The Office of Personnel Management has said it wants to create a “modern retirement experience” for current and future federal retirees, including initiatives on call center service, digital retirement, and digital file management.
“OPM plans to setup new telephony to serve retirees and will look into new features such as multimodal communications, automated inquiries, and call back capabilities that aim to reduce call times and increase the quality of customers experience,” says a plan sent to Congress on the agency’s priorities.
“OPM will also look into a digital retirement system which aims to retire individuals entirely online. OPM seeks a system that will allow individuals to apply for their annuity directly with OPM, rather than sending paper files to payroll providers who in turn send them to OPM,” it says.
OPM said that it envisions that the system will create a profile for individuals “so that OPM can communicate the status of their individual case from the time they submit, all the way through tax season each year they receive an annuity. OPM anticipates that these enhancements will be a significant improvement to the retirement experience, as it will consolidate the numerous touchpoints an annuitant may have into a single place where they can receive their benefits.”
OPM will also explore consolidating digital file management into a single system that “will not be reliant on an OPM-wide solution before retirement-specific capabilities can be built and deployed.”
The agency did not set time frames for achieving those goals but it did set a goal of answering calls to its retirement call center within five minutes, and achieving an average processing time for retirement applications of 60 days.
Retirement processing time, customer service and digitization of records have been long-running issues at OPM and have been the subject of numerous prior efforts involving adding people, technology or both.