A group of House lawmakers are calling for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an investigation of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) over the series of problems reported by federal employees and retirees stemming from the launch of the new TSP website at the start of June.
The letter was sent by Congressmen Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Don Beyer (D-VA) Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA).
The lawmakers are making the request after hearing reports from their constituents about various problems with the new TSP online system including account access, account balances, missing or incomplete information in their accounts, and hours-long wait times to reach customer service.
A copy of the letter is included at the end of this article.
Norton’s Efforts to Investigate TSP Problems
Norton had said earlier this month that she wanted a GAO investigation of the problems at the TSP and also wants an inspector general set up for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), the agency that oversees operation of the TSP.
She has also had a meeting with the Executive Director of the FRTIB, Ravindra Deo, and has threatened the possibility of a Congressional hearing over the problems.
All of this came after she sent a letter to the FRTIB asking for an explanation of the cause of the problems and what was being done to fix them. She also wanted to know what steps the agency had taken to prepare for the roll out of the new TSP website prior to launching it.
Deo sent her a response 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, she said she was unsatisfied with the response and has continued to press the FRTIB over the situation. That has now become a formal request for a GAO investigation.
The FRTIB said in its most recent monthly meeting that the delays with calls to the TSP customer support center have continued to improve, but that things are unlikely to get back to normal until August. The calls to the TSP customer support center were up about 402% in June 2022 compared to June 2021 as a result of the rollout of the new TSP website and features.
Letter Requesting GAO Investigation of TSP Problems
Dear Comptroller General Dodaro,
We request that the Government Accountability Office conduct a comprehensive examination of the new Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) online system, including the planning, contract award and implementation, as well as oversight by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB).
On June 1, 2022, FRTIB launched a new system with the goal of modernizing TSP’s recordkeeping, improving customer service and bolstering cybersecurity. Our offices have heard from constituents about widespread problems, including account access, account balances, missing or incomplete information in their accounts and hours-long wait times to reach customer service.
As of December 2021, TSP had approximately 6.5 million participants and $838,052,933,000 in assets, making it the world’s largest defined contribution plan. Federal employees dedicate their careers to serving our country, and they deserve a retirement savings and investment plan that provides top-tier customer support and security.
Thank you for your consideration.
Congressmen Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
Don Beyer (D-VA)
Jennifer Wexton (D-VA)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)