 days. Accounts receivable are charged off based on management’s case-by-case determination that they are uncollectible. Property and Equipment Property and equipment are stated at cost and are depreciated and amortized on the straight-line method over the useful lives of the assets, ranging from three to 40 years. The Association capitalizes items of property and equipment costing $1,500 or more. Depreciation and amortization expense for the year ended December 31, 2011, was $242,169. Net Assets The Association and Affiliate classify net assets into two categories, unrestricted and temporarily restricted. All contributions are considered to be available for unrestricted use unless specifically restricted by the donors. Temporarily restricted net assets are contributed with donor-imposed purpose or time restrictions and are to be used for the restricted purposes or time periods as requested by the donors. The Association and Affiliate had no permanently restricted net assets at December 31, 2011. Included in unrestricted net assets as of December 31, 2011, is $2,000,000 that is designated by the Association’s executive board to pay operating expenses should the Association’s operations be disrupted by an unforeseen event. Also included in board-designated net assets are amounts for the life membership fund and building fund. Membership Dues Annual membership dues are deferred when received and are recognized as revenue over the periods covered by the memberships. Life membership dues are recognized as revenue over the duration of the life membership based on the collective average life expectancy for life

members, according to the “United States Life Tables,” 2003, published in the National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 54, Number 14, April 2006. Contributions The Association and Affiliate report contributions as support when they are received. The Association and Affiliate report contributions as temporarily restricted support if restricted for use for specific programs or time periods. When donor restrictions expire, that is, when purpose or time restrictions are accomplished, temporarily restricted net assets are reclassified to unrestricted net assets and are reported in the consolidated statement of activities as net assets released from restrictions. Royalties Royalties are earned by the Association for granting the use of its name to third parties that market services to Association members. Revenues from these activities are recorded when earned. Rebates to Federations and Chapter Dues and Rebates Rebates to federations and chapter dues payable for renewing members are disbursed to federations and chapters after their receipt in the Association’s headquarters. Rebates due to the federations on life members are deferred for the duration of the life membership and disbursed to federations monthly, when earned. New member rebates disbursed to federations and chapters were approximately $50,600 and $182,700, respectively. Income Taxes The Association is exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code and applicable state law. The accounting standard on accounting for uncertainty in income taxes addresses the determination of whether tax benefits claimed or expected to be claimed on a tax return should be recorded in the financial statments. Under that guidance, the Association may recognize the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position only if it JUNE 2012 | NARFE

NOTE 4. INVESTMENTS AND FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS As of December 31, 2011, the Association and Affiliate’s only assets or liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis consisted of the following investments: Level 1 Level 2 Fair Value Inputs Inputs U.S. Treasury Bills and Accrued Interest $ 201,256 Corporate Stocks and Equity Mutual Funds 2,157,556 Corporate Bonds 2,207,753 Government-Backed Securities 176,291 Certificate of Deposit 108,765

$ 201,256 2,157,556 2,207,753 176,291 -


Total Investments

$ 4,742,856

$ 108,765



Financial assets valued using Level 1 inputs are based on unadjusted quoted market prices within active markets. Financial assets valued using Level 2 inputs are based primarily on quoted prices for similar assets in active or inactive markets. Financial assets valued using Level 3 inputs, if any, are valued using unobservable inputs to measure fair value to the extent that observable inputs are not available, thereby allowing for situations in which there is little, if any, market activity for the asset or liability at the measurement date. The fair value measurement objective is to determine an exit price from the perspective of a market participant that holds the asset or owes the liability. None of the Association and Affiliate’s financial assets are valued using Level 3 inputs. Investment income for the year ended December 31, 2011, consisted of the following:

Dividends and Interest Net Realized and Unrealized Losses

Unrestricted $ 151,521 (180,953)

Temporarily Restricted $ 1,935 -

Total $ 153,456 (180,953)

Total Invest. Income

$ (29,432)


$ (27,497)


NOTE 5. TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED NET ASSETS Temporarily restricted net assets are available for the following purposes as of December 31, 2011: NARFE-PAC NARFE Alzheimer’s Fund

