A consulting firm is working to keep a U.S. Office of Personnel Management retirement calculation engine contract.

The OPM officials say the agency will continue to work on the RetireEZ program without Hewitt Associates L.L.C., Lincolnshire, Ill., because Hewitt has not produced a “functioning retirement calculation engine.”

The RetireEZ program is supposed to create a mechanism that retiring federal employees can use to collect full retirement benefits immediately after they retire.

Today, retirees must collect lower interim benefits while the government calculates the exact benefit payment amount.

OPM officials say they continue to move ahead with efforts to convert paper employee records into an electronic format and to combine electronic records in a single, integrated database.

Hewitt has issued a statement calling the OPM’s effort to terminate the calculation engine contract “very disappointing.”

“We have delivered on our contractual commitments and taken extra steps to try to ensure the success of the project despite serious program management deficiencies on the part of OPM,” Hewitt says.

“We will vigorously challenge OPM’s attempt to terminate this contract for default and are confident in our position,” the firm says.

The OPM is the party that has “failed to deliver on its contractual requirements and commitments,” Hewitt says.