Congresswoman Hints at Possibility of Hearing Over TSP Problems

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is still trying to get to the bottom of the recent problems stemming from the rollout of the new TSP website.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) did not take the possibility of a Congressional hearing off of the table after meeting with the Executive Director of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) regarding problems that have arisen after the rollout of the new TSP website.

Norton requested a meeting earlier this week with Ravindra Deo, the Executive Director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), the agency tasked with oversight of the TSP. She said today that she met with him to discuss the various problems with the new TSP website that was rolled out at the start of June.

As a result of the meeting, Deo committed to sending weekly updates about the system’s status to her.

“I appreciate the timely response by Executive Director Ravindra Deo to my request for a meeting to discuss the problems my constituents are having with the new TSP system,” Norton said. “I am pleased Director Deo accepted my request to be sent weekly updates. My constituents and federal employees and retirees across the country continue to face many problems with the new system, including taxes being erroneously taken from accounts, incorrect beneficiary information, and inability to access their retirement savings.”

She added, “I will be watching to see whether my constituents see any improvement with the system, looking closely at the weekly updates from the FRTIB, and continuing to insist on fixes and accountability. I indicated the possibility of seeking a House hearing if improvements are not made more quickly.”

Norton’s Other Efforts to Investigate TSP Problems

Norton sent a letter to the FRTIB earlier this month in which she said that a number of her constituents reported to her that they were unable to access their TSP information and investments and also could not get through to the TSP’s customer service helpline for assistance after the rollout of the changes to the new TSP website. She asked the FRTIB for an explanation of the cause of the problems and what was being done to fix them as well as steps the agency had taken to prepare for and roll out the new system.

Deo sent a response to her within a few days in which he admitted that the number of calls to the TSP’s customer support line was higher than expected after the website upgrades but that many more support agents have been added to handle the call volume. He also explained in the letter why the changes had been made and detailed progress made up to that point in addressing the problems.

However, Norton said that she was unsatisfied with the response.

“While the FRTIB’s response expounds on the transition and benefits of the new TSP online system, it does not address the questions I posed in my letter. Nor does it address the problems my constituents are having accessing their TSP accounts,” she said after receiving the letter.

The FRTIB also shared some important information about the new TSP features, problems that have been encountered and status of resolving those issues in its monthly meeting this week. For details, see TSP Update: TSP Changes, Overcoming Obstacles and Status.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.