Letter to the editor

I read Milt Zall's column in the Sept. 10 edition of Federal Computer Week headlined "TSP system saga."

He is right on the money, and his commentary really begs the question, "Why are we doing this with taxpayers' money at all?"

The features that the contractors have been unsuccessful in implementing within the Thrift Savings Plan system are already available to the private sector. Firms such as Fidelity [FMR Corp.], Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., etc. have had these capabilities for at least 10 to 15 years.

This whole exercise is to unnecessarily justify the existence of an otherwise unnecessary bureaucratic organization — the Federal Employees Retirement System. Remember, the first rule of the bureaucracy is to preserve it!

In support of my viewpoint, I submit the following to justify the privatization of this function:

1. The 1 percent of FERS employees' salaries could go directly to a private firm, such as Fidelity, in the name of the employee.

2. Any employee and employer TSP contributions could be deposited directly to the firm.

3. Any private firm would offer many more investment selections to choose from, some of which are equivalent to the all selections offered in the TSP.

Instead, we spend millions to date on something that already exists! And guess who suffers? We do. Not having the ability to transact trades at the end of each business day or get real-time balances severely hinders our ability to manage the very important area of retirement planning.

Name withheld by request

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