New TSP software still plagued by bugs

tballard@govexec.com

Glitches and bugs are still plaguing the effort to create a new computer system to support two additional investment options for federal employees through the Thrift Savings Plan.

The computer software that runs the new system has numerous defects that haven't yet been fixed, though the testing phase is ahead of schedule, according to a written statement from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which runs the TSP. More than 5,700 bugs have been found in the system software to date, and approximately 1,600 of these have yet to be resolved, according to a statement from the TSP board.

The TSP is the government's 401(k)-style retirement plan. More than 2.4 million participants have more than $100 billion invested through the plan. Currently, federal employees have three investment options available through the TSP: the C Fund, which invests in stocks, the F Fund, which invests in bonds, and the G Fund, which invests in government securities.

The new TSP system will enable the creation of two new investment funds-the Small Capitalization Index Investment (S) Fund and the International Stock Index Investment (I) Fund. The new TSP system will also allow investors to check the value of their funds daily.

The new system was scheduled to debut four months ago, but in January that date was pushed up to Oct. 1 by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which runs the TSP. In June, the board announced the system wouldn't be ready in October decided not to set a new implementation date.

A bill pending before Congress, H.R. 208, would allow new federal employees to roll over money from private-sector 401(k) accounts into TSP accounts beginning Oct. 1. The bill would also allow new employees to immediately begin participating in the TSP. Under current rules, new employees have to wait a year before contributing money to their TSP accounts.

The Senate passed H.R. 208 in July, sending it back to the House of Representatives for approval of an amendment.

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