NARFE - West Virginia Federation
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September 2017 Newsletter

WV FEDERATION NEWSLETTER

SEPTEMBER 2017

  

2018 PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Steve Sosson

WV Federation President

I attended the NARFE President’s Conference. The resolution for the third term for the national president was not taken up at the President’s meeting.

Jesse Klement, NARFE Legislative Director, attended the meeting and informed those attending that the legislative landscape and the challenges that NARFE members are facing during this Congress is different from any other time and more challenging.  She stressed the need for more advocacy including sending letters to the editors of our local newspapers.  Some of the challenges presented were the elimination of the first annuity supplement, TSP account if retired before 62 years old, postal reform bill, no COLAs, and the CRS has taken a one-half percent cut.  Remember that silence on the part of NARFE members is acceptance of these changes.

The NARFE National Conference will take place in Jacksonville, Florida on August 26-29.

 Approximately $47.7 million in annuities comes into the state every month and we should inform our elected officials of such.  Since August is advocacy month, try to visit with your Senators and Congressmen and to invite them to your chapter meetings.  Senator Manchin has a NARFE rating of 80% and Senator Capito’s rating stands at 67%. 

I met NARFE’s new executive director Barbara Sido at the conference; she was hired for her organizational skills.  Since Barbara was hired on May 15, 2017 there have been staff changes at NARFE headquarters and there is an effort to streamline and simplify operations.  She is open to hearing from members and can be contacted by email at execdir@narfe.org.

 

REGION X REPORT

William “Bill” Shackelford

Region X Vice President

Since the arrival of the new NARFE Executive Director Barb Sido on May 15th, there has been considerable NARFE activity at Headquarters and across the Regions and Federations including several key Headquarters staff changes. Also, NARFE has contracted with Colette Trohan, AGreatMeeting, Inc. to be our National Parliamentarian. All members should go to narfe.org for several important updates.

The 2016-2018 the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC), made up of dedicated members from each NARFE Region, has been very busy. At narfe.org summaries of the activities of the SPC can be reviewed under the Strategic Planning banner.

Also listed under Headquarters Resource Library, are the minutes of National Executive Board (NEB) meetings which will include all presentations from the 2017 Federation Presidents’/NEB Meeting, held in Jacksonville, Florida from July 11-13.

Some of the major presentations include:

     *2016 Annual Report of National President Richard Thissen

     *2016 Annual Report of National Secretary/Treasurer Jon Dowie

     *NARFE Situation Analysis (June 2017) from 2016-2018 Strategic Planning Committee

     *Strategic Planning Update presented by Jon Dowie, Chair, SPC and SP Team

     *NARFE Strategic Federation Framing from 2016-2018 Strategic Planning Committee

     *Keynote Presentation by Executive Director Barbara Sido

     *Membership Marketing 2017 Update presented by Bridget Boel, NARFE Director of Marketing

     *Marketing 2017 Update presented by Monica Williams, NARFE Deputy Director of Membership Marketing

     *Business Development Update presented by Jennifer Bialek, NARFE Deputy Director for Business Development

     *Legislative Update presented by Jessie Klement, NARFE Director of Legislation

The Federation Presidents’/NEB Meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. This same location will be the site for the 2018 NARFE National Conference (previously referred to as NARFE National Convention) which is scheduled for August 26-29, 2018. Some details are set out in Jennifer Bialek’s Jacksonville presentation.

The July NARFE Insider which has been e-mailed to leaders lists key dates for 2018 procedures for candidacy, committees, requests to be on a committee, etc. Additionally, there will be an article in the October issue of NARFE magazine.  Efforts have been made to incorporate best practices that Executive Director Barb Sido has experienced in her career and based on have parliamentary and legal advice.

Be sure to remind other members that this and all other items on narfe.org keep them current on relevant matters.

 

MEMBERSHIP

Dan Duckwall

WV Federation 1st Vice President for Membership

As West Virginia Federation First Vice President, the promotion of NARFE membership is one of my greatest responsibilities.  Please remember, this is not a task that can be successfully accomplished by one, two or three individuals.   Recruiting new members is something that has to be a collective effort of each and every NARFE member.  I realize, just as all of you realize, recruiting (or inviting) non-NARFE individuals to become NARFE members is a very difficult and seemingly endless task.  However, for the good of NARFE, as the protector of federal employees’ and federal retirees’ benefits, it is imperative that we as current NARFE members make a major effort to retain our present members and to recruit new members.  

As Region X Vice President, William Shackelford stated in his weekly update report – 23 June 2017, “June is continuing to be a very good month with 1,276 new members and 917 reinstatements.”  Even though the decline in membership for the month of June 2017 is the lowest in the last four years, there continues to be a decline in membership.

