OPM makes it easier to retire

The Office of Personnel Management is providing about 26,000 employees at four agencies the easy way out.

That is, for those federal workers ready to retire, OPM launched RetireEZ today. It will let them quickly and accurately calculate their retirement benefits and electronically transfer the proper paperwork.

The agencies using the initial rollout of the Retirement Systems Modernization (RSM) application are OPM, the General Services Administration, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Railroad Retirement Board — all of which use GSA’s payroll processing center.

RSM will modernize the existing federal retirement system by improving services through new technologies and business processes. It is a multiphase, multiyear program that will revamp various processes that provide services to employees participating in the government’s retirement program.

“RetireEZ moves federal agencies from a labor-intensive, paper-based process to a modern electronic system that contains all the federal and military service records needed to compute the annuities of federal employees,” said OPM Director Linda Springer in a statement. “With the efficient electronic transfer of retirement-related documents to OPM, employees will receive their full annuity from the start, instead of first being subjected to reduced interim payments due to missing paperwork.”

The rest of the government, the Postal Service, and the legislative and judicial branches will start using the system over the next year, OPM said.

OPM hired Hewitt and Associates in May 2006 under a $290 million contract to create a database that will let employees view their work history and salary, calculate retirement benefits, and model retirement benefits by projecting years of employment and future salary increases.

The agency then chose Accenture for a $40 million contract that will provide more efficient information technology and business systems to expedite how retirees receive retirement benefit checks.

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