To retire or not to retire, that is only one of many questions facing federal employees thinking about their future in the age of austerity. The last few years have been a rollercoaster for working people in every part of the economy and, if past evidence holds true to form, the last sectors of the economy affected by the recession cycle are government employees. While the cuts are predictable in the general sense, how they might specifically affect the lives of civil servants is still very much undecided. Hardly a day goes by without news of new budget proposals, but the vice president of a local chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) is encouraging federal employees to have their say.
"We know things are changing every single day," said Leslie Ravenell, vice president of the Colonial Beach chapter of NARFE, who addressed a group of civil servants at NSF Dahlgren last week. "NARFE is here for you."
Ravenell emphasized how NARFE advocates for federal workers. "We are on Capitol Hill," she said. "We are united to preserve the security of our benefits."
Federal employees who choose to join NARFE have traditional and new options for membership. They can join one of the many NARFE chapters that meet monthly in the region, or they can become a member of NARFE's E-Chapter. The latter features a blog-like format designed to keep members abreast and involved in matters affecting retirees, while doing away with the need for in-person participation. NARFE members also receive the association's monthly magazine.
"The more people who sign up and become members of NARFE, the stronger our voice becomes in Congress," said Ravenell.
If you are interested in joining NARFE or would like to learn more about the association, visit their website at www.narfe.org.