The effort to tame the Office of Personnel Management’s struggling retirement system is about to lose its leader. Associate Director of Retirement Benefits Bill Zielinski will return to the Social Security Administration in September to become its next regional commissioner in San Francisco, Federal News Radio reported yesterday.
That’s not good news for the tens of thousands of recent federal retirees who aren’t getting their complete pension checks, and were looking to Zielinski to fix the perennial problem. OPM Director John Berry made it Zielinski’s top priority last fall, and Zielinski felt the agency was making progress. Zielinski last month said OPM would issue quicker, more accurate interim annuities by using the initial pension estimates retirees’ employing agencies. And OPM is moving to eliminate paper records in favor of electronic records, which he hopes will eventually allow faster, more accurate calculations.
OPM said that Kenneth Zawodny, who is currently deputy associate director of the Center for Operations at the agency’s Federal Investigative Services Division, will take Zielinski’s place. FISD handles background checks for the bulk of the federal government, and Zawodny is in charge of case management and field investigation programs, including international and counterintelligence investigations.