Retirement recordkeeping system postponed

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board announced Tuesday that

software problems have forced it to delay rollout of a new federal retirement

recordkeeping system, slated for Oct. 1.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) recordkeeping system will offer federal

employees new features including two new investment funds, daily valuation

of accounts and enhanced withdrawal benefits. TSP is the government's equivalent

of a 401(k) program.

American Management Systems Inc., which is developing the system, has

not made "significant progress in testing the system and in fixing numerous

software defects," according to the board. AMS recommended the deadline

for bringing the system online be delayed until spring 2001; however, a

new date has not been set.

AMS expects to encounter between 8,000 and 10,000 software bugs and

will need additional time to test and correct the problems, according to

the board. Meanwhile, core TSP functions will continue to operate.

AMS has now missed two implementation deadlines for the recordkeeping

system.

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