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November 2011 NARFE Magazine


  • For people like me, who want a cell phone thats easy to use.Over the years, cell phones have become smaller and smaller with so many complicated features. ey are harder to programand harder to use. But the Jitterbug cell phone has simplied everything, so its not only easy to use,its easy to try. No crowded malls, no waiting inline, no confusing sales people, or complicatedplans. Aordable and convenient cell phoneservice is only a toll-free phone call away.

    e cell phone thats right for me. Sometimes I think the people who designedthis phone and the rate plans had me inmind. e phone ts easily in my pocket,and ips open to reach from my mouth tomy ear. e display is large and backlit, so Ican actually see who is calling. With a push of a button I can amplify the volume, and if I dont know a number, I can simplypush 0 for a friendly, helpful operatorthat will look it up and even dial it for me. e Jitterbug also reducesbackground noise, making thesound loud and clear. eres evena dial tone, so I know the phone isready to use.

    Aordable plans that I can understand and no contractto sign! Unlike other cell phones,Jitterbug has plans that make

    sense. Why should I pay for minutes Im never going to use?And if I do talk more than I plan, I wont nd myself with nominutes like my friend who has a prepaid phone. Best of all,

    there is no contract to sign so Im not locked in for yearsat a time or subject to termination fees. e U.S.based

    customer service is second to none, and the phone gets service virtually anywhere in the country.

    Call now and get a FREE CarCharger and FREE Leather Carrying Case a $43.99 value.Try Jitterbug for 30 days and if you don't love it, just return it1.Why wait, the Jitterbug comesready to use right out of the box. If you arent as happy with it as I am, you can return it for a refund

    of the purchase price. Call now, theJitterbug product experts are ready to

    answer your questions.

    IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: Jitterbug is owned by GreatCall, Inc. Your invoices will come from GreatCall. All rate plans and services require the purchase of a Jitterbug phone and a one-time set up fee of $35. Coverage and serviceis not available everywhere. Other charges and restrictions may apply. Screen images simulated. There are no additional fees to call Jitterbugs 24-hour U.S. Based Customer Service. However, for calls to an Operator in which a service is completed, minutes will be deducted from your monthly balance equal to the length of the call and any call connected by the Operator, plus an additional 5 minutes. Monthly rate plans do not include government taxes or assessment surcharges. Prices and fees subject to change. 1We will refund the full price of the Jitterbug phone if it is returned within 30 days of purchase in like-new condition. We will also refund your first monthly service charge if you have less than30 minutes of usage. If you have more than 30 minutes of usage, a per minute charge of 35 cents will apply for each minute over 30 minutes. The activation fee and shipping charges are not refundable. Jitterbug is a registered trademark of GreatCall, Inc. Samsung is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and/or its related entities. Copyright 2011 GreatCall, Inc. Copyright 2011 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Monthly RateOperator Assistance

    911 AccessLong Distance Calls

    Voice DialNationwide Coverage

    Friendly Return Policy


    FREENo addl charge


    30 days


    FREENo addl charge


    30 days

    50 100Monthly Minutes




    by $48No



    We proudly accept the following credit cards.

    Available inGraphite and Red.

    More minute plans available. Ask your Jitterbug expert for details.

    Order now and receive a FREE CarCharger and a FREE Leather Carrying Case for your Jitterbug a $43.99 value. Call now!

    Jitterbug Cell PhoneCall now for our NEW low price. Please mention promotional code 43216.


    e worlds simplest cell phone experience.

    It doesnt play music, take pictures, or surf the Internet.

    with rates as low as $3.75 per week!



  • For Active and Retired Federal Employees

    RETIREMENT LIFE NOVEMBER 2011, Volume 87, Number 11


    48 Questions &Answers54 NARFENews55 Out &About58 For the Record: TSP Investments, COLAChart


    8 Presidents Deficit Cuts Hit FederalWorkers10 NARFE-Supported Flag Bill Pulled After Protest12 CongressWeighs Postal Service Proposals14 Date Set for Next Legislative Conference16 Verify Those Chain E-mails!18 Scenes from Grass-Roots Advocacy Month19 Civics 101: Info Available, Feedback Needed

    NARFE ResourcesNARFE-PACCoupon . . . . . . . .16

    MembershipApplication . . . . . .53

    LifeMembershipApplication . . .54

    Alzheimers Coupon . . . . . . . . .55

    NARFEMember Perks . . . . . . .56

    visit us online at

    20 Speculation Swirls Around Supercommittee.The November 23 deadline for the panel tocomplete its deficit-reduction bill is looming. Itis unclear how feds might fareor even if thepanel can reach an agreement.


