Letters to the Editor

Following are responses sent to tsp@fcw.com from readers commenting on the Thrift Savings Plan online services launched June 16. These comments were received June 18. More comments will be posted in the coming days.

I am very concerned about the capacity of the new TSP system. If the new system bogs down with an apparent maximum capacity of 52,311 transactions as reported by FCW ["Users overwhelm TSP Web site"], what will happen on a day when there is a significant news event causing many of the 3.1 million participants to desire to make a transaction?

What has the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board purchased from Materials, Communication & Computers Inc. for $20 million? Important systems of this type should be designed to work at the maximum potential capacity, not the average or least capacity load.

This is a good example of the poor leadership and management that exists when investment boards are not elected by the shareholders. Congress must put control of the board and allocate fund management into the hands of the employees who have their retirement invested in the funds.

Jeff Stowell
Department of Housing and Urban Development

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I had some limited success (from the West Coast) accessing the TSP, although it was unavailable even in the wee hours. Nonetheless, I'm sure the difficulties will be worked out and things will settle down once people get used to the new system.

I plan to take advantage of a number of the new features, such as being able to make partial loan repayments vs. paying off the whole thing and reallocating between funds. I may even do some "day trading," but not much since the system isn't immediately responsive.

All in all, I am looking forward to using the new system! I have faith it will work fine. . .eventually.

Cathy Wright
Albany (Ore.) Research Center Library

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With the majority of government workers not even aware that the new system is online yet, already it is hopelessly overwhelmed. It is two years late, over budget, underdesigned and the board members are already complimenting each other on the great job.

It's been two days and I still haven't been able to access my account. Response is getting worse instead of better. Oh well! This makes the decision whether to roll over and IRA an easy one. Vanguard or Fidelity would have cleaned up this mess two years ago. Alas, I will miss the very low fund operating expenses the funds offer.

Retiree, 32 years service

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Typical. It takes three years to get this thing going and then it doesn't work. When I try to access it, I can't even get to the screen to log in. If this was a discount broker, they would be out of business by the end of the week.

The government rarely does anything right — might as well contract out the whole TSP.

Larry Hammill
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

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