Key Issues > OPM's Retirement Processing System Modernization
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OPM's Retirement Processing System Modernization

The Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) efforts to automate its retirement processing system have been hampered by long-standing challenges.

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OPM's efforts to reduce federal retirement processing time have included attempts over more than two decades to modernize its retirement processing system by automating paper-based processes and replacing antiquated information systems. However, these efforts have been unsuccessful due to weaknesses in key management practices such as project management, risk management, organizational change management, system testing, cost estimating, and progress reporting. The agency cancelled its most recent large-scale retirement modernization effort in February 2011.

In January 2012, OPM released a new plan to improve retirement processing that aims to achieve targeted, incremental retirement process improvements rather than a large-scale information system-based modernization. However, concerns remain because the agency's new plan does not address improving or eliminating the legacy information systems that support retirement processing.

Looking for our recommendations? Click on any report to find each associated recommendation and its current implementation status.

Federal Retirement Processing:

OPM Retirement Modernization:

Progress Has Been Hindered by Longstanding Information Technology Management Weaknesses
GAO-12-430T:
Published: Feb 1, 2012. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 2012.

OPM Retirement Modernization:

Longstanding Information Technology Management Weaknesses Need to Be Addressed
GAO-12-226T:
Published: Nov 15, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 15, 2011.

Office of Personnel Management:

Retirement Modernization Planning and Management Shortcomings Need to Be Addressed
GAO-09-529:
Published: Apr 21, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2009.

Retirement Security:

More Reports

Federal Workforce:

Recent Trends in Federal Civilian Employment and Compensation
GAO-14-215:
Published: Jan 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 29, 2014.

Capitol Police:

Retirement Benefits, Pay, Duties, and Attrition Compared to Other Federal Police Forces
GAO-12-58:
Published: Jan 24, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 2012.

Human Capital:

Sustained Attention to Strategic Human Capital Management Needed
GAO-09-632T:
Published: Apr 22, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2009.

Office of Personnel Management:

Improvements Needed to Ensure Successful Retirement Systems Modernization
GAO-08-345:
Published: Jan 31, 2008. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2008.

Human Capital:

Diversity in the Federal SES and the Senior Levels of the U.S. Postal Service
GAO-07-838T:
Published: May 10, 2007. Publicly Released: May 10, 2007.

Human Capital:

Trends in Executive and Judicial Pay
GAO-06-708:
Published: Jun 22, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2006.

Human Capital:

Symposium on Designing and Managing Market-Based and More Performance-Oriented Pay Systems
GAO-05-832SP:
Published: Jul 27, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2005.

Office of Personnel Management:

Retirement Systems Modernization Program Faces Numerous Challenges
GAO-05-237:
Published: Feb 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2005.
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  • portrait of Valerie C. Melvin
    • Valerie C. Melvin
    • Director, Information Management and Technology Resources Issues
    • melvinv@gao.gov
    • 202-512-6304