NARFE changes name, not plan

The National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) has a new name. It is now the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. The acronym — NARFE — and the mission will remain the same: protecting and enhancing the earned annuity and health care benefits of America’s retired federal workers.

“The name change simply tells those active federal workers, men and women, who are two, four, or six years from retirement, that they need NARFE before they retire,” said NARFE National President Charles L. Fallis. “We need to add their names to our membership roll to boost NARFE’s clout with our elected officials at the local, state, and national level.

“There are issues such as Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) that will affect thousands of CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) retirees. And NARFE’s Premium Conversion legislation (allowing federal civilian retirees and active and retired military to pay their share of FEHBP premiums with pre-tax dollars) will save all federal retirees hundreds of dollars a year if we can get it through this session of Congress,” Fallis said.

NARFE was formed in February 1921 in Washington, D.C., by 14 federal retirees as ARFE (Association of Retired Federal Employees) with the goal of “the betterment of the status of retired federal employees.”

In 1924, the name was changed to National Association of Retired Federal Employees — for the first time. NARFE’s first legislative victory occurred in 1926 when NARFE was successful in getting those already retired from federal service included in legislation to increase the maximum annual annuity from $720 to $1,000 and an increase in employee contributions from 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

Without NARFE, those already retired would not have received this benefit. The legacy of NARFE as the champion of the federal retiree was born.

In 1947, NARFE was incorporated in the District of Columbia under the name NARCE — National Association of Retired Civil Employees.

That name remained until 1970, when it was changed back to NARFE.

And it remains NARFE today, even though the acronym now stands for National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.