I would like to extend a challenge to each and every member of the West Virginia Federation of NARFE to recruit just one non-member; whether an active federal employee, a retired federal employee or a re-instated individual to become a member of our NARFE family.  If this would be done, we could double our numbers in one year.

Hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable summer having enjoyed vacation or looking forward to vacation.

Let’s all recruit that one new NARFE member!

 

LEGISLATION

Barbara Kuennecke

WV Federation 2nd Vice President for Legislation

During August advocacy month, if you met with either Senator’s office or your representative, please don’t forget to log onto the NARFE Legislative Action Center to let the staff at headquarters know.  And while you are there, send at least one of the action letters to your representative and our senators.  Let them know what you think about some of the important issues that are before Congress, including the federal budget, TSP modernization, and postal reform to name just three.

In mid-August, Steve Sosson and I made the rounds of offices in Martinsburg for both senators and Representative Mooney.  In each we met with a member of the local staff (very helpful for me as the new legislative contact for the West Virginia Federation).  We discussed a variety of topics, but always included postal reform – with the issue of requiring retirees to sign up for Medicare Parts B and D or lose their current federal health insurance coverage, changes to funding that would harm current and future employees and annuitants, plus asking for support to change the index used to calculate cost-of-living adjustments to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly.

During the Region X conference in October, if you have any legislative issues you would like to discuss, please look for me! 

 

TREASURER’S REPORT

Shirley Campbell

WV Federation Treasurer

 

Balance as/of May 16, 2017:                                                                                      $ 13,308.69

 

Receipts:

     Dividends                                                                     $         8.91

     Rebates/Dues                                                                $  1,288.58

     Donation Conv Program—Bill Shackelford                         $     100.00

     Jefferson Account Closure                                               $     795.76

     Total Income through July 27, 2017                                                                         $ 2,193.25           

Disbursements:

      Mileage/Tolls                                                                  $ 1,099.00

      Per Diem                                                                       $ 1,100.00

      Postage                                                                         $    135.02

      Checking Expense—New Checks                                      $      15.65

      Jefferson Closure—Transfer to Chapters                            $    496.12

      Total Disbursements through July 27, 2017                                                             $  2,845.79

                 

Balance as/of July 27, 2017                                                                                         $12,656.79

 

Savings

Beginning Balance from May 16, 2017                                                                            $    10.03

                                Receipts:  None

                                Disbursements:  None

Closing Balance as/of July 27, 2017                                                                                $   10.03

 

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Bill O’Field

WV Federation Public Relations Officer

Some of the ways to boost NARFE’s visibility in West Virginia and throughout Region X are by partnering with other organizations for a new audience.  Partnering can include co-sponsoring events, programs, and other activities.  We can also bring NARFE’s message to popular events and mingle with the media when we have the opportunity.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions on ways to make NARFE more visible.

 

CHAPLAIN REPORT

Larry Lilly

WV Federation Chaplain

District IV, Chapter 0994—Greenbrier Valley (Alderson), Larry Lilly, Chapter President

At its June luncheon meeting, the co-director of the Alderson Hospitality House was the guest speaker.  The Alderson House provides support for those incarcerated at the Alderson Federal Prison Camp and their families and friends.  The presentation was well received by the attendees.  

 

SERVICE OFFICER REPORT

John Sheely

WV Federation Service Officer

Recently I was reviewing some important papers that triggered some thoughts I feel both current and retired federal employees need to consider.  So, I'm going to mention a few things that I hope will help NARFE members to take any action that is necessary to protect those benefits.

There are several important forms that every federal employee/retiree should keep up to date.  Here are a few:

     SF 1152 Designation of Beneficiary (Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee)

     SF 2808 Designation of Beneficiary (Civil Service Retirement System)

     SF 2823 Designation of Beneficiary (Federal Employee Group Life Insurance Program)

     SF 3102 Designation of Beneficiary (Federal Employees Retirement System)

     TSP-3 Designation of Beneficiary (Thrift Savings Plan)

     Be Prepared For Life's Events (A NARFE guide for federal Employees and Annuitants). 

Each one of these forms should be reviewed and/or updated after getting married, a divorce, or the death of a spouse or child.  There have been many instances where a federal employee/retiree divorced, remarried, then died suddenly having never changed their designation of beneficiary preventing their current spouse from collecting his/her benefits.

