Saturday, December 1, 2018

It’s amazing how two words can mean so much. THANK YOU!


 Your donations to NARFE are invaluable and I truly appreciate all your past support.

 #Giving Tuesday is a grassroots movement, taking root around the nation and in each of our communities.
 As a NARFE member, YOU are our grassroots.


 We have a lot of work ahead of us in 2019, and with your help I am optimistic that we can continue to be victorious. 



Message from NARFE President Ken Thomas: 

“NARFE commends Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA, for introducing the Equal COLA Act, legislation he crafted in coordination with NARFE. Current law cheats Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirees and fails to protect their earned annuities from the erosion of inflation by depriving them full cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). Change is long overdue, and Connolly’s legislation would right a wrong that existed since the creation of FERS in the 1980s. All federal retirees deserve a full COLA to maintain the value of the annuities they earned. Please join me in calling upon Congress to correct this inequity and ask your legislators to cosponsor this legislation.”

Legislation Introduced to Protect FERS Annuities

Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retirees and Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 2.8 percent COLA in 2019, maintaining the value of their benefits in the face of rising consumer prices. FERS retirees, on the other hand, will only receive a 2 percent COLA in 2019, allowing inflation to erode the earned value of their annuities. This unfair discrepancy is supported by current federal law due to a bargain struck in Congress during the creation of FERS in the 1980s. Based on this law, FERS COLAs are unfairly capped at 2 percent when the full COLA falls somewhere between 2 and 3 percent, as it did for 2019.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA, introduced the Equal COLA Act, H.R. 7165, to remedy the disparate FERS COLA calculation policy and provide all federal retirees with full COLAs and adequate protection from rising inflation. NARFE worked closely with Rep. Connolly in the creation of this legislation and will continue to support Connolly as he shepherds the legislation through the House. NARFE will carry on fighting so that all federal annuities are shielded from erosion, as all federal retirees living on fixed incomes are impacted by rising consumer prices and all federal retirees earned their annuities through dedicated public service. Please raise your voice in support of H.R. 7165 and compel your legislators to cosponsor this legislation.

Federal Pay Raise Still Undecided

Congress must pass the 1.9 percent federal employee pay raise before January, or else the president’s proposed pay freeze will be implemented. The House and Senate are currently locked in negotiations for H.R. 6147 to reconcile the two chambers’ versions of the minibus appropriations bill. The Senate included language for a 1.9 percent pay raise in its bill while the House remained silent on federal pay. Though media outlets reported that a tentative agreement was struck between Senate and House Republicans in favor of a 1.9 percent raise, this is yet to be solidified. With an approaching December 7 appropriations deadline, legislators are straining to pass the remaining seven appropriations bills, including H.R. 6147, and a continuing resolution (CR) extending last year's funding levels for the remaining appropriations bills may become necessary. Whether the federal pay raise will be included in either H.R. 6147 or as an anomaly to a CR remains to be seen.

NARFE worked tirelessly to provide federal employees with a much-deserved pay raise in 2019 in the face of strong opposition from the White House. This fight is coming to a culminating point, and we must keep the pressure on. Please pressyour representatives in Congress to support a modest, much-deserved 1.9 percent federal employee pay raise, whether through H.R. 6147 or a CR. We cannot allow the administration to single out Feds during a strengthening economy and while the private sector experiences steady wage increases.

OPM Identity Protection Contract Set to Expire

The Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) contract with ID Experts to offer complimentary credit and identity monitoring, identity theft insurance and identity restoration services to millions of active and retired federal employees and contractors compromised by the 2015 cyberattacks is set to expire on December 31, 2018. The three-year contract was established following two egregious cyberattacks that targeted OPM records and stole sensitive personal information of more than 21 million individuals.

OPM is now soliciting quotes from vendors using the General Services Administration Identity Protection Services Multiple Award Blanket Purchase Agreement to rebid the contract. The agency expects to complete the re-compete by the end of December 2018. OPM reported to NARFE that services offered to the victims currently enrolled with ID Experts will be extended through June 30, 2019, with no interruption of services and at no cost to participants. According to the agency, these individuals do not need to take any action at this time and can expect no changes to their current coverage. Updates will be made available on the OPM Cybersecurity Resource Center website.

The 2015 breaches left many in the federal community victimized and vulnerable after their personal information was stolen. With a sense of vulnerability and uncertainty renewed by the impending expiration of the current contract and OPM’s delayed action, it is paramount that OPM provides victims with clarity through timely notifications on what to expect for the remaining seven years of mandated protection. Further, the threat of identity theft will not expire with the end of the ten-year mandate set by Congress to provide identity protection services. Because of this, NARFE strongly supports the RECOVER Act, H.R. 5765, introduced by Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC, and Dutch Ruppersberger, D-MD. This vitally important legislation would provide lifetime identity protection services for affected individuals.

