Letters to the editor

Following are responses sent to [email protected] and [email protected] from readers commenting on the Thrift Savings Plan online services launched June 16. These comments were received June 24. More comments will be posted in the coming days.

I am accessing the new TSP Web site. There doesn't seem to be any feature to view the transaction history. Shareholders want to know the share prices of account funds, the number of shares in each account fund and subsequent investments.

This information is very basic and should not require calculations based on daily inquiries of the account balance screen.

I suggest one reason the TSP site is seeing high traffic is that people are looking for this information and are clicking anything that might yield it. Please ask TSP, which doesn't respond to individual e-mails, when it will add these basic features that any private-sector mutual fund Web site would provide.

Start-up pains and transaction volume issues are to be expected. But the lack of transaction history is disappointing. I expected more out of the project.

On the subject of design, I like the Web site design. It's a caricature of a classic 1960s government pamphlet. It's nice to see that someone there has a keen sense of humor.

J. Lewis
Interior Department
Denver

***

Eight days and counting. Maybe if I click my heels three times and keep repeating, "There's no place like TSP, there's no place like TSP," I'll get access to my account to make an interfund transfer! That sounds like a fairy tale, but so does this new TSP system I keep hearing about.

Lawrence Lee
Environmental Protection Agency

***

It is June 24 and the system is still not working. I believe FCW was a little hasty in publishing a story dated June 23 telling us that the system has been corrected ["Feds' savings site a big hit and miss"].

The TSP board should stop their bogus messages about volume causing the problem and tell the truth about the flaws in the system that are causing the problem.

The TSP abandoned the paper method of applying for loans before they had a working electronic process. I mailed a residential loan request in mid-May and received a response June 23 advising me to resubmit my request. Now the Web-based application process does not work and the paper-based process does not appear to be working either.

This has left me hung out to dry on a home purchase, and I'm sure I am not the only one.

TSP provides little help by phone because each call produces bogus explanations about the cause of the problem and, more importantly, no useful information about the progress of the application I faxed to the TSP a week ago.

FCW should investigate and apply a little pressure to TSP instead of running fluff stories about minor bumps in introducing this vital service to millions of investors.

J.P. Archambo
U.S. Postal Service

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