June 5 2015 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update

05 June 2015

Announcement from OPM

Retirement Articles

End of the Year Reminders

FRS Elections


A Little Humor


1.  Announcement from OPM: 

OPM to Notify Employees of Cybersecurity Incident

WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has identified a cybersecurity incident potentially affecting personnel data for current and former federal employees, including personally identifiable information (PII).

Within the last year, the OPM has undertaken an aggressive effort to update its cybersecurity posture, adding numerous tools and capabilities to its networks.  As a result, in April 2015, OPM detected a cyber-intrusion affecting its information technology (IT) systems and data. The intrusion predated the adoption of the tougher security controls.

OPM has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine the full impact to Federal personnel. OPM continues to improve security for the sensitive information it manages and evaluates its IT security protocols on a continuous basis to protect sensitive data to the greatest extent possible. Since the intrusion, OPM has instituted additional network security precautions, including: restricting remote access for network administrators and restricting network administration functions remotely; a review of all connections to ensure that only legitimate business connections have access to the internet; and deploying anti-malware software across the environment to protect and prevent the deployment or execution of tools that could compromise the network.

As a result of the incident, OPM will send notifications to approximately 4 million individuals whose PII may have been compromised.  Since the investigation is on-going, additional PII exposures may come to light; in that case, OPM will conduct additional notifications as necessary.  In order to mitigate the risk of fraud and identity theft, OPM is offering credit report access, credit monitoring and identify theft insurance and recovery services to potentially affected individuals through CSID®, a company that specializes in these services.  This comprehensive, 18-month membership includes credit monitoring and $1 million in identity theft protection services at no cost to enrollees.

"Protecting our Federal employee data from malicious cyber incidents is of the highest priority at OPM," said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. "We take very seriously our responsibility to secure the information stored in our systems, and in coordination with our agency partners, our experienced team is constantly identifying opportunities to further protect the data with which we are entrusted."

This is the official announcement from OPM. If you have further questions,  you should contact your administrator.

2. Retirement Articles:  Links for retirement and other information are below:

Thrift Savings Plan Returns: Monthly and Annual - G, F, C, S, I and L Funds Updated: June 2, 2015

FAQs for Continuing FEHB Coverage into Retirement

Q & A for FEHB Self-Plus-One Enrollment Option

Postponing IRA Contributions Results in Lost Retirement Savings

Congressman Introduces Gender Diversity Investment Act for Thrift Savings Plan

3. End of the Year Reminders: Don't forget to check the expiration dates on your ID, ration cards, and other pertinent things that require coordination with the military offices. 

A note especially for those in the Lakenheath complex:  If you require anything from base offices next Thursday and/or Friday, please verify with the office their opening and closing hours for those days. Most base offices are closed next Friday and may have different hours on Thursday.

4. FRS Elections: For many of our schools FRS elections have been concluded.  Please don't forget to send your school's updated FRS information to your Division Representative as soon as you can.  Also, please make sure your provide information to our Washington office on where membership materials should be shipped over the summer.

5. Summer:  Here's hoping all of you have a great summer, doing at least one thing that you really enjoy and want to do.  Our FEA offices in the field will be closed for part of the summer, but all of us will have some access to email, whether Outlook or private.  For private email information for your representatives, please refer to the FEA pocket calendar.

It has been my great pleasure once again to serve as your Area Director this past year.  I look forward to a break this summer, then seeing all of you again next fall. We will begin with FRS training in September.  Below are the scheduled dates:

September 11, 2015:  UK Schools (Feltwell Bldg. 58)

September 14, 2015:  Bavaria (Nurnberg)

September 18, 2015:  Kaiserslautern I (Kaiserslautern)

                                                             Kaiserslautern II (Wiesbaden)

More information will be forthcoming early next school year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful FRSs and FRs who work for our members in the schools on a daily basis.  You have done a fantastic job this year and for those of you returning, I look forward to working with you again next year.  I would also like to thank the European Area Council for working together to find solutions to the many problems our teachers face and for being liaisons with management.

6. A Little Humor: Hairdressers, from Man Walks into a Bar

While getting his hair trimmed Patrick tells his barber about a planned vacation to Rome. "Who knows," says Patrick, "I might even get to meet the Pope." 

"You'll never meet the Pope," says the barber.  "He's much too important to mix with the likes of you."

"But I might meet him," replies Patrick. "It's not impossible." 

"I'll bet you a hundred dollars you don't meet him," says the barber.

 "Okay," says Patrick. "You're on."  A month later Patrick comes back and says, "You owe me a hundred dollars.  I was walking around St. Peter's Square when the Pope saw me from his balcony, invited me into the Vatican and asked me a question." 

"What did he say?" asked the barber.

 Patrick replies, "Where in the world did you get that awful haircut?"


Have a great weekend! And, remember: 

You can get just so much from a good thing

You can linger too long in your dreams

Say goodbye to the "Oldies But Goodies"

Cause the good ole days weren't always good

And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems…

Now I'm going outside to have an ice cold beer in the shade

I'm going to listen to my 45's

Ain't it wonderful to be alive

When the rock 'n' roll plays

When the memory stays

I'm keeping the faith.

-------Billy Joel

Lisa Ali

FEA Area Director