Grassroots Corner

Only two weeks remain to secure early bird registration for LEGcon19. Register today for NARFE’s Legislative Training Conference where you’ll learn how best to engage with legislators and staff, develop best practices for communicating your concerns and participate in a NARFE day on Capitol Hill. Join hundreds of fellow NARFE members for this three-day training conference, March 10–13, 2019, at the Mark Center Hilton Hotel in Alexandria, VA.

LEGcon19 is open to all NARFE members interested in learning how to advance NARFE’s legislative priorities and protect members of the federal community from having their earned pay and benefits cut. The $199 early-bird registration fee will be available through December 15. After registering for LEGcon19, don’t forget to book your hotel room at the NARFE rate of $175 per night. For more information on the hotel, click here.

Additional information about the conference is available on the LEGcon19 website. If you have any questions, please contact the Advocacy Department at advocacy@narfe.org. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!


Obtaining the Hotline

This weekly advocacy message is emailed to NARFE members, posted on the NARFE website and available to NARFE members via telephone by calling 1-800-456-8410 and selecting option 4. Past editions are archived online for NARFE member access. If you have any questions regarding the information in this Hotline, please email NARFE’s Advocacy Department at advocacy@narfe.org or call 1-800-456-8410 and select option 3.

NewsWatch November 28, 2018 Click on Photo


Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Kentucky Federation Conference (KYcon19

Good Afternoon KY Federation members:
The Kentucky Federation Conference (KYcon19) will be held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel located in Frankfort, Kenucky. The conference will begin at 1:00pm on Monday, May 13,2019 and conclude at 1:00pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
We will have as our guest from National Headquarters, Barb Cido, NARFE's Executive Director. We are also planning to have prominent speakers, workshops and a banquet  Further information to follow as the planning comes together, stay tuned.
We hope to see you at your conference.

NewsWatch November 21, Click on Link Below



http://multibriefs.com/briefs/NARFE/NARFE112118.php

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Obituary for Barry Ernest Gilbert
Chapter 1730 Trigg County

