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Retirement Systems Modernization

RSM External Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  1. What is Retirement Systems Modernization (RSM)?
    Retirement Systems Modernization (RSM) is OPM’s strategic initiative to improve the quality and timeliness of services to members of the Civil Service and Federal Employees Retirement Systems by modernizing business processes and the technology that supports them.

  2. What are the major components of RSM?
    The first major component of RSM is the transformation of paper to electronic record keeping using the Electronic Human Resources Integration (eHRI) data warehouse as the primary source of retirement data. The second main component is the licensing of an existing, proven defined-benefits technology from an industry leader to support program administration at OPM and at the HR LOB shared service centers.

  3. Why is this modernization necessary?
    The workload of retirement cases is increasing because of the growing number of applicants; this increase has caused us to turn to modernization. The modernization of the Federal Retirement System is necessary to give Federal employees and annuitants the service that they desire. Modernization will also provide a higher level of service to members. The objective of the Retirement System Modernization Program is to improve the quality and timeliness of services received by members of the Civil Service and Federal Employees Retirement Systems. Transforming business processes and the technology that supports them will lead to success.

  4. What are the benefits of this modernization?
    First, the modernization will allow for retirement benefits to be processed in a timelier, more efficient manner. The goal is to provide the full benefit to the annuitant on the first day it is due. Secondly, financial planning for retirement in advance is an essential element for employees to meet their personal and financial goals. New self-service options and web based tools will be available on-demand for Federal employees to help them to plan early for their retirement. Also, administrators will have access to Federal employees' and annuitants' information in the system, allowing for enhanced retirement and post-retirement counseling. The automation of claims processing will efficiently and consistently provide Federal employees and annuitants access to retirement information that was not previously available from OPM.

  5. What are "Self-Service tools"?
    Self-service tools allow Federal employees and annuitants to complete tasks online by themselves, rather than depending on others to perform a process for them. This is a win/win situation for both the customers and OPM. It frees up OPM employees to provide a higher level of support to customers by working on things they want help with, and at the same time, allows customers the flexibility to make their own decisions on their own time. It creates a more efficient, effective organization that has long-term and wide-spread benefits.

  6. How will the annuitant or Federal employee access the RSM system and retirement information?
    The system will be accessible for the employee via Your Benefits Resource (YBR), a web site interface. Federal employees and annuitants will receive a User ID and Password that will enable them to access their retirement information in a secure environment.

  7. What is DBTS?
    DBTS is the Defined Benefits Technology Solution. This is the technology that will support the RSM program and the future of retirement processing.

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  1. When will the RSM program begin implementation?
    The implementation of the RSM program began in July, 2006 and will continue through 2010. Employees under GSA, including OPM employees, are in the first wave and will Go-Live beginning February 2008. Organizations under additional Shared Service Centers and independent agencies will come online with the new solution in a series of waves.

  2. How will the new system differ from today's retirement processes?
    The key difference is the information required for retirement of employees will be available in the new technology, and most calculations will be done electronically. The new system will automate 90 percent of retirement claims transactions over time using electronic data that has been transferred from paper records. The automated process will still require manual intervention for more complex cases.

  3. How will the new system store and update employee data?
    Employee data will be maintained in the new system database. Active Federal employee's paper documents stored in Boyers, PA and other locations will be imaged and converted into electronic data. OPM is currently working with Agencies and Shared Service Centers to create electronic data feeds to further populate DBTS. Once in DBTS, the data will be centrally stored and maintained by ongoing feeds from Agencies and payroll providers.

  4. How will OPM handle retirement correspondence via paper mail once the new system is implemented?
    When a paper document is received, it will be imaged and loaded into the solution as an electronic copy. The image will then be electronically routed to the proper Retirement personnel for processing.

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  1. What steps are being taken to make sure that this new system is secure?
    The system will be highly secure from the development phase through "Go-Live." Information will be secured through certification and accreditation processes. Annuitants and active employees will be provided logon and PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) to access the system. Additionally, we intend to communicate to annuitants and active Federal employees that logon and PIN information are to be kept private, and sharing this information with anyone else unless clearly authorized exposes them to significant risk. It will be made clear in the system that unauthorized people who exploit an annuitant or employee’s data are committing identify theft and can be prosecuted by the law enforcement.

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My Retirement

  1. I am an active or retired Federal employee, how will I receive information concerning my benefits and retirement?
    Your Benefits Resource (YBR) is an online resource for you to access your benefits and retirement information. The YBR website will offer the ability to view and select retirement and benefits, for example, to select enrollment, view payment records, and model retirement options.

  2. What are the methods available for annuitants and active employees to receive Benefit and Retirement support?
    Annuitants and active employees will have multiple channels available to them including a self-service web based tool called Your Benefits Resource (YBR) , speaking to a Customer Support Specialist at OPM via the telephone or visiting their Agency Benefits Office for support and information.

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Federal Agencies
  1. What will be the role of Agencies in the new retirement processing system?
    Roles and responsibilities have not yet been fully defined for Agencies and OPM. Agencies will continue to be responsible for providing retirement information and guiding their employees through the retirement process. Active Federal Employees will continue to contact their Agency Benefits Officer as the first point of contact.

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