$ 376,363 35,540

Total Temporarily Restricted Net Assets

$ 411,903

Net assets were released from donor restrictions by incurring expenses or otherwise satisfying the restricted purposes for the year ended December 31, 2011, as follows: NARFE-PAC NARFE Alzheimer’s Fund

$ 237,632 42,657

Total Net Assets Released from Restrictions Due to Satisfaction of Program Restrictions


is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained on examination by taxing authorities based on the technical merits of the position. Examples of tax positions include the tax-exempt status of the Association and varNARFE | JUNE 2012

ious positions related to the potential sources of unrelated business taxable income (UBTI). The tax benefits recognized in the consolidated financial statements from such a position are measured based on the largest benefit

that has a greater than 50 percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement. There were no unrecognized tax benefits identified or recorded as liabilities for 2011. The Association’s policy would be to recognize interest and penalties, if any, on tax positions related to its unrecognized tax benefits in income tax expense in the consolidated financial statements. No interest and penalties were assessed or recorded during 2011. The Association’s Forms 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, that have been filed as of December 31, 2011, for 2010, 2009 and 2008 are subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service, generally for three years after they were filed. NARFE-PAC is generally exempt from federal income tax under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. However, interest revenue earned on NARFE-PAC investments is subject to federal and state income taxes. The taxes on that interest for the year ended December 31, 2011, were not significant. As of December 31, 2011, NARFE-PAC’s tax returns filed with the IRS for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008 remain open for examination. Reclassifications Certain reclassifications have been made to the 2010 and 2009 financial statement presentation to correspond to the current year’s format. Net assets and changes in net assets are unchanged due to these reclassifications. Prior Years’ Comparative Totals The consolidated financial statements include certain prior years’ summarized comparative information in total but not by net asset class. Such information does not include sufficient detail to constitute a presentation in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Accordingly, such information should be read in conjunction with the Association and Affiliate’s consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009,


BUSINESS ADVISORY LETTER Audit Committee National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association We have audited the financial statements of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (the “Association”) as of and for the year ended December 31, 2011. In connection with our audit, the following matters came to our attention which we believe will be of interest to the Audit Committee. These matters are observations only and do not represent deficiencies in internal control or material weaknesses. 2011 OPERATING RESULTS The Association incurred an operating loss (excluding the effect of investment gains/losses) of approximately $650,000 in 2011, which is dramatic, however, it is several hundred thousand dollars less than the loss in the previous two years. The dues increase that was effective in March 2011 was partially responsible for this reduced loss, however, the full impact of this increase won’t be realized until all members renew at the new rates (many members took the opportunity to renew for multiple years at the old dues rate). The primary reason for the positive variance in operating results has to do with cost containment. Various initiatives have been implemented and have been/or will be effective in reducing overall expenditures and producing better results from operations. We recommend that the Association continue to focus on ways to reduce operating expenses while not compromising the Association’s mission effectiveness. RESERVE BALANCES Several years ago, the Association established a contingency fund and a building reserve to ensure that adequate funds are available to supplement operating funds in case of an unforeseen event or to offset the costs of major building expenditures. We recommend that the Association review the target balances for each of those funds and develop a plan to fund the reserves if they are determined to be underfunded. We would like to express our appreciation to Mr. Thissen, Ms. Coker-Polson and their team for their excellent assistance during our audit. If you should have any questions about our audit or the matters in this letter, please feel free to contact us. Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C. March 26, 2012

from which the summarized information was derived. NOTE 3. CONCENTRATION OF CREDIT RISK For purposes of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) coverage, cash accounts are maintained in several different banks. As of December 31, 2011, interest-bearing deposits exceeded the $250,000 FDIC-insured limit by approximately $244,000. Additional deposits of approximately $753,000 are held in noninterestbearing accounts, which are fully insured by the FDIC. NOTE 6. RETIREMENT PLAN The Association contributes 2 per-


cent of each eligible employee’s annual compensation to a retirement savings plan and also matches 60 percent of each employee’s voluntary contribution (up to 6 percent of annual compensation). For employees to be eligible, they must have been employed by the Association for at least six months. Total contributions made by the Association were $156,082 for the year ended December 31, 2011. NOTE 7. SUBSEQUENT EVENTS The Association and Affiliate have evaluated subsequent events through March 26, 2012, the date on which the financial statements were available to be issued. ■

