TSP system poised for June launch

After many false starts, the new recordkeeping system for the Thrift Savings Plan will be ready in June.

Lawrence Stiffler, director of automated systems for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages TSP, said "June looks pretty good" for the new system launch, although it could be ready even sooner.

At that time, the old system would be turned off and the new system would go live, giving TSP participants access to new features such as daily account valuations, quarterly participant statements, and electronic deposit of a loan or withdrawal that's not going to an IRA.

The launch of the new recordkeeping system has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, but Stiffler told board members at a meeting March 31 that user testing began March 17 and training for National Finance Center employees on how to use the new system is under way.

The two major problems that popped up recently — inaccurate converted data from the old system to the new system and slow throughput times — have been fixed, Stiffler said.

Parallel testing will begin next month. In February, Stiffler asked the board for, and was granted, an additional $994,000 to fully fund parallel testing and implementation phases.

A team led by Materials, Communications and Computers Inc. is delivering the new recordkeeping system. The board fired former contractor American Management Systems Inc. in 2001 and filed suit against it for fraud and breach of contract. The suit is pending appeal on jurisdictional grounds.

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