Thrift postpones online system start

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has again delayed the rollout of the Thrift Savings Plan's record-keeping system.

After five years of fits and starts, the board hoped to unveil the new online system Sept. 16, but transferring data to it has taken longer than expected and delayed parallel testing of the new and old systems.

Officials said they hope to get the system up in November after tests to ensure it can handle the high volume of daily transactions from TSP's 2.9 million civilian and military service members.

SunGard Data Systems Inc. of Wayne, Pa., a subcontractor to Materials, Communications and Computers Inc. of Alexandria, Va., last week finished the data conversion.

'We will make a transition to the new system only when we are completely satisfied with its reliability. Parallel testing will ascertain this,' said Roger Mehle, the board's executive director.

The board said Matcom developed the system on time and on budget

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