Welcome to the website for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), Hawaii State Federation (HISF). Ten chapters on 4 islands plus State of Hawaii (SOH) National members are part of the HISF. 
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Chapter information is accessed via the "Chapters" tab/link and websites with links:
1681 Kaneohe;    Kauai: 1513 Kauai; Hawaii: 1563 Big Island (Hilo), 1802 Kailua Kona; 
Maui: 1745 Maui
Aloha Newsletter
Aug 2018v42, no 3  Click link to vie
HISF-NARFE 2019 State Convention
May 2-3, 2019: Embassy Suites, Kapolei 
Host Chapter - Leeward (1657)


Notices & Past Federation Events

2019 COLA & Social Security Increases

From NARFE.org 2019 COLA 7 Social Security article 


COLA, Largest Since 2012 for CSRS Retirees and Social Security Recipients, Shortchanges FERS Retirees

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (October 11, 2018) - The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuities and Social Security benefits will be 2.8 percent in 2019, but only 2 percent for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirees, pursuant to federal law and the latest consumer price data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

Richard Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), issued the following statement in response:

“CSRS retirees and Social Security recipients will be pleased to see their benefits increase by 2.8 percent in 2019, the largest increase since 2012. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of FERS retirees will be wondering why they are only receiving a 2 percent COLA when the relevant measure of consumer prices increased by 2.8 percent. That’s due to the bargain struck in Congress in the 1980s when FERS was created, which limits COLAs to 2 percent when consumer prices increase between 2 and 3 percent. But that was the wrong policy then, as it is now. It prevents FERS annuities from keeping up with inflation, which is the whole point of a COLA. It is past time for Congress to ensure FERS retirees receive a full COLA each year.

“Retirees already receive COLAs that fail to represent how seniors spend their money. COLAs are currently based on the CPI-W, which measures how urban wage earners and clerical workers under the age of 62 spend their money. Yet, since 1982, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been calculating a consumer price index measuring prices experienced by those 62 years of age or older, called the CPI-E. The CPI-E has shown that prices increase for seniors by 0.2 percent more, on average, than for the population measured by the CPI-W. In other words, seniors’ COLAs aren’t keeping up with their rising cost of living, which is what they are designed to do. That’s why I’m also calling on Congress to pass H.R. 1251, the CPI-E Act, which would require the BLS to use the CPI-E to determine COLAs for Social Security recipients, CSRS retirees and FERS retirees alike.

“Without adequate COLAs, FERS retirees, as well as CSRS retirees and Social Security recipients, will see inflation erode the value of their retirement income year after year. Yet that is exactly what they are supposed to prevent. Federal retirees are not asking to be made better off than they were last year. We just want to maintain the value of what we have rightfully earned through careers of service.”


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Hawaii Senior Fair  - 2018
(Information and Recruitment of new members)
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FEEA Disaster Relief

NARFE Offers $500 Disaster Relief Assistance for Federal/USPS Employees and Retirees 

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The following Disasters have been officially declared for Hawaii:

Hawaii Kilauea Volcanic Eruption And Earthquakes (DR-4366)

Incident period: May 03, 2018

Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 11, 2018

Hawaii Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, And Mudslides (DR-4365)

Incident period: April 13, 2018 to April 16, 2018

Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 08, 2018

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As a result of these declarations, federal employees and retirees who have suffered damages may apply for disaster relief by going to the website:  www.feea.org - Disasters - and find the form to complete on-line which may provide $500 assistance for their damages along with the instructions to file a claim.

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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees) works in partnership with FEEA (Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund) to provide direct disaster relief to federal/USPS employees and retirees.   NARFE covers its members in good standing and FEEA covers full and part-time federal/USPS employees employed for more than one year.   NARFE-FEEA offers up to $500 to help cover temporary lodging, major home repairs not covered by insurance and beds.  

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Public Service Recognition Week 2018

Commemorating Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), May 6-12, 2018, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) proudly celebrates the men and women who serve our country. Organized by the Public Employees Roundtable, PSRW is a time to honor military, federal, state, county and local government employees who serve and protect us. Share a smile and a thank you with your mail delivery person, TSA workers, agricultural inspectors, the SSA specialists, uniformed personnel, police officers, firemen, and many others.  

 

While we take time to honor all public service employees, we must remember the dedicated men and women in the federal community who strive to keep our country running effectively, efficiently and safely.  Whether they work on the front lines or behind the scenes, they deserve to know that we appreciate their work throughout the entire year.   And, as retirees, they continue to serve us through their tireless volunteer activities.   