The SF 2823 DOB - FEGLI can be filed designating a new beneficiary as often as necessary but, be sure you check all the appropriate boxes.  Under "Statement of Insured or Assignee" there are four boxes together and the first one says "I have NOT assigned my insurance” BE SURE THAT BOX IS CHECKED.  Leaving that box empty "assigns" the insurance to whoever you have listed under the heading "Information Concerning The Beneficiary or Beneficiaries".  Once you have "assigned" the insurance to another person you no longer own the policy and only the new assignee can make any decisions as to who receives death benefits.

Recently a friend and a federal CSRS retiree died.  When he retired he was going through a nasty divorce and filed a new SF 2823, the box I mentioned above was not checked and his son was listed as the beneficiary making him the new owner of the life insurance.  I can only assume my friend did not intend to "assign" his benefits but he left the box unchecked.  He remarried and filed another SF 2823 making his new wife the beneficiary.  OPM received the form, stamped it with the perforated date stamp and returned a copy to him.  OPM did not notify him the form he just filed. designating his new wife as beneficiary, was invalid. 

Knowing he was dying he made arrangements allowing his funeral expenses to come out of the FEGLI with the remainder going to his wife, or so he thought.  It wasn't until after he died it was discovered he had assigned his benefits to his son and the arrangements made with the funeral home were not valid leaving his widow stuck with the cost of the funeral.

However, the SF 2808 DOB - CSRS he filed after he was married was good and, even though he had drawn his annuity for about 20 years his widow still received an unpaid CSRS amount over $20,000. Since he decided not to provide an annuity for his last wife the 2808 was extremely important.

NARFE members should also get and fill out the Be Prepared For Life's Events.  This is a NARFE pamphlet that can be printed from the NARFE website.  This pamphlet is a guide for your spouse and family to follow and use to receive all of your federal benefits.  It also lists other investments and other life insurance policies.   If you should fill out this pamphlet, and I highly recommend that you do, keep it under lock and key to prevent identity thieves from getting access to this important data.

All of the Standard Forms can be printed from the OPM.gov website, however if you do not have internet access contact me I will get you the forms.  The forms must be done in duplicate, witnessed by two individuals not designated as a beneficiary and sent by mail to OPM, Retirement Operations Center, P.  O. Box 45, Boyers, PA, 16017-0045.  If you’re a current federal employee simply deliver the forms to your agency's employment office.  Forms sent by mail are not valid until received by OPM so, if you mail the forms on a Friday or Saturday then die on Sunday your old forms are still in effect.  NOTE:  The witness' signature does NOT need to be notarized.

The TSP-3 can be mailed to Thrift Savings Plan, P.  O. Box 385021, Birmingham, AL, 35238, or sent by fax to 1-866-817-5023.

As always, if you need more information or my assistance with your federal benefits see my contact information in this newsletter.  Any emails should have "NARFE" in the subject line.

 

DISTRICT REPORTS

DISTRICT I

Jeffrey Merz

WV Federation District I VP

Morgantown’s meetings lately:  In June, we discussed the President’s Budget, how it may affect us, and what actions we can take.  In July, Delegate Joe Statler came and went over some of the actions taken by the WV Legislature.  In August, Bill Austin of the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization talked to us about future highway projects and how they come to be approved and funded.  For our September meeting we have asked Mr. Rodgers, a member of Congressman McKinley’s staff, to speak with us about current bills in Congress.

In August, I visited with the Fairmont Chapter and discussed items of interest.  I was pleased that they have been in communication with our Congressional representatives about items of interest to NARFE.  They have invited the Morgantown Chapter to their November meeting when the Blue Cross Blue Shield representative with us to discuss the FEHB open season.

 

DISTRICT II

David Nicholson

WV Federation District II VP

The 51st NARFE WV Federation of Chapters Convention held on May 16 & 17, 2017 at the Best Western Plus Inn in Bridgeport, WV was a success.  Attendance was good with 49 members attending the Convention and 63 members, spouses and guests attending the banquet on Wednesday evening.

All funds have been received and all bills have been paid.  Host Chapters have been reimbursed for any expenses and the Convention account has been closed out.

Chapter 0174 Parkersburg

I attended the monthly luncheon meeting at the Mountaineer Restaurant in Parkersburg on June 23, 2017.  Four members were present.    They collected eight dollars for Alzheimers.  Discussed HR 756 (Postal Service Reform), HR 1251 (CPI-E Act of 2017), HR 1205 (Repeal of GPO and WEP) and President Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget. 

I urged members to be aware of Legislation that affects the Federal Community and take the appropriate action.

Chapter 1579 Central WV (Clarksburg)

Chapter continues to meet at 11:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Eat N Park Restaurant in Bridgeport.  Lunch is served from the menu followed by a speaker.

