“It’s a mess,” said Stacey Pickens, a retiree from the Department of Agriculture, who said she was banned from her account and then stopped for four hours with customer service only to be cut. Lack of professionalism, lack of access and lack of information are not reassuring. As a retiree, this is a vote to transfer my money from TSP.”
Federal Retirement Savings Program to Expand Investment Options Largely
From. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DD.C) raised many of these issues in a letter last week to the Board of Directors of the Thrift Savings Plan, called the Federal Retirement Savings Investment Board, or FRTIB.
“Voters indicated they tried to contact TSP ‘ThriftLine’ for help, only to be suspended for several hours and then fired before speaking to someone,” she wrote. In some cases, she added, account holders now have to wait for the security code to be delivered by mail, “which delays access to the account for weeks.”
The board of directors apologized for the problems, blaming logistical difficulties and a lack of staff at customer service centers. It says successful logins for new accounts have gone up in recent weeks and wait times for customer service calls have been brought down.
“We expected the transition to be, as is often the case, bumpy,” the board of directors wrote Friday to Norton. “We sincerely apologize for the frustration and inconvenience some of our participants are experiencing. We are working to address these issues as quickly as possible so we can help those who need it.”
The system, which launched on June 1 after years of development, has added features to the TSP, including allowing investors who meet certain conditions to transfer some of their money to offshore mutual funds. The TSP, a 401(k) program for current and former federal and military personnel, had 6.6 million account holders with an investment of $734 billion through the end of May, making it the largest such program in the country.
The change required investors to update the online accounts used to manage their money by switching between funds, changing ongoing investments, or withdrawing funds.
Federal workers and retirees have described an epidemic of platform malfunctions, and anxious lawmakers are pressing for rapid improvement.
“I think the worst part is that my previous experience with TSP was great,” Pickens said. “It was easy, reliable and accessible.”
Senator. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) wrote to the board last week that many of his “voters have been unable to complete the login setup process, and when they try to contact ThriftLine, they are suspended for at least an hour.” He asked for clarification of what the provider plans to do. translation and whether there is a “workaround for TSP participants to access their account while these login setup issues persist.”
The TSP board says the data shows improvements. She said that since June 1, successful new logins have risen from 75 percent to 90 percent, and the addition of customer service representatives has reduced call waiting times, although the board acknowledges that Waiting for a “long stay”.
Despite this, Norton said in a statement on Tuesday that the board’s response “does not address the problems voters have in accessing their TSP accounts. In addition, the response fails to provide information about what the FRTIB team plans to do to correct the problems.” I will continue to look for answers, reforms, and accountability.”
Another federal retiree, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the nature of his previous job, said he waited until the end of last week to try to log in “hoping they had some bugs fixed” but that the system didn’t recognize identifying information he had used for years. “Attempting to scan and upload my driver’s license and passport was also a failure. I’m now waiting for the US Mail login code,” he wrote in an email.
TSP has published a list of “known issues” arising from recreating accounts online, including suggestions that account holders try a different browser and turn off autocomplete functions.
This page also notes that personal accounts now display balances and messages back to switch on June 1st only; Investors who require information by that time should call the Customer Service Line. The letter also urges account holders to ensure that beneficiary designations are updated in the event of death.
A federal employee, who asked not to be identified due to the agency’s policy restricting public comment, said he found these two policies annoying. In an email, he said he was able to recreate his personal account fairly easily, but he didn’t show the beneficiary selection he made earlier and was missing the account information he wanted to see.
“I expect more from the organization that will manage and protect my retirement,” he said. “Those two small issues put the ability of the entire organization to perform its mission into question.”
TSP spokeswoman Kim Weaver said more than 800,000 investors have created new logins. Latest 90 percent success rate for new logins “It’s not from our perspective that bad customer service. It actually ensures that we protect our participants’ accounts,” she said in a phone interview…There are bots trying to do that.
She said that since June 1 – when the phone line received 130,000 calls, 2.5 times the previous high daily figure – the number of call center employees has increased from 485 to 805. During that time, the drop-out rate dropped from 90% to 66%. TSP said the average waiting time on the call line is now down to 49 minutes from two hours on June 6.
“While our service level in call centers needs a lot of improvement, it is heading in the right direction, and we will continue to add call center representatives to deal with the increasing volume,” she said.
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