GA woman says retirement in limbo months after Ch. 2 investigation exposed widespread problems

ATLANTA — A Georgia woman’s retirement savings has been in limbo for months after she asked the federal government to roll over her money into her private IRA.

“Your money is just, who knows where?” Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray asked Robyn Smith, of Walton County.

“In the stratosphere somewhere,” Smith said.

On Oct. 19, Smith initiated a rollover of her Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, the 401k-like plan for federal government employees into her IRA.


But the check never made it. It also hasn’t been earning in her investment again or paying monthly disbursements either for the past three months.

“My money has been uninvested since Oct. 19,” Smith said.

The retired federal law enforcement officer relies on the monthly payouts from her retirement account to pay her bills.

“So, I’m going on month four with 50% less of my monthly take-home pay,” she said.

In July 2023, a Channel 2 Action News investigation reported on how thousands of federal employees and retirees were unable to access or having trouble making money transfers from their Thrift Savings Accounts


People like retired postal carrier Michael Pointer who spent months just trying to get a statement confirming his balance account for a legal matter.

“They said, ‘Well, since we can’t find your account we can’t supply you with any information,’” Pointer said.

A new computer system transition in 2022 was allegedly to blame but the problem was so big the government’s internal auditors at the GAO sent out an alert.

“There was just a cascade of complaints and widespread issues,” Jennifer Franks from the GAO told Gray at the time.

But months after TSP told Channel 2 Action News that it had made progress on the issues, Smith has had to call repeatedly about her rollover check more than a dozen times and has received no answers on where her retirement savings have gone.

“I’m not waiting on taxpayer money or taxpayer benefit. This is money that I earned, and I invested,” Smith said.

And in the months that Smith’s money has been out of the market in limbo the stock market has been bullish.

Major investment gains she will never see, even when this is finally resolved.

“There’s no way I’m going to make up that money. If I were to get a check in the mail today, I still don’t have what I’ve lost,” Smith said.

The GAO said it expects the results of their investigation into TSP by spring or early summer.