 

Joyce Matsuo, President 

HI State Federation-NARFE


President’s Message – February 2018

2018 National Ballot Voting - OMOV  - One Member, One Vote :   For the first time, you will now cast your own vote for national officers and resolutions on national by-laws and program changes.   Candidates’ statements are now available online at www.narfe.org.  Their statements will also be published in the March 2018 narfe magazine.   Proposed resolutions will be published in the April magazine.   Upcoming key dates are: 

  • May 10 – Online voting at the Internet Voting Site begins for those with computer capabilities.  
  • June Magazine - Printed ballot will be published for members without computer capabilities to complete and mail back by June 30.
  • June 30 – Deadline for voting.

As of January 12, the Hawaii Federation has over 1,500 Chapter Members and 812 National (non-chapter) Members.   Each Chapter and National Members are eligible to vote in the 2018 national elections.    

Retain your chapter membership to support your Hawaii State Federation.    New and renewing members are encouraged to maintain membership in a local chapter.  if you choose to be a National Member, you can still attend local chapter and federation meetings, the biennial state convention which is coming up in 2019, and other events.        Joyce Matsuo,  Hawaii State Federation President 

NARFE is a membership association of active and retired federal and USPS employees and their survivor annuitants. Like other union and employees’ associations, NARFE fights for active employees’ pay and benefits but it is the only organization that works to protect our earned retirement benefits.   Join NARFE today.


Scam Alerts: 

1.  SCAM ALERT – NEW MEDICARE CARD


Just a heads up that there is a scam going around involving the new Medicare Cards coming out in April.   We will get new Medicare cards but NO one will call us or visit us. 

Starting 4/1/18 Medicare will start a year-long project to replace all current Medicare cards for beneficiaries to convert to alphanumeric ID numbers. Currently, the ID number is your social security number.   The new cards will be mailed out from April 2018 to April 2019. You don't need to request it or do anything.

Medicare does not charge for cards or want your personal information over the phone. DO NOT give out any information over the phone or to anyone who comes to your home.

                                                                                                  Example of the new Medicare cards

              WHAT'S THE SCAM?

Somebody from "MEDICARE " will call to tell you that you are getting a new Medicare card. But until it comes you will need a temporary card. Fee for the card is between $5-50 dollars. They want personal information, bank account or credit card so they can process your temporary card.

THINGS TO REMEMBER:  Medicare will never call you unless you ask them to. Medicare does all communications by mail unless you ask them to call.

Ditto for anybody saying they "work with Medicare to make sure you get everything you are entitled to" .

If it has happened to you or your friends or loved ones and personal info has been given out immediately take action to protect yourself against identity theft.


 2.   IRS Warns Taxpayers, Tax Pros of New Email Scam Targeting Hotmail Users

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers and tax professionals of a new email scam targeting Hotmail users that is being used to steal personal and financial information.

The phishing email subject line reads: “Internal Revenue Service Email No. XXXX | We’re processing your request soon | TXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX”. The email leads taxpayers to sign in to a fake Microsoft page and then asks for personal and financial information.

The IRS has received over 900 complaints about this new phishing scheme that seems to exclusively target Hotmail users. The suspect websites associated with this scam have been shut down, but taxpayers should be on the lookout for similar schemes.

Individuals who receive unsolicited emails claiming to be from the IRS should forward it to phishing@irs.gov and then delete it. It is important to keep in mind the IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. For more information, visit the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page on IRS.gov.

The IRS reminds tax professionals to be aware of phishing emails, free offers and other common tricks by scammers. Tax professionals who have data breaches should contact the IRS immediately through their Stakeholder Liaison. See Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals



What NARFE Has Done for You Lately

In the 114th Congress, the federal community continued to face assaults on its earned benefits. Thus, NARFE’s legislative efforts focused on defeating proposals attacking federal employees and retirees, as well as working toward solutions to other concerns facing NARFE members. Here are highlights of the Association’s accomplishments as the 114th Congress (2015-2016) concluded in December.


