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Federal Employees News Digest : Feb. 11, 2013
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki enlisted help from the states to collect suicide statistics. The department said the real-time data provided by these state partners allows VA to better gauge the effectiveness of its suicide-prevention efforts, and better iden- tify specific populations for intervention and outreach. According to the report, the percentage of veterans who die by suicide has gone down slightly since 1999. On the other hand, VA said, the estimated total number of veterans who died by suicide has risen. VA noted that the department has com- pleted hiring and training additional staff to bolster the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line by 50 percent, in compliance with an August 2012 executive order. So far, VA said, the crisis line has made about 26,000 rescues of actively suicidal veterans. The department said it also currently is pursuing "an aggressive hiring campaign" to strengthen its mental health services by bringing on 1,600 new clinical staff and 300 new administrative staff. VA said it also is hiring and training 800 peer-to-peer spe- cialists to join its mental health teams. To see the report, go to: www.va.gov/opa/ docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf. uSPS ranks high in consumer trust People trust the U.S. Postal Service, par- ticularly on matters concerning privacy. According a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, which researches pri- vacy and data protection issues, respon- dents named USPS as one of the top five most trusted companies when it comes to protecting the privacy of personal infor- mation. USPS emerged fourth out of 704 entities from 25 industry sectors. According to USPS , the survey asked adult-aged consumers to name up to five companies they believe to be the most trusted to protect the privacy of their personal information, based on the com- pany's ability to handle and protect their information. USPS announced the survey finding last week in a press release, and said further details on the Postal Service's rating will be included in a Ponemon privacy study to be released later in the year "Our employees work hard each day to maintain that trust," said USPS Consumer Advocate Krista Finazzo in commenting on the survey. "Consumer confidence in the mail is a priority for the Postal Service. Customers expect us to protect the privacy of their personal information." February 11, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 28 8 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Thrift SavingsPlanSharePrices FuNDS Feb. 4 oNe MoNTH aGo oNe year aGo G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund lifecycle Funds L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050 Register free to get rates of return and other TSP info at: www.FederalDaily.com/pages/resources/thrift-savings-plan.aspx 14.0425 14.0245 13.8390 15.9317 15.9430 15.4222 18.9311 18.5385 16.6372 25.9795 25.2199 23.0350 21.6865 21.2503 19.2346 15.8864 15.8015 15.2698 19.2824 19.0439 17.8222 20.1733 19.8638 18.3702 20.9262 20.5591 18.8521 11.6248 11.3965 10.3680 Federal Benefits Q&A Question: "I am going to retire this year under a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. I am 54. Will I be able to access my Thrift Savings Plan funds when I reach minimum retirement age (56) without paying the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty, or will I have wait until age 59.5?" answer: If you will not become age 55 sometime during 2013, then you will have to wait until age 59.5 to start with- drawing your TSP and not be subject to a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. The only exception to the 10 percent pen- alty is to withdraw your TSP via a TSP annuity or through monthly payments based on life expectancy (IRS 72(t) rule). Readers are encouraged to ask questions related to general employee benefits---such as CSRS, FERS, the Thrift Savings Plan, tax and estate planning, insurance, Social Security and Medicare---at the "Federal Benefits Q&A" at www.FederalSoup.com. continued from page 5
Feb. 4, 2013
Feb. 18, 2013