OPM Retirement Applications Backlog Now Below 30k

By on January 7, 2013 in Current Events, Retirement with 19 Comments

OPM released its latest monthly retirement processing status report for December. The number of actual claims received was the lowest in 2012, and the outstanding inventory is now below 30,000.

5,152 applications were received in December, the lowest number in 2012. OPM processed over double that number, 10,454, which helped reduce the outstanding inventory down to 26,402.

Despite OPM’s progress on reducing the backlog of claims, FedSmith.com users have reported that they are still generally dissatisfied with the status of their applications.

January is historically a popular month for retirements (last January OPM received over 20,000 applications), so there is a good chance that there will be a substantial bump in incoming applications in the next report which could cause the backlog to rise as well.

The latest inventory report is listed in full below.

Month Projected Claims Received Projected Claims Processed Projected
Inventory (inventory plus claims less processed)
Actual Claims Received Actual Claims Processed Inventory (inventory plus claims less processed)
Jan-12 21,000 8,000 61,378 21,479 8,749 61,108
Feb-12 5,600 8,300 58,678 6,415 9,953 57,570
Mar-12 5,000 8,300 55,378 7,090 12,386 52,274
Apr-12 8,000 8,300 55,078 6,770 8,028 51,016
May-12 8,000 8,500 54,578 7,523 9,066 49,473
Jun-12 8,000 8,500 54,078 7,814 8,964 48,323
Jul-12 8,400 11,500 50,978 8,660 12,304 44,679
Aug-12 8,000 11,500 47,478 8,973 11,865 41,787
Sep-12 7,000 11,500 42,978 11,952 12,563 41,176
Oct-12 7,000 11,500 38,478 8,138 12,228 37,086
Nov-12 7,000 11,500 33,978 6,584 11,966 31,704
Dec-12 7,000 11,500 29,478 5,152 10,454 26,402

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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  1. gizmo77377 says:

    Although OPM claims to be reducing their backlog, they fail to address something I consider important.  Not only should they be processing retirement claims, they should be processing them completely and accurately.  I retired on December 31, 2011.  I sent them certified notice and documentation of my divorce in March 2012.  They sent what was supposed to be my full annuity in September 2012, however, they still reduced, and still are reducing my annuity for spousal survivor benefits almost a year later.  I have contacted them by phone, email, and fax and was told they had the paperwork under review.  Just how long does it take to review a divorce decree?   Although I am fairly certain they have included my case in their statistics as a processed case, my purse begs to differ, and I wonder just how many cases similar to mine are out there.

  2. Mcewenr says:

    I retired Dec 28, 2012 and just today, Feb 15, 2013, I received my first interim check.  I’m not sure what the final will look like, as I am a CSRS Offset so it will depend on how much offset against my social security.  I can get by with what I am getting but hope for more.

    • Wswift9999 says:

      Good luck! I would call monthly for updates and make a journal of their answers. When you reach your limit of what you consider a reasonable time, say 12 weeks, I advise you complain to everyone! It worked for me in 2010.

  3. Warren Durban says:

    I read back in Sep. 2012 that OPM estimated tha there would be 30k retired on Jan first. I WAS one of them. Called OPM on 1/17/13. I asked why my interim pay was only $ 683, 00. The rep cod not anser my question and only said that a lot of Fed retiries used their TSP money to pay bills and their savings for 8 months. I was told I was going to get $800.00 a month that was td to me by Navy Benefits Center in Norfolk Va last year.

  4. CC says:

    I retired in Aril – still nothing!