HSFC 2017 Convention
Hilo, HI -- April 27-28



Kaneohe Chapter Vice President Receives Congressional Gold Medal


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Upper Left - Federation President John Priolo and Dr. Ernest Harris
Upper Right- First Lady Dawn Ige, Senator Brian Schatz, Dr. Ernest Harris and Betty Jo Harris
Lower Front - Sandra Kawate, Grace Kramer, Dr. Ernest Harris, Betty Jo Harris, Audrey Choy and Lucy Ige
Lower Back - John Priolo, Marvin Iseke, Virginia Rolland and Kathryn Tsumura
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Dr. Ernest J. Harris, Kaneohe Chapter 1681, Vice President, received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest congressional honor given to a civilian, in a presentation at Washington Place on Saturday, November 12, 2016 for his service as a member of the Montford Point Marines. He was among the first wave of African Americans who volunteered to become U.S. Marines at Monford Point, North Carolina. He was grateful that as a result of his military service , he was able to receive financial support for a college education under the GI Bill. 

Dr. Harris earned a Bachelors degree in Chemistry with a minor in Zoology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a Master's degree in Entomology from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Entomology from the University of Hawaii.

He worked for the USDA in Hawaii for 40 years and was recognized for his work on eradication of the fruit fly, in over 20 countries and has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers.

The Hawaii Federation is extremely proud of his accomplishments and along with his wife Bettyre Jo and their children Mark, Tanya and Greg.


National Convention Highlights, from John Priolo (Sep. 5, 2016)

The 34th NARFE National Convention was held at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno August 28 to September 1, 2016.
  • National President Dick Thissen and Secretary/Treasurer Jon Dowie were re-elected. Thissen will be in his final term. Region Vice President Helen Zajac was also re-elected. It appears that she may make a run for higher office in 2018.
  • Bylaws changes were discussed for several hours. A ballot vote led to adoption of only two - Optional Chapter Membership and One Member One Vote. Subsequent to the Convention the NEB voted in Executive Session to end Chapter 2363. Their members will be assigned as National Members only to Chapters in their Zip Codes. Future elections and Bylaws changes will be via mail or email and not at Conventions.
  • Our Locality Pay Resolution passed. Our Care Act Resolution was rejected as the issue was a State and not a National issue. State Federations and Chapters were encouraged to support legislation in their State. As you know Hawaii enacted such legislation this year.
  • Our 2020 National Convention will be in Scottsdale. As previously announced the 2018 National Convention will be in Jacksonville.
  • Hank Magee made a presentation at our Region VIII caucus. Afterwards I was approached by several Federation Presidents who were interested in establishing their own. I will follow up with them.
  • A successor to Steve Bauer as FEEA Executive Director was selected by a FEEA Search Committee. In his honor a Resolution was approved to name the NARFE-FEEA Scholarship the “Steve Bauer NARFE-FEEA Scholarship”. I spoke with Steve and he will participate in our April 2017 State Convention.
  • A resolution was passed to establish an Official motto for NARFE: “NARFE - while the “E” is silent we are not”.
                        John



Fraud Alert July 13, 2016

FRAUD ALERT
NARFE does not have a new credit card affiliation
Members receiving a Platinum Business Account credit card from -- Select Funding -- should not activate the card and should shred it.


FEGLI Changes - 2016

Did you carry your FEGLI coverage into retirement? Are life insurance premiums coming out of your annuity payment every month? If so, this change may apply to you.

As of January 1, 2016, premiums for many options and age brackets under the FEGLI program will change due to actuarial adjustments.
The new premium charts can be viewed at: 
 https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/special-notices/2016-fegli-premium-chang e.pdf

You can reduce or cancel coverage at any time but annuitants cannot increase coverage, even during an open season. If you elect to reduce or cancel all or any part of your FEGLI coverage, that election is irrevocable.


Smart 911

Smart 911 is a new tool currently being utilized by the HPD to provide first responders with additional information about the person and/location identified with a emergency/911 request.

Today, many of the calls to 911 originate from cell phones. The 911 system can only provide the general location for cell call location, unlike the wired landline phone.

The Smart 911 system allows individuals and households the capability to provide information "prior to the emergency call", about the resident's home physical location, health condition or environmental/household situation that can be provided to first responders prior to arriving at requiring location.

For the Honolulu public to use the system, all that is required is .... registration in the Smart 911 system.     All information is private and not available to the 911 dispatchers until a call is initiated, and limited period following the call.

Visit the HPD website  http://www.honolulupd.org/news/index.php?page=main&story=1800  which describes the new system.

Visit https://safety.smart911.com/smart911/ , for additional information on the benefits of the additional information in the 911 system..then register  at https://www.smart911.com/smart911/registration/registrationLanding.action to place information in the 911 system that could potentially save time in the event of a emergency call to 911.