Update on the Recommendations Following the 2010Audit In last year’s business advisory letter, Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell recommended that the National Executive Board (NEB) engage a management consultant to assist in assessing several management factors, including staffing. In 2011, the NEB hired a management consulting firm and is implementing its salient recommendations. Additionally, there is a freeze on new staff hiring, and NARFE has reduced its total staff size without layoffs. In 2012, NARFE is rewarding its staff with one-time, merit-based bonuses rather than perpetuating pay raises.


REPORT OF THE NEB AUDIT COMMITTEE The National Executive Board (NEB) Audit Committee met through teleconference with a representative of the audit firm Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell to review the company’s audit of NARFE finances for the calendar year ending December 31, 2011. Audit Committee members participating were Regional Vice Presidents Paul E. Johnson (Chair, NEB Audit Committee), Donald Stewart and William Martin. Also participating were NARFE National President Joseph A. Beaudoin; Vice President Paul H. Carew; Treasurer Richard G. Thissen; Secretary Elaine Hughes; Tayo Coker-Polson, director of budget and finance; and Veronica Clemons, accounting supervisor. John Mullins represented Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell and provided a comprehensive review, including that auditors: • Noted no material deficiencies; • Were impressed that NARFE could add such a significant mission as the “Protect America’s Heartbeat” campaign, with its large budget impact, and have a very limited financial shortfall attributed to that program; • Noted a tremendous increase in NARFE fundraising efforts (an increase of approximately $900,000); • Would issue a business advisory letter that will provide the following: 1. The observation that NARFE incurred an operating loss (excluding the effect of investment gains and losses) of approximately $650,000 in 2011. However, it was several hundred thousand dollars less than the loss the previous two years. The auditors recognize that the full impact of the dues increase won’t be felt until after this year and beyond due to the large number of members who renewed for multiple years at the old rate. The auditors indicated that the primary reason for the positive variance has to do with cost containment. They recognized that several initiatives have been implemented that have been/or will be effective in reducing overall expenditures and producing better operational results. They recommended NARFE continue to focus on ways to reduce operating expenses while not compromising the Association’s mission. 2. A recommendation that NARFE review both its Contingency Reserve and Building Reserve Funds to determine the appropriate level of funding and, based upon that determination (if needed), develop ways to build up the reserve funds. (One method discussed was to place a line item in the budget to build/replenish the reserve accounts.) The auditors also said many of the cost-saving initiatives agreed to in the 2012 NARFE budget will help the Association do better this year. The important point that the auditors mention in their advisory letter is that we need to reduce costs, but at the same time we must not compromise NARFE’s mission. That is exactly what we have done this year. Based upon the report by the audit firm, the NEB Audit Committee commends the staff of the NARFE Treasurer’s Office for their excellent performance again this year. Paul E. Johnson, Chair, NEB Audit Committee

Additional Financial Information


he salaries of the National Executive Board,as of December 2011,are as follows: President:$107,536 Vice President:$100,381 Secretary:$96,262 Treasurer:$96,262 Regional Vice Presidents:$23,878. In 2011,NARFE’s investments were held with these firms: • Operating Fund: Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and TheVanguard Group • Life MembershipTrust Fund: Morgan Stanley Smith Barney • Contingency Fund: Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.


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MemberPlus also includes: • 45-day, money-back guarantee on membership fee and all purchases • 48 batteries, 3-year warranty, and onetime loss and damage for 3 years (small manufacturer deductible applies) on each purchased hearing aid • Guest membership for up to four extended family members (siblings, parents, etc.) for only $79 each • Combine with an existing health plan hearing benefit to maximize savings Visit for more information, or call 877-360-2442 Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. East Coast Time

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!





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 or call 800-258-2847.

ALAMO Drive Happy® with Alamo® where NARFE members receive year-round discounts. Call 1-800-462-5266 and reference Contract ID 262544.

NATIONAL You Drive A Hard Bargain. Receive up to 20% off rentals at National Car Rental. To make a reservation call National Car Rental at 1-800-CAR-RENT® and reference Contract ID 5282909.

