NARFE-PAC Questions & Answers
Q: What is a PAC?
A: PAC stands for Political Action Committee, a committee chartered to
administer, disburse and disclose funds contributed voluntarily and used
solely for political purposes. The four elected national resident officers
of NARFE constitute NARFE's Political Action Committee (NARFE-PAC). The
Committee is responsible for the final decision on which candidates for
the House and Senate will receive NARFE-PAC contributions. NARFE-PAC does
not directly employ any personnel.
Q: Why do we have a NARFE-PAC?
A: NARFE-PAC helps fund the political arm of our organization in Washington
whose sole purpose is to protect the benefits of individuals with a vested
interest in the civilian retirement systems of the federal government.
NARFE-PAC helps elect Senators and Representatives who are sympathetic to
the concerns of federal retirees and who support fair and equitable federal
retirement programs. Whether your interest is:
- guaranteed full funding for retirement benefits,
- fighting proposed reductions in those benefits, or
- ensuring that adequate health benefits are available to annuitants,
NARFE-PAC is the political action committee that works for you.
Q: What factors are considered when deciding whether to contribute to a
A: Four main factors are examined when deciding whether to contribute to
a particular candidate. They are:
1. If the candidate is an incumbent, what has been his/her voting
record on issues of concern to federal retirees? Many challengers
will submit statements outlining their views on matters vital to our
2. The influence which a legislator can exert in support of NARFE
goals. Does the legislator hold an assignment on a committee that deals
with our issues? Is the legislator in party leadership position?
3. The degree of communications among candidates and NARFE members,
chapters, federations and lobbyists. Is the legislator willing to
consider our views, even if there is not 100 percent agreement?
4. Does the candidate have a chance to win? Also, does the candidate
face little or no opposition, or does the candidate already have
sufficient campaign funds?
Q: What is the role of NARFE Federations and Chapters in the PAC decision-
A: NARFE-PAC is among the most democratic political action committees in
the country. Each state has a NARFE-PAC Coordinator designated by the
Federation President. The State NARFE-PAC Coordinator is advised of and
has an opportunity to comment upon each request for PAC contributions
from candidates from his or her state. In this manner, the NARFE-PAC
Committee in Washington receives input from the membership on the requesting
candidate. This input is an important factor in the decisions process of
the NARFE- PAC Committee.
Q: Who decides which candidates will receive NARFE-PAC contributions, and
A: After reviewing all of the factors outlined above, the final decisions
concerning NARFE-PAC recipients and contribution amounts are made in
Washington by the NARFE-PAC officers, after consultation with the
Under the purview of the Legislative Department, a computer profile is
maintained on all incumbent members of Congress, which includes past voting
records, support during the current Congress, committee memberships, and
NARFE-PAC coordinator continents, along with other pertinent data.
Information on challenging candidates requesting NARFE-PAC assistance is
also entered into the computer for purposes of review and decision.
After reviewing all the data on requesting candidates, along with the
comments from the field, decisions are made. Since final determinations
are based on the overall view of the national association, local and
regional interests may not be totally fulfilled by each and every decision;
however, input from the respective state NARFE-PAC Coordinator is always
given full consideration in the decision-making process.
Q: Is there a limit on the amount an individual can contribute to NARFE-PAC?
Is there a limit on the amount NARFE-PAC can contribute to a candidate?
A: Yes, to both questions. According to the linu'ts specified in the Federal
Election Campaign Act, administered and regulated by the Federal Election
-An individual's contribution to a PAC, or PACs cannot exceed $5,000 per
-Individuals can also contribute, under separate limitations, to specific
candidates, and national political party committees, with a $25,000 per
calendar year contributions limit to any combination of the above.
NARFE-PAC contributions to individual candidates are limited to $5,000 per
election (primary, general, run-off and special elections each qualify as an
election). In addition, NARFE-PAC can contribute up to $15,000 per calendar
year to a national party committee (such as the Republican or Democratic
National Committee), and up to $5,000 per calendar year to a political
committee other than an authorized candidate's committee or a national party
committee (Republican and Democratic Senatorial or House Campaign Committees
would fall into this category).
Q: What are the rules governing NARFE chapters participating in NARFE-PAC?
A: Many NARFE chapters have expressed interest in taking up collections for
NARFE-PAC at chapter meetings. This is encouraged. But keep in mind that all
political action comniittees such as NARFE-PAC are governed by strict
regulations that are enforced by the Federal Elections Commission. Therefore,
it is critical that NARFE chapters carefully follow the guidelines outlined
below if and when collecting contributions for NARFE-PAC.
1. Only NARFE members and their families may be asked to give to NARFE-PAC.
2. Do not use commercial transactions such as bake sales or raffles to raise
money. These techniques are to be avoided because the regulations governing
these transactions are complex and the possibility of violating them is
3. When requesting contributions, make it clear that they are voluntary.
Coercion or undue persuasion cannot be used when requesting PAC contribu-
4. According to the Internal Revenue Code, a statement must be made that
the NARFE-PAC contributions are not tax-deductible.
5. Chapter or Federation funds are not permitted a contributions
All contributions must be separate, voluntary contributions from NARFE members
or their families.
6. When all the cash contributions are collected, the money may be sent to
Washington in the form of a cashier's check or money order made payable to
NARFE-PAC. Individual contributions in the form of personal checks payable
to NARFE-PAC can accompany the cashier's check or money order. Checks from
Federation or Chapter accounts may not be used to transmit NARFE-PAC
7. If the collection is made at a chapter or federation meeting, the
contribution must be received by NARFE-PAC in Washington no later that 30
days after the collection. Accompanying the contribution must be a record
identifying the name of the event, the date, and the total amount collected.
Cash contributions collected and transmitted in a single cashiers check or
money order cannot be credited to each contributor's individual
record, and can only be credited to the chapter.
8. Any individual contribution exceeding $50 must be accompanied by the
contributor's name, address, and the amount and the date of the contribution.
This contribution must be received by NARFE-PAC in Washington within 10 days
of collection of the contribution.
9. Any individual contribution exceeding $200 must be accompanied by the
contributor's name, address, amount, the date of the contribution, and the
occupation and name of his/her employer if he/she is currently employed. This
contribution must be received by NARFE-PAC in Washington within 10 days of
receiving the contribution.
Q: How do I contribute to NARFE-PAC?
A: Simply send a check payable to "NARFE-PAC" to:
Attn: Budget and Finance
606 North Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314