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Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week

GEICO’s Good Stuff is a column series highlighting great stuff happening in the federal community. 


October 12-18 is National Wildlife Refuge Week. National refuges are operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Every state in the union has at least one refuge, with many offering special events and free or discounted admission during the week.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s premier public conservation network, protecting more than 150 million acres of wildlife habitat in 562 refuges and 38 wetland management districts. Refuges offer outstanding recreational opportunities, from fishing, hunting, hiking and birding to paddling, snowshoeing and wildlife photography. 

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Phased Retirement: From An Employee's Perspective (Part Two)

In addition to the items that were discussed in PART 1, employees should be aware of the following considerations when contemplating Phased Retirement:

Deposit and Redeposit Service

If you are considering making payment for any previously unpaid deposit and/or redeposit service, you must do so before entering into Phased Retirement… otherwise you won’t be allowed to do so later unless you cancel your Phased Retirement and return to full time employment status.  There are exceptions to these rules that allow a surviving spouse to make such payments if you were to pass away during Phased Retirement.

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WAEPA’s Favorable Policy Claims Experience Yields $7.5 Million in Refunds for Federal Employees

As a civilian federal employee, you probably are aware of your FEGLI life insurance options. Well, did you know that you can obtain economical group term life insurance through WAEPA?

WAEPA is a non-profit association founded in 1943, dedicated to serving the health, welfare, and financial well-being of civilian federal employees and their families.

WAEPA’s group term life insurance program offers flexible coverage options - compare these amounts to the FEGLI group coverage that may be available to you as a civilian federal employee:

  • Coverage for You
    • $25,000 up to $750,000
  • Coverage for Your Spouse
    • $10,000 up to $250,000
  • Coverage for Your Children
    • $1,000 to $25,000

At WAEPA’s website you can compare WAEPA and FEGLI premium rates, as well as the specific details of both plans of insurance.

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Government Performance Management Week | November 3—November 6

Government Performance Management Week is aimed at all Federal analysts, staff and managers who are striving to meet the competencies established by the Federal Performance Improvement Council (PIC).  Working with the Federal PIC, The Performance Institute offers these three courses as part of the Government Performance Management Certification program.  The weeks’ three courses in Strategic Planning, Performance Measurement and Data Driven Performance Reviews have allowed thousands of Federal employees to meet core competency requirements for the expanding number of roles in Federal Planning, Performance and Budgeting.  Now in its 18th year of training and education, The Performance Institute is a recognized leader in performance management certification for all Federal agencies.  For more information contact Mike Lawson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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MSPB Affirms Department of Defense Furlough Action

A Utility Systems Repairer-Operator (“USRO”) for the Department of the Navy was furloughed for six days based on “the extraordinary and serious budgetary challenges facing the Department of Defense” (“DoD”) for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, the most serious of which is the sequester that began on March 1, 2013.” The employee appealed the furlough to the Merit Systems Protection Board, arguing that the agency had in fact based the furlough action on his national origin (Mexican) and on his status as a 30 percent or more disabled veteran. The employee also claimed that his position is funded as part of a working-capital-funds service, where funding comes from charges and reimbursements for goods and services rendered, rather than from appropriated funds. The employee argued that his furlough proposal notice incorrectly stated that “a reduction in base budget funding for the Operation and Maintenance accounts, as directed by the Budget Control Act of 2011, and as amended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012” was an appropriate ground for his furlough, when he instead contends that his funding comes from working-capital funds, making him an “indirectly funded Government Employee,” and exempt from the aforementioned furlough. The MSPB administrative judge affirmed the agency’s decision to furlough the employee, holding that it was reasonable for DoD to “consider its budget situation holistically, rather than isolating each military department’s situation,” because of DoD’s authority to transfer appropriated working-capital funds from one account to others and that it was appropriate for DoD to conserve working-capital funds. The employee petitioned the full Board for review. On October 2, 2014, the Board affirmed the administrative judge’s initial decision as modified. 

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