Self Plus One Option

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 establishes a Self Plus One enrollment type in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Coverage under a Self Plus One enrollment was available beginning in January 2016. 

The first opportunity to enroll in Self Plus One was November 2015.

Visit opm.gov site for additional information--
http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/special-initiatives/self-plus-one/   


Security Notice

The article posted in this space was the original notice on the first OPM breach prepared by NARFE President Thissen.  Since the initial breach, a second breach was detected in June raising the count of potentially affected individuals +from 4 to 22 million.   
Accordingly, this site now contains links to NARFE HQ and OPM sites which provide current status or information and the history/chronology of the breach investigation, recommended actions for potentially affected individuals.
http://www.narfe.org/legislation/action.cfm?ID=3835
October 1, 2015
OPM Begins Mail-Only Notifications
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced October 1 that notification letters are being sent, starting September 30, to those individuals whose personal information was stolen in the cyberattack on background investigations and security records at OPM. The announcement emphasized that official notifications from OPM will be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service and that email will not be used. The mailed notifications will contain a personalized identification number (PIN), which is necessary for the individual to enroll in the three years of identity theft protection and credit monitoring services being provided free of charge by the government.
OPM cautions that neither it nor anyone else acting on OPM’s behalf will directly contact individuals to confirm personal information. If you receive an email or a phone call, it is a scam.
OPM and the Department of Defense also are preparing to provide victims of the background investigation cyberattack with a website that will help users determine whether they’ve been affected by the hack.
OPM has updated its special website www.opm.gov/cybersecurity with additional information and answers to common questions.
https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity


FEEA Disaster Assistance

For NARFE members who have suffered a loss due to our recent hurricanes/tropical storms or the lava flow, help is available from the NARFE-FEEA Disaster Fund. Contact FEEA at www.feea.org or 1-800-338-0755.

HSFC Virtual eService Office

Notice

The HSFC eService Virtual Office opened on Tuesday, 28 May, 2014. 

This new office is virtual since there is no "real" physical office building or room like the prior office in the Federal Building.

Two contact options support the virtual office.

Option 1 -- Telephone  on Oahu  377-4277  or   (808) 377-4277 
The caller will be greeted by a short message describing the virtual office and will be requested to leave a message with - contact/callback information, following the "beep".
1. name
2. phone number
3. a short description of the request
The message will be recorded like traditional voicemail and forwarded to the HSFC Virtual Office e-mail system.
Option 2 -- e-mail  narfe808@gmail.com
The sender's e-mail request will be delivered to the HSFC Virtual Office e-mail system.

New mail (in the HSFC Virtual Office e-mail system) will be viewed on non-holiday week days by a HSFC eService Office staff member.

Initial contact/response for new requests:
Option 1, telephone -  Via phone call to the request originator will be made by 4 pm HST, if the request is received by 2 pm HST and the recorded voice message contains useable information, contact/callback phone number. 
Option 2, e-mail -  Via e-mail,
to the request originator's address will be made by 4 pm HST, if the request is received by 2 pm HST.




OPM's FEGL Services now On-Line

OPM's Retirement Services announced yesterday that retirees can now see their current Federal Employees Group Life Insurance coverage on-line at Services Online.

Once the retiree has logged in to SOL, they can select the Verification of Life Insurance link and follow the instructions to print their FEGLI coverage information.

While the retiree can see the insurance coverage amount, they will not be able to view their designation of beneficiary form that is in their retirement file.

The online address for Services online is www.servicesonline.opm.gov.


CAPWIZ Communications Tool

Link to the capwiz messaging system has been added, (sidebar/National Links/CAPWIZ) to the HSFE website to provide an easy means for members and friends an easy means to send e-mail to our congressional representatives and the media on legistative issues.

For example, email and traditional snail mail letters related to the proposed COLA computation method can be drafted and sent by e-mail, or printed for regular mail.  The basic text addressing the issue is provided for starters, like a form letter.  Just a few custom touches in the body and identification of the sender is required.

(note: The addition of the NARFE capwiz capability by a link in the HFSC website was requested during the Kauai Convention by Gail Browne, chapter 570, to allow members at a chapter meeting to easily send e-mail to our representatives.)


Relocated Notices and Alerts (click on topic below to view)

Website     http://tinyurl.com/narfehi                 e-mail     narfe808@gmail.com



NARFE Service Center (Federal Bldg, Honolulu)  -- Closed  Jan 18, 2013


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