OPM abandons RetireEZ


This is a lesson for every agency about reaching too far in developing a project. It happened to the Office of Personnel Management, which had plans for an online retirement calculator that would allow federal employees to project their pensions.

John Berry, OPM's new director announced last week that the plans were being abandoned. He told reporters at a briefing that OPM would concentrate on modernizing the government's paper-based legacy system, which is unable to calculate an employee's precession pension for several months after he or she had retired.

Wow! Is this a setback or what? You can calculate your monthly Social Security benefit online at www.ssa.gov. You can figure out how much you owe in your yearly tax bill at www.irs.gov. So what's wrong with OPM, and why didn't they stretch the extra mile to make this a reality, not just a pipe dream?

"I'm taking it back to basics," said Berry, who believes that replacing the legacy system is long overdue.

Instead, OPM is starting over on the modernization project. It asked private companies what new technologies and systems could help. And it wants the ideas by June 15.

Is this any way to run a government agency? Probably not. But it certainly is essential that the agency with responsibility for pensions for every federal worker come up with a solution, and do it pronto!

For more on OPM's dilemma:
- check out this Federal Times article