Chapter President - Susan Ruble
The COLA for 2015 is 1.7. And, those ugly words “Chained CPI” are being tossed around again by our politicians. If we had the Chained CPI in place this year our 1.7 would have been 1.4. NARFE continues to support strong COLAs based on fair assessments of increase in consumer prices to protect the value of federal annuities from inflation.
Health Care selections must be completed by December 8th.
A quick reflection on the year that is about to be completed: The Fort Myers Chapter has had 7 member losses due to death with two of those members being active monthly attendees at our chapter meetings (Dorothy Rhone and Barry Gidley.) The chapter currently has a total of 134 members.
In 2014, we waded into the introduction to FON or the Future of NARFE. This month our new National President, Richard G. Thissen, states in his editorial in the current NARFE Magazine, “Charting Our Course”: “As I said at the recent National Convention and in correspondence throughout the past year, the Association faces challenges that require changes in its structure and how it does business. This is due, in part, to the generational differences and preferences among our two main constituencies. Our older members enjoy the camaraderie of meetings, where they can interact with other like-minded members; our younger members, particularly those who are still employed by the government, tend to put a high premium on their leisure time, given the demands of their work and private lives, and are apt not to join many organizations. We have to appeal to a new generation, while not alienating our current loyal members—those who have built NARFE to be the effective advocacy group that it is today. Headquarters and the new Board will be working on branding NARFE and developing a strategic plan with implementation milestones.”
These are good words and let’s try to help him all we can. We want NARFE to survive!!!
My best to all of you for a joyous holiday season! Join us, if you possibly can for our December 8th meeting.
SECRETARY, Betty Mahofski
As always, we strive to have interesting and informative speakers at every NARFE meeting.
December's Speaker: Edie Wolfley
She will bring us up-to- speed on the events & happenings at the local libraries. We tend to forget how many wonderful events are available to us for free.
January's Speaker: It will be the swearing in of chapter officers by District 8 VP Ron Cibolski and he will bring us information on current District and Federation events.
LEGISLATION - Sharon Bowman
Alexandria, VA – The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) applauds House passage of a measure that would extend, for another five years, the authority of federal agency heads to rehire federal annuitants without a salary offset. The extension was included as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, which passed the House today. NARFE urges swift Senate action on this legislation.
“Over the last five years, this authority has proved important for the successful recruitment, retention and mentorship of our federal civil servants,” said NARFE National President Richard G. Thissen. “This is especially important now, as agencies balance workloads amid an ongoing retirement wave and sequestration-level funding.”
TREASURER'S INFO - Bill Streimer
Calculating tax-exempt portion of annuity
QUESTION: Will the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) calculate the tax-free portion of my annuity and include the information on my 1099-R? I don’t understand why this is referred to as tax-free money.
ANSWER: For most retirees, OPM provides the amount of your annuity that was tax-free on the CSA 1099-R, which you receive each year. But to use that amount in filing your returns, you need to get a copy of Publication 721, Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Retirement Benefits. You can download this guide from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website at www.irs.gov. You also can request a copy by calling the IRS at 800-829-1040. This publication includes the formula to use to compute the amount of your annuity that would be tax-exempt. You will have to calculate this deduction and claim it on your tax return.
You paid taxes on your retirement contributions before they were placed in the retirement fund. The IRS uses your contribution to compute the tax-exempt portion of your annuity. The IRS refers to this deduction as the tax-free portion of your annuity. But it is not really “tax free” because you already paid taxes on your contributions.
OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS
IN EVERY NEWSLETTER, WE PUBLISH THE NAMES OF OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS WE SENT TO WASHINGTON. This list is to remind you that you elected them to represent us. We should let them know that we (NARFE) are strong and have a voice.
SENATOR TELEPHONE FAX EMAIL
Bill Nelson (D) 1-202-224-5274 http://billnelson.senate.gov
Marco Rubio (R) 1-202-224-3041 http://rubio.senate.gov
REPRESENTATIVE TELEPHONE FAX EMAIL
Thomas Rooney (D17) 1- 202-225-3001
Curt Clawson (R19) 1-202-225-2536
CHAPTER 0254 ELECTED OFFICERS FOR 2014
MEMBERSHIP: Sharon Bowman
December 2014 Membership Drive
Special Recruitment Incentives Are Being Offered for the Month of December
Recruiters (that's you) will receive $10 for each new member, current OR retired, who joins in December 2014. (Applications must be postmarked, and calls or website joins must be received, by September 30.)