Col. (Ret.) Barry E. Gilbert
Obituary
On the evening of November 13, 2018, Barry E. Gilbert, beloved husband and father of four, died at the age of 71 in his hometown of Marion, Kentucky.
Barry was born on March 16, 1947, in Marion, Kentucky, that part of western Kentucky he would later to describe to anyone he met as God’s Country. He distinguished himself here at an early age through a number of memorable events at Fohs Hall School. In first grade, his teacher had left the room, creating a leadership vacuum. At the urging of his classmates, he assumed that leadership position, and determined that everyone should leave. When he pulled the fire alarm, he evacuated the entire school. Another memorable event occurred on his 10th birthday, when he invited everyone in his class to his home for a birthday party…without alerting his parents beforehand. He led his singing band of friends marching to his home on College Street where his surprised mother scolded the birthday boy—but she also ran to the store for ice cream and treats. 
Barry distinguished himself as a professional through his devotion to his country. As a member of the KY Army National Guard, he served for 29 years in Armories in Hopkinsville, Marion, Paducah, Louisville, and Frankfort. As a full-time Guardsman, he spent many weekends a month and many months a summer leading training exercises and maneuvers with the Armored Battalion. Twice he trained with units on the West Germany-East Germany border. His commitment to excellence and hard work drove him to lead by example, and he gained the trust of anyone who worked with him by never asking anyone to do anything he himself would not do. By the time of his retirement from active duty, he had achieved the rank of Colonel, served as the state Director of Surface Maintenance, sat on several national committees, and earned numerous Awards for Meritorious Service, Commendation, and Achievement. For most of the last 40 years, his homes had flagpoles, and those flagpoles flew both the national and state flags.
Barry distinguished himself as an adult through his devotion to his family. His love and adoration for his parents and sisters brought him joy in childhood and inspired him as he and his wife Patty “PJ” started their own family. From their first date 50 years ago at the 88 Dip, through the numerous places they have lived, to fulfilling his lifelong dream of building a home on his family farm, they loved and adored each other and their children, persevering through good times and bad. If success is to be measured in the quality of the world one leaves for the next generation, then Barry and Patty have been wildly successful, raising children and grandchildren who are just as marvelous, just as hard-working, just as creative, and just as attractive as their parents.
Barry distinguished himself in “retirement” in so many ways. He served as City Administrator for the City of Marion, and worked for a time at Henry & Henry. He spent time driving members of the Amish community around the area, and loved sharing their jokes and stories. As a jolly old elf stepping in when Santa himself was unavailable, he donned the red and white uniform, tossing candy from the tops of fire trucks in local parades, and listening intently to children’s requests for the holidays. On Sunday mornings, he enjoyed serving as a Greeter at Marion Baptist Church, checking in on friends and neighbors. For many years, he organized and orchestrated a variety of patriotic services for the community, honoring and celebrating veterans. 
Every morning he would call his sister Judy, and every week he would call his children. He remembered birthdays and anniversaries, sending cards and calling to “punish” you with his singing. Although he loved his family, he held a special place in his heart for his father’s Ford tractor, his own ’57 Chevy two-door hardtop, the Kentucky Wildcats, many baseball caps and walking sticks and all things chocolate including his faithful Chocolate Lab Lucy. 
Barry’s infectious laugh and outgoing personality will be sorely missed. He loved joking with the few people older than himself, and was always enjoyed pointing out when he was the oldest person in the room. He adored small children, and jokingly pretended he could never remember their names. He enjoyed the company of others, and laughed loudest on his senior bus tours. He felt the importance of comforting others, and took seriously his role “working the door” at Gilbert Funeral Home, greeting everyone with a warm open spirit. And for those who always ask, the Gilberts of Gilbert Funeral Home are good friends, but no relation.
Barry’s friends and family had a startlingly wide range of nicknames and honors they bestowed upon him, including, but not limited to, Butch, Pop, Staaaanley, Pap-paw, Uncle Barry, Duke of Paducah, Kentucky Colonel, Honorary Captain of the Belle of Louisville, and Honorary Knight of the Order of St. George. He was a very gracious host, and though he was very protective of his “toys”, he opened his home during the recent Solar Eclipse to a small platoon of friends and strangers from Louisville and Lexington—he even had enough room in his heart to let UofL fans spend the night.
He will be sorely missed and is survived by his beloved wife Patty “PJ” (Perryman) Gilbert, cherished sister Judy (Gilbert) McDowell, children: Don/Misty Gilbert, Chris/Helga Gilbert, Wendy Gilbert, and Fred Gilbert, grandchildren: Nick, Luke, Anna, and Isabel, nieces: Angela McDowell and Rita (Armstrong) Schuessel, cherished pet: Lucy, and granddogs: Roscoe, Sophie, and Felix. He was preceded in death by his dear parents Crawford and Anna Gilbert, loving sister Barbara (Gilbert) Armstrong, and dear niece Pamela (McDowell) Tindell. 
Services are scheduled for 2 PM Sunday November 18, 2018 at Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion, KY. with interment in Mapleview Cemetery. The family will receive visitors from 5-8 PM Saturday at the funeral home.
While flowers are appreciated, the family asks that donations be made to the Mapleview Cemetery or to the Mary Hall Ruddiman Canine Shelter, both located in Marion, Kentucky.

This Obit was written by  his Children

Monday, November 12, 2018

Worry - Free estate Planning for FEDS Click on photo.



NARFE Legislative Hotline November 9, 2018











Message from NARFE President Ken Thomas:

“Registration for LEGcon19, NARFE’s 2019 Legislative Training Conference, is now open. All NARFE members, from our most seasoned advocates to our newest members, are invited to join us for this event. NARFE’s tireless advocacy is what stands between all hard-working, middle-class Feds and unfair cuts to your earned pay and benefits. We weathered countless attacks in the past and our success means we will continue to face these threats in the future. For this reason, it is essential that we continue to enhance our advocacy skills. At LEGcon19, you will be able to put what you learn to work immediately with meetings on Capitol Hill, but you will also return to your community to help lead NARFE’s advocacy efforts. I hope to see you in March.”

Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Released 

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) in October. OPM conducts this survey annually to measure the perspectives of federal employees of different job types and from across the country regarding job satisfaction, agency leadership, compensation and more. The 2018 FEVS was distributed as a census to all permanent, non-seasonal federal employees.

Respondents’ answers display the hard-working nature of the federal workforce and their desire to improve and better meet agency goals. Highlights include: 96 percent of respondents reported they are willing to put in extra effort to get a job done; 91 percent agree they are constantly looking for ways to do their jobs better; 90 percent believe their work is important; and, 84 percent believe they produce high quality work in their work unit. Meanwhile, some survey answers regarding managers’ ability to deal with performance and rewards could be used as fuel to push for civil service modernization proposals, such as pay-for-performance and increased employee accountability. For example, among non-supervisory employee respondents, only 28 percent believe that steps are taken to deal with a poor performer in their work unit who cannot improve, only 25 percent believe that pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs and only 34 percent believe that promotions in their work unit are based on merit.

