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SAN FRANCISCO, CA

President's Report

OCTOBER 2017

GREETINGS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL CHAPTER MEMBERS WITH BIRTHDAYS AND/OR ANNIVERSARIES IN OCTOBERů

Protect Your Earned Benefits: While the government is now funded until December 8, there are still significant movements toward cutting the earned benefits of federal workers and annuitants. The current budget process continues and the House Budget Committee instructed the committee with jurisdiction over federal retirement benefits to find $32 billion in savings. Thus, we may hear as December approaches how the committee might propose these "savings." So please be vigilant and remain in contact with your elected representatives.  Not speaking up is tantamount to acceptance. NARFE was founded to ensure that federal employees and retirees are respected and appropriately compensated with benefits. You are NARFE and you are those that have committed to serving the public and advocating for respect and protection of earned benefits. Why not send a letter today to your congressperson or senator and let them know that federal workers deserve respect for their service and deserve to be provided with reasonable wages and benefits. Federal workers make our nation great every day by protecting our country and its citizens, providing services, and preserving the rights of many. Trying to place more "savings" on the backs of these public servants is not the way to make our country great.

Recruitment Efforts at Upcoming Health Fairs: I am pleased to say that our chapter continues to recruit new NARFE members every month. So far this year Chapter members have recruited more than 25 new members. Your membership committee under the able leadership of Mike Crahan, Membership Chair, and Juanita Lott, Second Vice President, will continue an active year of recruitment by attending and passing out literature at a number of upcoming Health Fairs. Some of the larger health fairs at which we will be recruiting include:  90 Seventh Street Federal Building November 8th, 9am, VA Medical Center November 9th 9am, Golden Gate Federal Building on both November 29th and December 7th at 10 am, and The Environmental Protection Agency, November 29th at 10am. If you would like to assist the membership group, please feel free to contact either Mike or Juanita. Their contact information is located in this newsletter.

Survivor Annuity Benefit Plans: One of our members contacted me recently to share his story about Survivor Annuity Benefit Plans. He believed that making an adjustment to his plan could be beneficial. He quickly discovered that there are significant restrictions on making changes to the plan. Changes in the election to provide or increase the survivor benefit can be made no later than 18-months after retirement. However, once you select a benefit, you cannot reduce the amount of survivor benefit more than 30 days after retirement unless you divorce or your spouse passes away. He found the policy to be inflexible and was concerned that his ability to decrease his annuity a year after retirement was not allowed. He could only increase the benefit but not reduce it even though both he and his wife believed it would be financially beneficial to make this change. Why was he allowed only to increase the benefit but not decrease it? Rightly so, he stated that it might be best for workers to select a lower survivor benefit at retirement since they could increase it during the first 18 months after retirement if they saw the need but could not decrease it after one month into retirement. He wanted to know what we could do to make it so a retiree could either increase or decrease the benefit during the 18 months after retirement. As you know, when it comes to the federal workforce and retirees, Congress controls much of the laws and regulations affecting us. If we want changes we need to find congressional leaders who will address such concerns. You can better understand Spousal Retirement benefits by going online to http://www.myfederalretirement.com/public/fedimpact-spousal-survivor-benefits.cfm.

Jerry Hall
President, Chapter 65
Ph: 415-412-0488

fritz1313@hotmail.com

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