All December recruiters will be entered into a drawing, once for each new member they have recruited.
A Kindle Fire tablet will be awarded to a recruiter randomly selected from this pool.
NARFE membership brochure, F-135 (08/13), is available at each chapter meeting and should be provided to the prospective new member.
Familiarize Yourself With All the Avenues to Join…
Mail in the F-135 brochure;
Go online to narfe.org and click the Join link;
Call our chapter Membership Chair: Sharon Bowman
Use the application that appears in every issue of NARFE magazine.
Don’t Forget Your Recruiter ID (NARFE Membership ID # which can be found on the label of your NARFE magazine)…
Credit for recruitment can be given only if the ID number of the recruiting member is provided upon joining.
We look forward to making December a terrific recruitment month – one that will reinvigorate all the would-be recruiters among us!
IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS ARTICLE:
Ann S. Murray died on November 11, 2014 at the age of eighty-eight, after many years of service to her country and to NARFE. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Robert B. Murray.
Mrs. Murray proudly served her country as an employee of the U. S. Postal Service. Mrs. Murray was married to her husband, Robert for thirty eight years. She has four children, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
After her retirement she became a Life Member of NARFE and served as Membership Chair, Newsletter Editor and President of Chapter 1088. At the Florida Federation level she was named Woman of the year in 2003 and she received an award for Distinguished Service in 2010. Also in the Florida Federation she served as Membership Chair, Secretary and was President of the Florida Federation from 1999 through 2001. Following her term as Florida Federation President she remained very active in NARFE frequently voicing her opinion on matters being discussed on the convention floor. NARFE was a very important part of her life and she was truly dedicated to the organization. She earned the respect of all of her NARFE associates throughout Florida and all who knew her will remember her for her tireless and enthusiastic support of NARFE initiatives.
SERVICE OFFICER - Emma & Joe Valla
The NARFE Chapter 0254 Service Officer provides emotional support and assistance to the family on the loss of their loved ones. A booklet “Be Prepared for Life’s Events’ is available to help plan for this trying time for the survivors.
NARFE SUPPORTS ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH:
NARFE reaches goal of $11 million for Alzheimer's research.
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association is proud to announce that the Association has met its cumulative giving goal of "$11 million in 2014" raised to support Alzheimer's research. NARFE, in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association, has been engaged in the fight to win the war against Alzheimer's disease since 1985. NARFE members consistently have given generously of their time and dollars, finding creative ways to expand their fundraising efforts. At the NARFE National Convention in August, delegates voted to set a new goal of $12 million by 2016. The program is strictly voluntary in nature, with 100 percent of all donations going to support Alzheimer's research. Members can give via the NARFE website, or use the coupon on the donation page in every issue of NARFE magazine.
HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE NEXT CHAPTER MEETING
Meet with your fellow Federal retirees and help us build a stronger Chapter and let our elected Senators and Representative know NARFE is watching them. After the meeting we have lunch. The Smoke'n Pit has some great food and lots of it.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q Why should I attend the monthly Chapter meeting?
A Supporting our Chapter by attending our monthly meeting is a way of keeping NARFE strong.
A strong NARFE helps to ensure that what we worked for will not be bargained away or reduced like so many other
programs Congress has looked at.
Q What happens at these meeting?
A At each meting we usually have a guest speaker. Our speaker's subject material is usually issues important to the group.
Q Can I learn anything?
A By attending the monthly meeting you will learn about future legislations that Congress is proposing.
Knowing in advance what Congress is proposing, we can lobby Congress like the big companies do, and have our
Representative and Senators support us.
Q How long are the meeting?
A Meetings start at 10:30 A.M. and run about an hour to an hour and a half. After the meeting we have lunch. The Smoke'n
Pit food is very good and reasonable priced.
Q How about FUN at these meeting?
A Depending on the time of year, we plan our Christmas party or a summer outing. This past summer our Chapter went on
the BIG M casino boat, The weather was perfect and so was the buffet.
Q What else takes place at the meeting?
A Chapter meetings are A VALUABLE source of important information - What next year's COLA will be, What is going on in Congress on legislations that will effect NARFE Members (Florida has 165,000 annuitants) and any events that need immediate action such as phone calls, email, or letters to Representatives.
Attending the meetings will also give you a chance to meet other Federal retirees and participate in a worth while
cause, protecting your retirement check.