Overall employee engagement for 2018 scored 68 percent, up one point from last year and continuing modest increases since 2014. Employee engagement measures are based on employees’ perceptions of leadership, employees’ relationships with supervisors and employees’ feelings of motivation and competency in the workplace. The top agency scores include: 89 percent for the U.S. Office of Government Ethics among very small agencies; 85 percent for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service among small agencies; 83 percent for the Federal Trade Commission among medium agencies; 82 percent for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration among large agencies; and, 73 percent for the Department of Health and Human Services among very large agencies.

Global satisfaction, which assesses job, pay and organizational employee satisfaction as well as whether employees would recommend their agencies as good places to work, remained steady at 64 percent. The top agency global satisfaction scores include: a tie at 83 percent for the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and the National Capital Planning Commission among very small agencies; 88 percent for the National Indian Gaming Commission among small agencies; 82 percent for the Securities and Exchange Commission among medium agencies; 80 percent for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration among large agencies; and, 71 percent for the Department of Health and Human Services among very large agencies.

Open Season Is Here! 

The 2018 Federal Benefits Open Season for the 2019 plan year will soon be upon us, running November 12 through December 10. NARFE members should use this time to make sure they have the health plans that suit them and their families’ needs in the coming year. Through public service, you earned access to a wide variety of health plans, so do your due diligence and take full advantage of this hard-earned benefit. This is your chance to enroll, change plans, change enrollment type or cancel coverage in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). This is also an opportunity for employees to enroll or re-enroll in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS).

If you decide not to act, your current FEHB and FEDVIP plans will remain the same automatically, so long as your current plans did not end coverage in your service area or cease program participation, but keep in mind that changes in coverage and premiums may occur. FSAFEDS, however, requires re-enrollment during Open Season for each plan year. You cannot enroll, re-enroll or cancel coverage for any of these programs outside of Open Season unless you experience a “Qualifying Life Event.”

For a listing of premiums and further information provided by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) please click here, or take a deep dive into the November issue of NARFE Magazine. OPM also offers an FEHB health plan comparison tool to inform your enrollment decision, though the agency strongly recommends that you refer to the individual FEHB brochures before making your final enrollment decision, as the brochure is the official statement of benefits.

Register for the NARFE-PAC 2018 Election Recap Webinar

After many months of campaigning, the 2018 midterm elections are complete. Americans took to the polls all across the country to cast their ballots and the results are in. With the election now over, join the NARFE Advocacy Department for an upcoming webinar and find out more about the important work of NARFE-PAC during this election cycle.

Settle in with NARFE Advocacy Department's Deputy Director John Hatton and Political Associate Ross Apter as they breakdown the results of the election and discuss some of the key races where NARFE-PAC played a critical role. Get the latest on the strength of NARFE-PAC and find out more about what could potentially be in store for the federal community in the 116th Congress. You don’t want to miss out.

The “NARFE-PAC 2018 Election Recap” webinar, including Q&A, will be held on Tuesday, November 13, at 2 p.m. ET. Registration for this live event is limited to the first 1,000 registrants, so click here to register now.

For questions about this upcoming webinar, please contact advocacy@narfe.org

Grassroots Corner

LEGcon19 registration is open! Register today to secure your spot at LEGcon19, NARFE’s Legislative Training Conference. You’ll learn how best to engage with legislators and staff, develop best practices for communicating your concerns and participate in a NARFE day on Capitol Hill. Join hundreds of fellow NARFE members for this three-day training conference, March 10 – 13, 2019, at the Mark Center Hilton Hotel in Alexandria, VA.

LEGcon19 is open to all NARFE members interested in learning how to advance NARFE’s legislative priorities and protect members of the federal community from having their earned pay and benefits cut.

The $199 early-bird registration fee will be available through December 15. After registering for LEGcon19, don’t forget to book your hotel room at the NARFE rate of $175 per night. For more information on the hotel, click here.

Additional information about the conference is available on the LEGcon19 website. If you have any questions, please contact the Advocacy Department at advocacy@narfe.org. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Obtaining the Hotline

This weekly advocacy message is emailed to NARFE members, posted on the NARFE website and available to NARFE members via telephone by calling 1-800-456-8410 and selecting option 4. Past editions are archived online for NARFE member access. If you have any questions regarding the information in this Hotline, please email NARFE’s Advocacy Department at advocacy@narfe.org or call 1-800-456-8410 and select option 3.