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February 2011 NARFE Magazine


  • For Active and Retired Federal Employees

    RETIREMENT LIFE FEBRUARY 2011, Volume 87,Number 2


    36 Questions &Answers42 Retirement Benefits45 NARFENews50 Out &About51 Letters54 For the Record: TSP Investments, COLAChart


    8 When to Expect Congressional Action onSpending Cuts

    12 Congress Approves Pay Freeze for Feds12 Payment in Lieu of COLADefeated14 President SignsTelework Bill14 2011 House and Senate Work Periods Set16 Whistleblower Bill Fails to Pass in Congress16 Deadline for Legislative Conference February 818 Civics 101: Counts, Clout and Expectations

    NARFE ResourcesLeg.Conference Registration . . .17

    NARFE-FEEACoupon . . . . . . .45

    MembershipApplication . . . . . .49

    Alzheimers Coupon . . . . . . . . .50

    NARFEMember Perks . . . . . . .52

    visit us online at www.narfe.org

    20 NARFE celebrates its 90th Anniversary. Readabout the Associations nine decades ofdefending and improving federal benefits.


    Cover design by Jim Richards

    COLUMNS6 Message From the

    National President

    26 Managing Money

    30 Live Well

    34 Civil Service CareerCoach

    44 Report From theRegions



  • EditorMargaret M. Carter

    Assistant EditorDonna J. St. John

    Graphic DesignerBeth Bedard

    Contributing DesignersCharlene GridleyJim Richards

    Editorial Board:Joseph A. Beaudoin

    Paul H. CarewElaine Hughes

    Charles W. Saylor

    Editorial OfficeNARFE, Attn: NARFEmagazine

    606 North Washington St.Alexandria, VA 22314-1914

    Phone: 703-838-7760 Fax: 703-838-7781E-mail: rl@narfe.org

    National Headquarters Telephone: 703-838-7760

    Fax: 703-838-7785 E-mail: hq@narfe.org

    Toll-free phone numbersMember Records: 800-456-8410E-mail: memberrecords@narfe.org

    Recruitment & Retention: 800-627-3394E-mail: rr@narfe.org

    Legislative Hotline: 877-217-8234

    Web site: www.narfe.org

    Advertising SalesWarren Berger

    Media People Inc.122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725

    New York, NY 10168212-779-7172, ext. 223

    E-mail: wberger@mediapeople.com

    The Association, since July 1970, has beenclassified by the IRS as a tax exempt labor or-ganization [not a union]; however, dues andgifts or contributions to the Association arenot deductible as charitable contributions forincome tax purposes.

    NARFE for the Visually ImpairedOn the Telephone: This publication can beheard on the telephone by persons who havetrouble seeing or reading the print edition.For more information, contact the NationalFederation of the Blind NFB-NEWSLINEservice at 866-504-7300 or go to www.nfbnewsline.org.

    On Tape: Issues of NARFE magazine are alsoavailable on cassette through the National Li-brary Service for the Blind and PhysicallyHandicapped. To find out about availabilityin your area, call 800-424-8567 and ask forthe Reference Section.




    PAUL H. CAREW, Vice Presidentnatvp@narfe.org

    ELAINE HUGHES, Secretary natsec@narfe.org

    CHARLES W. SAYLOR, Treasurer nattreas@narfe.org

    Volume 87, Number 2. NARFE (ISSN 1948-4453) is published monthly by the National Active and Retired Fed-eral Employees Association (NARFE), 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Periodicals postage paid atAlexandria, VA, and additional mailing offices. Members: Annual dues includes subscription. Non-member sub-scription rate $45. Postmaster: Send address change to: NARFE Attn: Member Records, NARFE 606 N. WashingtonSt., Alexandria, VA 22314. To ensure prompt delivery, members should also forward changes of address withoutdelay. Because of the volume involved, NARFE cannot acknowledge nor be responsible for unsolicited picturesand manuscripts, although every reasonable precaution is taken. All submissions become the property of NARFE.Contents of this magazine are copyrighted 2011. Advertisements in the magazine are not endorsements ofproducts and/or services by NARFE, unless officially stated in the ad. We shall accept advertising on the samebasis as other reputable publications: that is, we shall not knowingly permit a dishonest advertisement to ap-pear in NARFE, but at the same time we will not undertake to guarantee the reliability of our advertisers.