The annual Chapter picnic was held at 5:00 p.m. on July 11 at the Veteran’s Memorial Park.  Chapter purchased chicken and each member brought a covered dish.  Attendance was good.

Jessicah Cross, Field Representative for Senator Capito and Heather Lida, Staff Assistant attended the August 11 meeting.  Discussed the fiscal year 2018 Budget, H.R. 756 Postal Reform and TSP Modernization Act (S.873/H.R. 3031 which were the top three legislative priorities NARFE was advocating in August.  Information sheets on each was given to Jessicah to forward to Senator Capito. 

Chapter 2287 Tygart Valley (Elkins)

Allen Zane Stiles Chapter President passed on August 8, 2017.  Virgil Tacy, Vice President has agreed to become President.

 

DISTRICT III

Bob Hardesty

WV Federation District III VP

Bob Hardesty reported that the Charleston Chapter is the only chapter operating in Region III.  Point Pleasant had been meeting regularly, but has decided to close the Chapter and that one half of their members chose to register as a national member and not move to a Chapter.  The Chapter has approximately $50.00 in the checking account, which will be given to the Federation when the account is closed.

 

DISTRICT IV

Shirley Miller

WV Federation District IV VP

On May 25, 2017, I attended the monthly meeting of Chapter1584 Appalachian-Bluefield held at the Mountaineer Bowling Lanes in their Conference Room.  There were nine (9) members and two (2) visitors present. The guest speaker for the day was Rick Pickett an administrator from Princeton Community Hospital.  He coordinates many of the programs located in the outlying communities.  He spoke of his many duties and passed out brochures related to his job.  His mother Barbara Pickett is a member of this chapter. At each meeting a collection for Alzheimer’s Research is taken.  The treasurer sends the collections to Mr. Hardesty when she has collected a sizeable amount.

On June 22, I again attended a Bluefield Chapter meeting.  There were six (6) members and two (2) visitors present. Penni H. Adams from the Office of the Attorney General in Charleston was the guest speaker.  Penni works out of the Consumer Protection Division.  She spoke of How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft, Preneed Funeral Contracts, Phone Scams, Hiring Contractors for Home Repairs, and how to contact the Attorney General’s Office.  She also distributed many helpful brochures.

Attendance continues to be low for all chapters in District IV.

I have attended each monthly meeting of the Princeton-Mercer Chapter 2226.  On July 20 we had as our program guest Lisa Dicker from The Havens, an Assisted Living facility near Princeton.  She spoke of the different levels of care provided at the facility and the prices for each.  She also invited the chapter to have one of their monthly meetings at The Havens, have lunch in the dining hall and then given a tour of the facility.  That is being planned for this fall sometime. For our October meeting a Nutritionist from the WVU Extension service will be speaking to the group.

I attended the June 14 meeting of the Beckley Chapter 0950 at the Raleigh Co Senior Center.  There were six (6) members present.  I discussed the past NARFE WV Convention and the dates for future conventions.  Also, announced the Region X Conference to be held in Martinsburg in October. 

I had planned to attend the Alderson Chapter 0094 on July 13 but it was cancelled. 

 

DISTRICT V

Dan Duckwall

WV Federation DISTRICT V VP

District V is at its lowest membership in the past four years. Consider what of value the Federation can offer to new members to be used for recruitment.

 

 

WEST VIRGINIA FEDERATION EXECUTIVE BOARD


President
Steve Sosson
slsosson@comcast.netPresident
 

1st Vice President (Membership)
Daniel Duckwall
duckwall@frontier.com

2nd Vice President (Legislation)
NARFE-PAC Chair
Barbara Kuenecke
bkuennecke@yahoo.com

Secretary/Net Coordinator
Judy Cross
judithcross@frontier.com

Treasurer
Shirley J. Campbell
sjcampbell2001@aol.com

PR Officer
William O'Field
wroconsulting@gmail.com

Immediate Past President/Alzheimer's Chair
Robert Hardesty
rharde1946@aol.com

Sergeant at Arms
Gary Bailey
glbfarm@aol.com

Chaplain
Larry Lilly
hghspgs@gmail.com

Service Officer
John L. Sheely
wvskibum@aol.com

District I Vice President
Jeffrey Merz
merz136@juno.com

District II Vice President
David Nicholson
dnicholson1@cebridge.net

District III Vice President
Robert Hardesty
rharde1946@aol.com

District IV Vice President
Shirley Miller
shirleym.miller@suddenlink.net

District V Vice President
Daniel Duckwall
duckwall@frontier.com