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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Awards Second FERCCA Financial Counseling Services Contract; Follows September 7 Award of Calculator Development Contract

Director Kay Coles James Responds to Concerns of Federal Employees and Federal Retirees Assigned to the Wrong Civil Service Retirement System

Systems to elevate standard of excellence

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James today announced a second contract has been awarded that will provide personal financial counseling services to more than 5,100 federal employees and federal retirees who must select a permanent retirement system. These current and former employees were placed into the wrong retirement system many years ago.

A separate contract was awarded September 7 for the development of a software package, also known as a calculator, to assist these same individuals with the selection process.

"The final building block is now in place to correct a situation that created uncertainty for thousands of federal employees who, through no fault of their own, were placed in the wrong retirement system," said James. "With this action, affected individuals soon will have the information to make an important financial decision, bringing peace-of-mind to themselves and their families. And I am grateful to have been able to take the next step toward closure."

James said the contracts for the calculator and financial counseling will provide a better level of service to affected individuals who were erroneously placed by their employing agencies into the wrong retirement system beginning in January 1987. Each contract is intended to assist individuals in making an educated decision about their retirement coverage.

Just yesterday, James updated congressional oversight and authorization committees on OPM's progress in correcting retirement coverage errors under the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA). In her letter, the Director noted that 5,144 current and retired federal employees out of 11,264 who registered under FERCCA are eligible to make a decision on which one of two systems they want for retirement coverage. Those who were declared ineligible under FERCCA, OPM determined, had originally been placed in the correct retirement system, or they had been transferred to the right system by their employing agency in a timely manner.

OPM is notifying registrants of their status under FERCCA and providing individuals determined to be eligible under the act with a status report and timeline for further action. James said work will be completed one year from the date that election packages and financial counseling contract work begins.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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