  5. Sfs621 says:

    I am a Federal employee that is less than a year from being able to retire (and I probably will). I have questions about the differences in the number of claims processed from month to month during 2012 (from a low of 8,028 in April to a high of 12,563 in Spetember). Why the large increase or decrease in the number of claims processed from one month to another during certain months of 2012? Were the same number of employees working on the claims each month or were there months that more or less employees were processing them? If it is basically the same number of employees each month, then I would love to know how they explain increasing the number of claims processed from 8,964 in June to 12,304 in July. If my math is correct, that is a 37% increase in one month. Conversely, I would love to know how they explain decreasing the number of claims processed from 12,386 in March to 8,028 in April. Once again, if my math is correct, that is a 35% decrease in one month. Why are there such large differences? Please don’t think that I am trying to be negative or to denigrate the work they are doing. It can’t be easy having to process these claims every day/month/year. I, like many of you, have been trying to keep my head above water trying to make up for the fact that they have not been replacing the employees that have retired the past several years. Even so, I truly am curious about the wide range in the numerical differences regarding this specific issue.

  6. chi_techie2 says:

    Retired 8/31/12.  First payment received 10/1/12/.  Full pension + back payments received 1/1/13.

  7. missmoe says:

    I retired on 10/1/12.  Received interium payments Nov, Dec.  Was notified a few days ago that it has been finalized.  Pretty quick, but I understand how frustrating this is for the thousands who have been waiting months.

  8. FedUp says:

    I am a Federal employee that is less than a year from being able to retire (and I probably will). I have questions about the differences in the number of claims processed from month to month during 2012 (from a low of 8,028 in April to a high of 12,563 in Spetember). Why the large increase or decrease in the number of claims processed from one month to another during certain months of 2012? Were the same number of employees working on the claims each month or were there months that more or less employees were processing them? If it is basically the same number of employees each month, then I would love to know how they explain increasing the number of claims processed from 8,964 in June to 12,304 in July. If my math is correct, that is a 37% increase in one month. Conversely, I would love to know how they explain decreasing the number of claims processed from 12,386 in March to 8,028 in April. Once again, if my math is correct, that is a 35% decrease in one month. Why are there such large differences? Please don’t think that I am trying to be negative or to denigrate the work they are doing. It can’t be easy having to process these claims every day/month/year. I, like many of you, have been trying to keep my head above water trying to make up for the fact that they have not been replacing the employees that have retired the past several years. Even so, I truly am curious about the wide range in the numerical differences regarding this specific issue.

  9. YesterDay4 says:

    Filed in October … still waiting.

    • missmoe says:

      I, too, filed in October.  It was finalized a few days ago.  I am very lucky.

    • Wswift9999 says:

      I waited 6 montha in 2010 and then:

      1. I called NARFE and complained
      2. I wrote my Congressman and complained
      3. I wrote to the President and complained (and I copied the NY Times and the Washington Post)

      I got my retirement pay in 2 weeks!

      I won’t say that this will happen in your case, but I will say I don’t think it delayed my case.

      Best of luck

  10. Wswift9999 says:

    There should be NO backlog. Individual agencies do a good job calculating retirement estimates. OPM should accept the estimates and advise the employee that they can take the agency estimate and payback any difference or accept the “official” calculation if they want to wait. This is incredible.

  11. Raheem40 says:

    now that we are making progress, what cause the backlog in the first place

    • TheRealOldFed says:

      The backlog was caused by OPM getting rid of people who do that work before they had a verified automation solution in place. They were supposed to automate retirement processing with a computer program called Retire-EZ. It was a colossal failure, and after spending a fortune, OPM cancelled the program. So, no automation to expedite processing and insufficient trained personnel to process retirement applications.

      • A Guest says:

        That’s because OPM used a commerical contractor who knew how to drain the taxpayers.   OPM should have offered it to a College or Univeristy as a project and the winning school would receive scholarships to the teams of student who figured out to make the program work.    This way everyone wins.  

      • Rcpton says:

        After 36 years in the DoD as a systems analyst, this is typical systems development and deployment in a US government Agency.  Take the cuts in spaces that the system is projected to save BEFORE the system is deployed and the bugs worked out.  When it fails to live up to expectations, work the people to death while management starts the process all over again. 

        • Retired Benefits Specialist says:

          Agree completely.  It’s not just in DOD, where I worked for 26 years.  The Thrift Savings Plan had a similar boondoggle that cost employees like us a ton of money when it all fell through.  It’s counting your chickens before they are hatched.

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