Calm Before the Storm? OPM Makes Gains on Retirement Backlog to Close Out 2015

By on January 5, 2016 in Current Events, Retirement with 10 Comments

The Office of Personnel Management was able to process more retirement claims than it took in last month to cut the outstanding backlog by just over 9% to close out the year.

OPM received 4,753 new claims but processed 5,916 in December to bring the backlog down to 11,399. It had projected the backlog would stand at 9,242, so it missed that mark.

The backlog at this time last year was almost the same as it is today (11,669 last year versus 11,399 today).

It’s a good thing OPM was able to make some headway in December since January is historically a month which sees a ton of new retirement applications pouring in, inevitably pushing the backlog higher and causing OPM to forego any progress it has made throughout the previous year in getting caught up.

Last January, the number of backlogged claims nearly doubled thanks to almost 19,000 new claims coming in during January 2015.

Will this year be any different? We won’t know until the next report comes out, but if you plan to retire this month, be prepared to experience potential delays in the near-term when dealing with OPM on your retirement application.

FedSmith.com will continue to keep you advised of OPM’s progress on working through its retirement backlog.

The latest complete statistics from OPM are included below.

Month Projected Claims Received Projected Claims Processed Projected Inventory Claims Received Claims Processed Inventory % Processed in 60 days or less (YTD)
Oct-14 7,800 8,500 12,442 10,155 8,785 14,137 83.2%
Nov-14 7,600 7,800 12,242 5,746 5,844 14,039 83.4%
Dec-14 5,600 6,500 11,342 4,077 6,447 11,669 83.7%
Jan-15 19,000 8,700 21,642 18,629 7,662 22,636 80.2%
Feb-15 9,700 9,800 21,542 9,219 7,841 24,014 80.6%
Mar-15 6,400 11,000 16,942 5,478 8,898 20,594 81.6%
Apr-15 6,700 9,600 14,042 6,292 8,660 18,226 72.6%
May-15 7,100 9,100 12,042 7,845 10,697 15,374 68.0%
Jun-15 7,500 8,000 11,542 6,920 7,783 14,511 68.7%
Jul-15 8,000 8,100 11,442 9,862 7,918 16,455 69.0%
Aug-15 7,400 7,600 11,242 7,341 7,446 16,350 69.6%
Sep-15 7,300 7,500 11,042 6,300 7,944 14,706 70.1%
Oct-15 7,800 8,500 10,342 8,374 10,438 12,642 73.5%
Nov-15 7,600 7,800 10,142 6,019 6,099 12,562 76.4%
Dec-15 5,600 6,500 9,242 4,753 5,916 11,399 78.1%

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

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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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