NARFE’s OFFICIAL CREDIT UNION 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

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. Call and give agent your special discount ID number, 8000002694, 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 memberbenefits 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®.


The employees/owners of Avis offer guaranteed low rates and quality services to members of NARFE. Mention ID# A991900.


LIFE LINE SCREENING Life Line Screening, America’s leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will conduct the following screenings using state-of-the-art ultrasound technology in your neighborhood: 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 these test results with your doctor. All four screenings cost just $135. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-324-9906 and give the operator code number: BKHN075 or visit www.lifelinescreening. com/NARFE. Coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.

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.


Order Official NARFE name badges, customizable NARFE logo products and plaques. Call toll-free 855-99NARFE (855-996-2733)


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 2011 November December January 2012 February March April May June July August September

223.043 222.813 222.166 223.216 224.317 226.304

MONTHLY % CHANGE % CHANGE FROM 223.2 -0.29 -0.10 -0.29 +0.5 +0.5 +0.89

Stock Funds Decline in April ByTracey Ray


fter an excellent first quarter, the Thrift Savings Plan’s stock funds took a breather in April, and the C, S and I Funds all declined. The I Fund was the worst performing fund as it fell more than twice as much as the C and S Funds. Seven out of 17 eurozone countries are now officially in recession, as is the United Kingdom. A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. In the United States, a continuing stream of disappointing economic data contrasted with corporate earnings reports that consistently beat analysts’ forecasts. That tug of war between good and bad news resulted in the C and S Funds declining less than 1 percent.

Tracey Ray is chief investment officer of the Thrift Savings Plan. 58

-0.09 -0.19 -0.48 -0.01 +0.49 +1.38

CPI Up Again in March


he Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 0.89 percent in March. To calculate the 2013 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), the indices of July, August and September 2012 will be averaged for a thirdquarter determinant, which will be compared with the 2011 thirdquarter base of 223.233. The March index of 226.304 is up 1.38 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. March’s index is 1.86 percent higher than the December 2011 base index of 222.166. ■

Thrift Savings Plan Investments* Month G Fund 0.25% 2011 May June 0.21% July 0.22% August 0.19% September 0.16% October 0.14% November 0.14% December 0.15% 2012 January 0.13% February 0.12% March 0.14% April 0.15% Last 12 Months 2.02%

F Fund 1.31% (0.30%) 1.59% 1.45% 0.73% 0.11% 0.01% 1.01% 0.88% 0.05% (0.61%) 1.12% 7.58%

C Fund (1.13%) (1.67%) (2.04%) (5.44%) (7.03%) 10.93% (0.21%) 1.04% 4.50% 4.34% 3.30% (0.62%) 4.83%

S Fund (1.27%) (2.35%) (3.14%) (8.12%) (10.73%) 14.09% (0.51%) (0.04%) 7.59% 3.99% 2.30% (0.71%) (1.24%)

Month 2011 May June July August September October November December 2012 January February March April Last 12 Months

L 2020 (0.74%) (0.84%) (0.94%) (3.69%) (4.73%) 6.18% (0.34%) 0.11% 3.03% 2.53% 1.23% (0.38%) 0.95%

L 2030 (0.97%) (1.10%) (1.25%) (4.63%) (5.92%) 7.68% (0.49%) 0.09% 3.77% 3.10% 1.49% (0.52%) 0.54%

L 2040 (1.15%) (1.30%) (1.49%) (5.37%) (6.85%) 8.83% (0.62%) 0.07% 4.34% 3.54% 1.68% (0.63%) 0.09%

L Income (0.05%) (0.18%) (0.14%) (1.10%) (1.51%) 2.31% 0.02% 0.20% 1.18% 0.98% 0.54% 0.01% 2.22%

I Fund (2.90%) (1.16%) (1.60%) (9.03%) (10.55%) 9.48% (2.46%) (2.03%) 5.36% 5.14% 0.13% (1.87%) (12.49%) L 2050 (1.39%) (1.48%) (1.75%) (6.16%) (7.80%) 9.92% (0.78%) (0.01%) 4.87% 3.99% 1.86% (0.78%) (0.73%)

*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:



f o r

S e n i o r s

“Ten-ten AM, Thursday, May 10th, 2012”

i n

2 0 1 2

The wristwatch you never have to set… or even see.

