Why I Support NARFE

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Why I value my NARFE Membership!

  • 1.  Why I value my NARFE Membership!

    Posted 06-17-2022 14:17
     It is important for an organization to be meaningful, helpful and purposeful to the members in order to maintain existing members and to recruit new members.  Joining NARFE for the magazine is only a small, but important, part of becoming a member of an organization that has endured for more than 100 years.  I've found that over the years, when I join an organization, I look for the same things... something that relates to my personal circumstances that is interesting and worthwhile. 

    NARFE has consistently been that for me since I joined in 1988.  Back then, I was just turning 30 and far from retirement, but I had a job as a retirement counselor at the FBI at their headquarters on Pennsylvania Ave in DC.  NARFE provided a great way for me to learn more about federal retirement.  I used to use the Q & A column in the magazine to teach myself how to become a better retirement specialist.  I covered the answers to the questions to see if I could figure out the answers myself!  I found the stories of federal workers and their careers to be inspirational and encouraging.  I wasn't crazy about the advertisements for Velcro shoes and electric scooters, but at age 30, those weren't very relevant to me (but I later learned how those advertisers were vital to paying the cost of production of this award winning publication)! 

    Later on, I found NARFE to be an organization that I wanted to become involved in and I finally started to find time to become involved in my local chapter in Virginia.  There I made friends and learned more about the advocacy side of NARFE.  I even attended my first legislative conference.  There is where my eyes were opened to the role NARFE plays in keeping Members of Congress interested and informed of the power that the millions of federal employees and retirees have in guiding legislation.  You're right that proposals that are in Congress that will improve the lives of federal employees and retirees are not always easy to pass, but the fact that they are still there as proposals for years after the first introduction in Congress, is a sign that they are worth pursuing.  There are many examples of success due to the lobbying efforts of NARFE's expert team of advocacy professionals.  I still remember when the Medicare Catastrophic Protection Act of 1988 was repealed thanks to the hard work of NARFE members led by the advocacy team.  Every year, NARFE fights hard by supporting legislation that will preserve and protect your hard-earned retirement benefits and they work hard to prevent legislation that will unfairly single out federal workers and retirees from changes that will erode the value of those same benefits.  On the Advocacy pages of the NARFE website, you can read about NARFE's efforts to repeal the unfair Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) penalties.  We've never been closer to forcing a House vote. H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act, would repeal both WEP and GPO. It now has 276 bipartisan cosponsors – just shy of the 290-mark needed to queue it up for a House vote. Contact your Representative today to urge his or her support – or thank your legislator for backing the bill. Your efforts could help push us over the finish line on this effort. 

    To feel more connected, I encourage you to attend a future Legislative Conference to learn how this work is done and have a chance to meet your Members of Congress face to face.  I was impressed that I was able to sit down with a small group of NARFE members in a conference room on  Capitol Hill for a chance to meet with our representatives in the House and Senate... who gets to do that??!!  In addition, we were taken on a private tour by a member of Congress who had endless stories of things that took place in the rooms of the Capitol.  I will never forget those experiences!  I attended the virtual Legislative Conference during the Pandemic and met with our representatives via Zoom calls in Florida where I now live and was equally impressed that this was possible through my NARFE membership! 

    Since 2015, I've become a partner with NARFE and my company, Retire Federal, has helped in forming the Federal Benefits Institute where we not only provide one-on-one assistance by helping NARFE members by answering emails and phone calls, but we create and present live training events on a monthly basis to educate and explain the complex array of federal retirement and insurance benefits to be sure our members are prepared for retirement and are equipped to make important decisions including the all important and confusing question regarding the need to enroll in Medicare Part B!  Mark Keen, CFP, is also a member of the Federal Benefits Institute team who provides tax, financial and estate planning education.  We are all dedicated to helping federal employees and retirees understand and receive their earned benefits.  During the FEDcon22 event that is coming up in August attendees will learn through sessions taught by both the benefits and the advocacy teams and we all look forward to meeting NARFE members in person and providing valuable education.  There will also be outside experts and speakers brought in to inform us and entertain us as we meet old friends and make new friends at this national event that occurs every other year.  I hope to meet many NARFE members in Scottsdale at FEDcon22!  I challenge you to come to Scottsdale!  I would love to meet you!

    The bottom line of finding meaning in this organization or any organization, for that matter, is becoming involved.  Start by finding your chapter.  Use the Chapter locater on the NARFE Website:  https://www.narfe.org/membership/narfe-chapters/  I hope that you will find, as I have, that NARFE membership is well worth the small price of membership in exchange for the education, representation and the chance to stay connected to your federal family through association as I have for the past 34 years that I've been a member of NARFE!
    Steps of the Capitol
    Legislative Conference 2015

    Tammy Flanagan
    Lakewood Ranch FL
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