OPM explores outsourcing retirement systems upgrade

The Office of Personnel Management on Friday released a request for information about outsourcing its Retirement Systems Modernization.

The RSM project is closely linked to the agency's five Quicksilver e-government projects, but it is not a part of the Office of Management and Budget's 25 initiatives. Interested vendors have until Feb. 21 to respond; only those vendors that respond will be eligible to bid should OPM decide to outsource the effort.

OPM analyzed the customer service operations and retirement claims processing and defined benefit record-keeping functions for the government's Civil Service Retirement and the Federal Employees Retirement systems.

The agency found that outsourcing "offers potentially lower risk and faster implementation, and may be comparable in cost to the estimated RSM baseline for some functions."

The customer service operations include all communications as well as payment adjustments.

OPM manages its claims processing and defined benefits record-keeping on paper. Through the modernization, it wants to automate manual processes, including the review of claim applications, updating of benefit pay status and appeals filings.

The retirement systems cover more than 5 million current and retired federal workers and their families. More than 2 million retirees receive payments each month and the trust has more than $450 billion in assets. The current retirement systems have interfaces with 14 federal human resources systems.

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