OPM will soon decide RetireEZ's future

The Office of Personnel Management will decide before October's end how to proceed with its retirement systems modernization project, RetireEZ,  Michael Hager, OPM’s acting director, said recently. OPM issued a stop-work order in May against contractor Hewitt Associates over performance issues related to the system's benefits calculator engine.

The agency had planned to add 61 additional functions to conduct benefits calculations to the first phase, or Wave 1, of RetireEZ, the agency said in May. At the time, RetireEZ covered about 26,000 employees at four agencies, but only four of its functions passed user-acceptance tests, OPM said then.

The system as planned would automatically calculate annuity checks for federal employees under different financial scenarios so the employees could determine the best time to retire.

“We have additional analysis that is yet to take place, and we will make decisions on the status of the long-term strategy for Retire EZ. That will take place between now and no later than sometime in October. It took us a long time to get here, and there are no quick fixes or answers on this,” Hager said Sept. 15 in his initial meeting with reporters after his first month as acting director. Hager replaced Linda Springer.

OPM has not decided whether to continue with Hewitt, he said.

“They have been asked to complete initiatives, and even though there is a stop-work order, they are still being evaluated,” Hager said.

OPM awarded a 10-year, $290 million life-cycle contract in May 2006 to Hewitt to provide the technology for RetireEZ, including modifying its commercial benefits system, the Defined Benefits Technology Solution, to comply with federal regulations.

OPM said it has continued with data conversion and business process change activities that did not involve Hewitt.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.


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