What is Going On With the TSP Website?
A topic that has captured considerable interest among FedSmith readers in the past few months among Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) investors is the status and performance of the new TSP website.
The revised version of the TSP website was released in June 2022. As noted in various articles such as this one, TSP investors experienced a wide range of problems and were quite vocal in expressing their displeasure with the experience.
The initial performance of the new website was, according to many readers, disappointing at best.
Since then, a number of improvements have been made as problems were identified and attempts have been made to resolve the problems.
At the latest meeting of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) on February 28, 2023, the contractor for this project, Accenture Federal Services, provided an update on the status, in other words, what has been going on to improve the user experience with the website and what areas still need the most attention for improvement.
How the TSP Website is Being Used by TSP Investors
Here is a brief summary of where improvements have been made in recent weeks. This list is from a chart presented at the FRTIB monthly meeting.
- More than 3.3 million participants have created their new My Account log-in information and 90% of all participant interactions are occurring through digital service channels.
- TSP core record keeping functionality is running, and transactions are being processed at record-breaking rates.
- Steps have been taken to make significant improvements in the call center, resulting in improved participant satisfaction.
- The program continues to consistently achieve key contract performance measures.
- Improvements to overall operational processes have also been made, with a focus on reducing customer cases.
- The TSP is focused on continuous evaluation and introducing new innovations to improve participant outcomes and the overall participant experience.
- Addressing current issues and identifying opportunities for ongoing improvement remains the program’s top priority.
Prior to the introduction of the new website, there were about 4.1 million online accounts. There are now about 3.3 million accounts. The Accenture representative noted they anticipate the number will again reach prior level of 4.1 million accounts in June or July 2023.
Satisfaction Rate for Calls to the TSP
TSP investors using the website are using the digital, self-service channels. 90% of all interactions are now being handled through these channels. Here is a summary of the number of interactions with the various channels:
- My Account Logins: 33,096,710
- Mobile App Downloads: 601,054
- Virtual Assistant Sessions: 1,034,641 Live Chat Sessions: 43,561
- E-mail: 59,527 Funded Mutual Fund Window Accounts: 2,821
- Transactions completed using e-Signature: 748,396
A large number of loans and withdrawal requests have been received and processed. Here are some of the highlights of participant transactions:
- More than $2.6 billion in loans have been processed since June 1, 2022
- More than $18.3 billion in withdrawals have been processed since June 1, 2022
- More than 3 million participants have successfully established new online accounts
- 330,000 TSP participants have updated their beneficiaries using the new version of the website.
Call Center Performance
At the end of the year, there are always more queries and interactions with the TSP Call Center. The number of calls started going up in December. More than 12.2 million calls were handled by the ThriftLine center from September – January.
There has been gradual improvement in participant satisfaction with these calls since September. By the end of January, the satisfaction rate was at 88.74%. The goal for participant satisfaction is a satisfaction rate of 90%.
The statistics for the call center have improved. Highlights cited by Accenture Federal Services in call center performance from February 7 – February 20 include:
- 12,927 average number of calls answered on a daily basis
- 38 seconds average wait time by callers
- 11 minutes, 34 seconds is the duration of most calls
- 89.2% call center participant satisfaction
- 79.6% of calls are answered in less than 20 seconds
- 35% are repeat callers
Areas Requiring Improvement
The goal for participant satisfaction is 90%. Accenture stated that the industry standard of participant satisfaction is 80%. Based on the latest data, participant satisfaction is still below the goal of 90%.
In January, overall participant satisfaction was 81.72%. Performance expectations were met in four of the last six months. Despite the increased events with the end of year activity, February performance has been good.
Here is the breakdown of the satisfaction level in different areas for January:
- Phone: 88.74%
- Website/Mobile App: 72.51%
- Virtual Assistant: 77.19%
TSP Website Service Levels Areas of Success
According to the Accenture briefing, service levels for a number of areas have been met each month since the new website was launched in June. Some of these areas as “behind-the-scene” actions that are critical to the performance of a website but may not be visible to participants unless there is a failure.
Security and information technology service levels have all been met. Other areas of successful performance are:
- Financial Interactions
- Transaction Processing Time
- Transaction Processing Accuracy
- Payroll Processing Time
- Payroll Processing Accuracy
Other Topics to Improve Participant Experience and Satisfaction
Based on comments from TSP investors using the new TSP website, there are other areas that have provided a source of complaints. Here are some of the improvements that are now being implemented:
- Addressing issues with minimum installment payment amounts and withholdings discrepancies using the self-service features
- Enhancing online self-service features for installments, withdrawals and loans
- Online statements from 2021 and 2022 will be available in mid-March
- The ability of website users to change their pin will be made easier
- Adding more comprehensive year-end reporting features
- Easier access to seeing where an investor’s money is invested
- Improving ThriftLine representatives’ access to additional information to respond to investor queries
- Improving the Virtual Agent’s ability to provide status updates and to guide participants through completing personalized actions
What Has Led to Problems with Transition?
At the end of the presentation, FRTIB members asked several questions.
In answering these questions for Accenture, the representative noted that many of the problems occurred as a result of issues that were more complex than more normal procedures. This was also complicated by an older demographic that is not as experienced in using a computer program to resolve issues and therefore may have to handle problems with a phone call.
More training is being provided and has been provided to call center representatives for more complex cases with these phone calls.
The number of older cases piled up. That back-log has now been resolved. Phone service is not going to go away. Cases are being resolved more quickly.
No doubt, for those TSP investors that use the website and the TSP call center regularly, they are hoping some of these lingering problems have been resolved or will be in the near future.