    Cover design by Jim Richards

    Like us on Facebook (Narfe National Headquarters)

    SPECIALSECTION34 Open Season Report

    2012 FEHBP Rates

    COLUMNS6 Message From theNational President

    24 Managing Money

    26 LiveWell

    28 Benefits Checkup

    30 Civil Service CareerCoach

  • 4 NOVEMBER 2011 | NARFE

    NARFE MAGAZINEVolume 87,Number 11

    Editor,Margaret M. CarterAssistant Editor, Donna J. St. JohnEditorial Administrator, Toni VallarioGraphic Designer, Beth BedardContributing Designers, Charlene Gridley, Jim RichardsEditorial Board: Joseph A. Beaudoin, Paul H. Carew, Elaine Hughes, Richard G.Thissen

    Editorial Office:NARFE, Attn:NARFEmagazine, 606 NorthWashington St., Alexan-dria, VA 22314-1914; Phone: 703-838-7760; Fax: 703-838-7781; E-mail:

    Advertising Sales: Warren Berger, Media People Inc., 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 725,New York, NY 10168; 212-779-7172, ext. 223; E-mail:

    NARFE for the Visually ImpairedOn the Telephone: This publication can be heard on the telephone by persons whohave trouble seeing or reading the print edition. For more information, contact theNational Federation of the Blind NFB-NEWSLINE service at 866-504-7300 or go

    On Tape: Issues ofNARFEmagazine are also available on cassette through theNational Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. To find out aboutavailability 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 or-ganization [not a union]; however, dues and gifts or contributions to the Association arenot deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.


    NATIONALOFFICERSJOSEPHA. BEAUDOIN, President; natpres@narfe.orgPAULH. CAREW, Vice President; natvp@narfe.orgELAINEHUGHES, Secretary; natsec@narfe.orgRICHARDG. THISSEN, Treasurer;

    NARFE (ISSN 1948-4453) is published monthly by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), 606 N.Washington St.,Alexandria,VA 22314.Periodi-cals postage paid at Alexandria,VA, and additional mailing offices.Members:Annual dues includes subscription. Non-member subscription rate $45. Postmaster: Send addresschange to: NARFE Attn:Member Records,NARFE 606 N.Washington St.,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 pictures and 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 of products and/orservices 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 dis-honest advertisement to appear in NARFE,but at the same time we will not undertake to guarantee the reliability of our advertisers.

    REGION I (Acting) Augie Stratoti(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, NewHampshire, New York, Rhode Island andVermont)Tel: 603-889-1073E-mail:

    REGION II Ronald P. Bowers(Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland,New Jersey and Pennsylvania)Tel: 410-308-0420E-mail:

    REGION III Donald Stewart(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi,Puerto Rico, South Carolina and VirginIslands)Tel: 305-442-6388E-mail:

    REGION IV Paul E. Johnson(Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio andWisconsin)Tel: 812-306-5137E-mail:

    REGIONV Carol R. Ek(Iowa, Kansas,Minnesota,Missouri,Nebraska, NorthDakota and SouthDakota)Tel: 620-241-1131E-mail:

    REGIONVI Jerome S. Smith(Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma,Republic of Panama and Texas)Tel: 903-534-5849E-mail:

    REGIONVII Betty Lucero-Turner(Arizona, Colorado, NewMexico, Utah andWyoming)Tel: 719-583-0910E-mail:

    REGIONVIII Helen L. Zajac(California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevadaand Republic of Philippines)Tel: 707-644-7565E-mail:

    REGION IX LannyG. Ross(Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon andWashington)Tel: 360-692-9741E-mail:

    REGIONX WilliamF.Martin(Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee,Virginia andWest Virginia)Tel: 540-872-3345E-mail:

    Heres How toContac