Thanks to its revolutionary design, the Talking Atomic Watch gives you accuracy to within a billionth of a second. It gets its signal from the US Atomic Clock, the standard for time keeping worldwide. Plus, all you have to do is push a button, and the watch will “tell” you the time in a clear, easy-to-understand voice. It will even tell you the day and date. Travelling? Touch a button to switch it to any time zone. It’s lightweight and attractive… and it’s always accurate. Call today. 1-877-666-4597. Please mention Promotional Code 44647.

Our Lighted Full-Page Magnifier is hands-free and huge! Our one-of-a-kind magnifying floor lamp combines powerful FULL-PAGE magnification with flexible adjustability and clear, even Balanced Spectrum light. Twelve high-powered LEDs provide ample light for close work and reading. The super-large lens provides 2.5X-plus variable magnification, to easily cover an entire page without glare or hot spots. The ultra-flexible gooseneck positions the lens exactly where you need it. And unlike that magnifier in the drawer, you’ll always know where this one is. Magnifying lens dimensions are a whopping 7.375” x 10”. AC operated. Call today. 1-888-737-2579. Please mention Promotional Code 44648.

A floor lamp that spreads sunshine all over a room. The Balanced Spectrum’s 27-watt compact bulb is brighter than a 100-watt ordinary light bulb. With the lamp’s sharp visibility, you will see with more clarity and enjoyment in close tasks such as reading, writing, sewing, and needlepoint. It is especially helpful for aging eyes. Experience sunshine indoors at the touch of a switch. This amazing lamp is not only easy on the eyes, it is easy on the hands as well, featuring a special “soft-touch, flicker-free” rocker switch that is easier to use than traditional toggle or twist switches. And its flexible gooseneck design enables you to get light exactly where you need it. The high-tech electronics, the user-friendly design, and a bulb that lasts 10 times longer than an ordinary bulb–all these features make the Balanced Spectrum® floor lamp a must-have. Call today. 1-888-737-2569. Please mention Promotional Code 44649.

Big Sound! …from a great little Radio You’ll be amazed at the great sound from this basic AM/FM three-knob radio. It’s small enough for night table or kitchen counter—even fits on a bookcase shelf. Yet the sound is clear, crisp and powerful. And the large-sized tuning dial is easy to see. This AM/FM Receiver is housed in an acoustically balanced wooden enclosure that provides the kind of rich, room-filling sound one would expect from a large, expensive home hi-fi system. A full complement of input and output jacks allows you to listen to your iPod® or portable CD player, too. So, when you’re ready to “dial in” your favorite program the Big Knob Radio is waiting Call today. 1-888-737-2556. Please mention Promotional Code 44650. Copyright © 2012 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. All rights reserved.

Light Blue



Light Pink

Blue Print



Light Pink

4 for 28.97 5 for 34.95

Haband #1 Bargain Place, Jessup, PA 18434-1834 Send ___ blouses. I enclose $_________ purchase price plus $5.99 toward shipping. In GA add tax. Imported Misses Sizes: S(6-8) M(10-12) L(14-16) *Women’s Sizes (just $3 more each):

XL(18-20W) 2XL(22-24W) 3XL(26-28W)

25 3Ø NL 2Ø Ø9 BU YF




#1 Bargain Place Jessup, PA 18434-1834

You’ll wonder how you lived without one! Or three or four or more! Check

Card # ________________________________ Exp.: ____/____ Mr. Mrs. Ms. _________________________________________ Address _________________________________ Apt. # ______ City & State ___________________________ Zip ___________ Phone/Email _________________________________________ 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed or Full Refund of Merchandise Purchase Price! 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.

Tailored with a playful notch at the turnback-or-not cuff, and straight hem that looks equally smart loose or tucked in. This crisp polyester/cotton button down emerges from washer and dryer with nary a wrinkle, looking fresh as day one! Hurry, Order Now and SAVE $8!

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