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Frequently Asked Questions About NARFE Membership
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT NARFE MEMBERSHIP
Q: What does NARFE do?
A: The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) has been protecting and improving the earned benefits of federal employees, retirees and their families since 1921. NARFE is an advocate for both active and retired federal employees before Congress and the White House. NARFE sponsors and supports legislation to protect the earned benefits and general welfare of members. Membership totals some 300,000.
Q: Why should I join NARFE?
A: In addition to NARFE's legislative efforts on behalf of members and their families, NARFE membership includes advance information on changes to your federal retirement, health and other benefits; an award-winning monthly magazine and exclusive Web site access; special member discounts; and eligibility for college scholarships and disaster relief grants.
Q: What are the requirements of membership?
A: Membership is open to civilians in any agency of the federal or the District of Columbia governments who have a federal retirement plan [under either the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)]. Included are retirees, former employees, current employees and their spouses, spouses and surviving spouses of those eligible to join NARFE, and former spouses who are legally eligible for a federal or survivor annuity. You don't have to be retired to join NARFE. One out of every five new members is an active federal employee. There is no minimum age requirement.
Q: Can military retirees join NARFE?
A: Military service does not qualify for membership in NARFE.
Q: If I work(ed) for the U.S. Postal Service, can I join NARFE?
A: Yes, postal employees and retirees are eligible for NARFE membership.
Q: How much does it cost to join?
A: Active federal employees, retired federal employees, their spouses and survivor annuitants can enroll for $45.00 for the first year in lieu of national and chapter dues. Upon the anniversary date for renewal, these members will have the option of renewing for multiple years. The one-year rate is $40.00, plus one-year chapter dues of record; the two-year rate is $72.00, plus two years' chapter dues of record; or the three-year rate is $102.00, plus three years' chapter dues of record.
Q: How do I become a NARFE member?
A: All you have to do to join other active and retired federal workers who are NARFE members is to contact Recruitment & Retention at 800-627-3394 or write to Recruitment & Retention to get started. You also can join via the NARFE Web site atwww.narfe.org. There are several options to join on the NARFE main home page.
Q: Can my spouse join NARFE?
A: Spouses are encouraged to join NARFE so that they can participate in activities of the Association, vote, hold office and become more knowledgeable about retirement benefits.
Q: What is dues withholding?
A: By signing an authorization form, retired members and survivor annuitants instruct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to withhold 1/12 of their annual Association dues each month from their annuity. OPM will send the money to NARFE. This can be arranged for both national and chapter dues. Dues cannot be deducted from the paychecks of active federal employees.
Q: Is life membership available? If so, how much does it cost?
A: Yes, national life membership is available. A member can pay for all future national dues with one payment or with four consecutive quarterly payments in the first year. The amount of dues is based on age. Members are invoiced each year for chapter dues. Contact Member Records at 800-456-8410 or write to Member Records to find out more information.
Q: Can I pay dues over the phone or via the NARFE Web site?
A: Yes. Member Records at 800-456-8410 can respond to questions regarding billing, dues withholding, renewals or change of information. Dues also may be submitted via the NARFE Web site, www.narfe.org. Go to "Membership" and then "Review Your Record."
Q: What else will I have to pay for as a NARFE member?
A: It's your choice. You can donate to NARFE's Alzheimer's Fund, NARFE-PAC, the scholarship fund or other areas of interest. However, these are all voluntary contributions, and none is required.
Q: Do I have to join a chapter?
A: Yes. According to NARFE Bylaws, "all new members are required to belong to both the Association [NARFE] and one of its Chapters." A member's assignment to a chapter is usually based on the zip code of the member's permanent legal residence; however, each member retains the right and option of belonging to any chapter. Contact Member Records at 800-456-8410 or write to Member Records for answers to chapter assignment and transfer questions.
Q: Is there a chapter near me?
A: With more than 1,500 chapters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Panama, Guam, the Philippines and the Virgin Islands, it is likely that there is a chapter close to your home or workplace. Contact Member Records at 800-456-8410 or write to Member Records to find a chapter near you.
Q: How much are chapter dues?
A: Chapter dues are set by chapters and range from $2.00 to $20.00, with the average being about $6.00. As a chapter member, you have a voice in setting your chapter's dues, based upon the programs developed within that chapter.
Q: When I move, how do I find out if there is a chapter closer to my new home?
A: Contact Member Records at 800-456-8410, or write to Member Records to locate area chapters and to register your chapter transfer.
Q: If I have trouble reaching the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and need help with retirement issues, can NARFE help?
A: NARFE's Retirement Benefits Service Department is staffed with skilled professionals waiting to assist you in resolving benefit and insurance problems. In addition, there are 122 service centers nationwide maintained by NARFE in federal agencies or on military installations. Chapters also have volunteer Service Officers ready to help.
Q: I have not received the magazine or annual calendar. Whom can I talk to about this?
A: Contact Member Records at 800-456-8410 regarding missed magazines and other membership mailings.
Q: Does a chapter have to submit an F-7 Chapter Officers Roster every year, even if the officers have not changed?
A: Yes. It is necessary to submit an F-7 annually to ensure the proper collection of chapter dues and to register accurate chapter officer information. Chapters need to submit an F-7 Chapter Officers Roster to Federation & Chapter Services annually. The amount of chapter dues, and any officer additions, deletions, changes and/or vacancies, should be indicated on this form.
Q: Our chapter lost its charter or bylaws. Who at NARFE maintains copies of these documents?
A: Federation & Chapter Services keeps these documents and can be reached directly at 703-838-7760.