FEDweek

‘Retirement Systems Modernization’ Retired

The Office of Personnel Management has formally retired the term "retirement systems modernization," which was once its bellwether effort to improve the speed and accuracy of retirement application processing.

The program, more commonly known by its acronym RSM, arose out of years of costly computer systems upgrades and was formally launched despite warnings from the Government Accountability Office that tests were continuing to show it was unreliable. Those problems soon emerged when the program was put in actual use, and after a series of disputes between OPM and the contractor, the project was abandoned.

In addition to better automating retirement application processing RSM was to have functioned as the main database for post-retirement customer services.

OPM since has changed directions, emphasizing putting more people on the job and making only minor, targeted information technology changes. It formally buried the term in a March 5 Federal Register that delete references to RSM in OPM’s rules while incorporating the changes made since then.