There is another typo in the OIG’s solicitation: “This change would not impact existing retirement systems for current employees.” It should say “This change would not impact existing retirement systems for current CAREER employees.” Up to 20 per cent of the workforce is non-career and not in a retirement system. They would be affected when converted to career.
The USPS OIG has posted Questions and Answers on the retirement benefits study. The amendment is the USPS OIG’s second attempt at trying to correct mistakes made in the first Questions and Answers. The USPS OIG explained Amendment 2 as “The purpose of this amendment is to correct the answers to the questions posted in Amendment 1.”
A recap of the OIG’s initial solicitation from the Federal Business Opportunities website:
Under the Postal Reorganization Act, the Postal Service is obligated to provide wages and benefits comparable to those provided in the private sector. However, Postal Service management believes that the FERS system is more costly and does not compare to retirement benefits provided in the private sector. The private sector has the ability to adjust to market conditions through changes in plan design, portability, investment strategy and other factors that reflect “best practices” in compensation and benefit policies.
Postal Service management is proposing a new retirement system, which it feels would benefit both new employees coming on board and the Postal Service. Management believes that by shifting to a Postal Service-administered retirement system, the Postal Service can more fully reflect the private sector trend and incorporate private sector best practices. This change would not impact existing retirement systems for current employees.
The purpose of this contract is to provide guidance for administering a retirement benefits program and a cost savings analysis by implementing industry best practices. Based on the research and analysis results, the Supplier will produce a report with findings and recommendations that will reveal ways in which the Postal Service could benefit from adopting the indentified best practices for its retirement benefits program. The USPS OIG intends to use the results in an audit report comparing the Postal Service’s retirement benefits program to private sector programs.
Here is the most recent amendment:
Questions and Answers
1. The central purpose of the project is stated in the Introduction as “to compare the U.S. Postal Service’s (“Postal Service”) retirement benefits program to retirement benefits programs offered by major private sector companies.” However, in the Scope of Work, it is stated that the chosen supplier will be required to “identify and select at least ten (10) companies and agencies for review,” and that these should “include a mix of both public and private organizations.” Can you clarify whether the entities to be examined will include only private-sector companies and their plans, or are public-sector employers and their retirement plans also to be considered?
OIG Response: The OIG would like the companies selected to be both private and public sector companies that are comparable to the Postal Service.
2. Does the USPS have an estimated budget for this project? If so, how much is it?
OIG Response: The OIG’s budget for this solicitation is no more than $100,000.
3. We would like to confirm our understanding of the desired structure of the price proposal. We understand that bidders must submit “a detailed cost/price proposal that includes appropriate direct labor categories and rates.” However, we would like to confirm that our price proposal must also include an all-encompassing fixed fee for the entire project. Additionally, although invoices are required to contain total hours cost and direct travel costs for each task, we would like to confirm that the price proposal does not have to present a breakdown of the proposed overall fee by task.
OIG Response: Each price proposal shall include fully burdened rates for each labor category proposed. Supplier are not required to submit backup documentation or breakdown cost per task.
4. As the intent is to examine alternative retirement designs for the coverage of future new hires and the potential cost savings associated with them, will the USPS be able to provide us with information on the demographic characteristics of new hires in recent years and/or workforce projections that would be helpful in conducting our analyses of this issue?
OIG Response: The OIG will be able to provide the statistical data needed to assist in the analysis that will be conducted.
5. We understand that our price proposal must be submitted as a separate document from our technical proposal. May they be e-mailed as separate attachments to a single e-mail message, or must they be e-mailed separately as well?
OIG Response: Pricing and technical proposals may be submitted via emailed in one single email.
6. Please clarify the types of benefit programs included in the scope of work. Does it include defined benefit pension plans, defined contribution plans, retiree medical benefits, leave of absence benefits, any other benefit types?
OIG Response: The scope of work should include “defined benefit pension plans” and “defined contribution plans”.
7. Should the research be limited to organizations that have gone through cost savings efforts in the recent past?
OIG Response: No, we do not want the research to be strictly limited to organizations that have gone through recent cost savings effort. However, we would like all the organizations to showcase effective cost savings that can be beneficial to the Postal Service.
8. Has a Supplier provided similar retirement benefits services to Postal Service (OIG or Management) in the last 5 years? If so, who?
OIG Response: NO
9. Task 3 states “Develop a comprehensive list of questions and other tools or techniques as appropriate for use in the research and analysis of worker’s compensation programs.” Please clarify the task.
OIG Response: Typo, the contract should read retirements benefit program.
10. Section 4 states “The total contract value of this contract to include base and all options is $________.” In section 7, the period of performance does not make reference to option years. Please clarify the period of performance.
OIG Response: Typo, the contract only has a base period of performance. Contract will expire.
11. The Introduction states “The purpose of this contract is to compare the U.S. Postal Service’s (“Postal Service”) retirement benefits program to retirement benefits programs offered by major private sector companies”; however, public sector entities are listed as potential sources for research. Does the USPS OIG prefer its program to be benchmarked against public sector, private sector or a blend of both?
OIG Response: The OIG would prefer both private and public sector companies, however, we would like that the companies be comparable in size and structure.
September 13, 2013
Amend_2_-_Question_responses_9-12-13.doc (40.50 Kb)
Description: Revised QnA