    REGION I Gilbert W. Blaisdell(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, NewHampshire, New York, Rhode Island andVermont)3 Larnards CourtAmesbury, MA 01913-3309Tel: 978-388-1830E-mail: narf1568@comcast.net

    REGION II Ronald P. Bowers(Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland,New Jersey and Pennsylvania) 404 Kilree Road, #301Timonium, MD 21093-7599Tel: 410-308-0420 E-mail: narferbowers@msn.com

    REGION III Donald Stewart(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi,Puerto Rico, South Carolina and VirginIslands)531 Sevilla Ave.Coral Gables, FL 33134-5714 Tel: 305-442-6388E-mail: dejs33149@aol.com

    REGION IV Paul E. Johnson(Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio andWisconsin)P.O. Box 234, 7183 Main St.Wadesville, IN 47638-0234Tel: 812-306-5137Fax: 812-673-4989E-mail: pejohnson@tds.net

    REGION V Richard G. Thissen(Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri,Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) P. O. Box 485 Lake Ozark, MO 65049-0485 Tel: 573-365-5679 Fax: 573-964-5074 E-mail: rthissen99@msn.com

    REGION VI Jerome S. Smith(Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Republic of Panama and Texas) 5900 Raleigh Drive Tyler, TX 75703-5636Tel: 903-534-5849 E-mail: retiredjer@aol.com

    REGION VII Betty Lucero-Turner(Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah andWyoming) 4437 Turnberry Crescent Pueblo, CO 81001-1175 Tel: 719-583-0910 E-mail: blturner2311@aol.com

    REGION VIII Helen L. Zajac(California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Republic of Philippines)106 Cottonwood Drive Vallejo, CA 94591-5659 Tel: 707-644-7565 Fax: 707-644-5019E-mail: hlz17@aol.com

    REGION IX Lanny G. Ross(Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon andWashington) 7450 Illahee Road, NE Bremerton, WA 98311-9431Tel: 360-692-9741 Fax: 360-662-0384E-mail: lannyjean@comcast.net

    REGION X William F. Martin(Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee,Virginia and West Virginia) 294 Tyler Point LaneBumpass, VA 23024-4633Tel: 540-872-3345Fax: 540-872-3445E-mail: narfe2065@hughes.net

    4 FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE

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  • 6 FEBRUARY 2011 | NARFE

    February marks the month that, 90 years ago, NARFE was founded. Ifyouve been a NARFE member for any length of time, youve probablyheard the story about howNARFE came to be. On February 19, 1921, 14federal retireesmet inWashington, DC, to form an association dedicatedto improving the status of retired federal employees.

    Andhereweare, some90years later, stillworkingonyourbehalf, notonly to improveyour benefits but also to protect them. Recent actions both from the National Com-missiononFiscalResponsibility andReforms final report and theadministrations call fora freeze on federal pay threaten to place an unfair burden on federal employees andretirees as the government tries towork its way out of the nations fiscal crisis.The Fiscal Commission co-chairs final report includes a proposal to create a task

    force that would make recommendations to Congress to cut federal civilian andmili-tary retirement benefits by $70 billion over 10 years. And evenmore disturbing is thereports plan thatwould require federal employees and annuitants to pay ahigher shareof health insurance premiums. There are a number of other options in the report thatfurther erode our benefits.While we are all aware that these times are difficult, and we want to do our part as

    toughdecisions need to bemade, federal employees and retirees should not be singledout for budget cuts while others are not asked tomake similar sacrifices.As you read the article on page 20 celebratingNARFEs 90 years of service, youwill

    find that we also are celebrating the invaluable contributions that federal employeeshavemade and continue tomake to s