Little Change to OPM's Retirement Backlog in November

By on December 5, 2015 in Current Events, Retirement with 18 Comments

According to its latest retirement processing status report, the Office of Personnel Management made no headway to speak of on the outstanding backlog of retirement applications.

At the end of October, the backlog stood at 12,642; as of the end of November, it was down to only 12,562, a reduction of less than 100.

OPM received 6,019 claims in November and processed 6,099 of them, hence the reason for the lack of reduction to the backlogged inventory. In October, OPM processed far more claims (10,438) so it was able to put a nice dent in the backlog.

Calm before the storm?

January is normally a month when OPM sees a massive surge in the number of retirement applications, so November was a relatively quiet month. Last January, 18,629 new claims came in which roughly doubled the size of the backlog. Unfortunately, if this coming January has anywhere near the same number of new retirement applications, the backlog may grow substantially again. The recurring pattern leaves OPM in a situation where it never seems to be able to make any headway.

As an interesting aside, I noticed that OPM has stopped including the projected figures in this report and replaced them with more detailed statistics on the number of claims processed in 60 days or less.

Up until last month, the reports included projections of the number of claims that would be received, processed and remaining in the total inventory each month (See my last article summarizing the report for reference). Perhaps including those figures put too much pressure on the agency, although there were often times when OPM would beat its own projections with the number of claims processed.

The latest figures are included in their entirety below.

Month Claims Received Claims Processed Inventory % Processed in 60 days or less (YTD) % Processed in 60 days or less (Monthly) Avg. # of Days to Process Case in 60 days or less Avg. # of Days to Process Case in more than 60 days
Oct-14 10,155 8,785 14,137 83% 83% 36 104
Nov-14 5,746 5,844 14,039 83% 84% 37 107
Dec-14 4,077 6,447 11,669 84% 84% 45 99
Jan-15 18,629 7,662 22,636 80% 71% 43 91
Feb-15 9,219 7,841 24,014 81% 82% 33 103
Mar-15 5,478 8,898 20,594 82% 86% 46 99
Apr-15 6,292 8,660 18,226 73% 26% 49 74
May-15 7,845 10,697 15,374 68% 45% 47 79
Jun-15 6,920 7,783 14,511 69% 75% 44 99
Jul-15 9,862 7,918 16,455 69% 72% 45 97
Aug-15 7,341 7,446 16,350 70% 76% 45 98
Sep-15 6,300 7,944 14,706 70% 76% 43 94
Oct-15 8,374 10,438 12,642 74% 74% 38 86
Nov-15 6,019 6,099 12,562 76% 82% 37 98

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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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