OPM’s Retirement Backlog Jumps 10% in October

The backlog of retirement applications at OPM bottomed out in June but has been on an upward trend since that time. October saw the sharpest increase since the middle of summer.

The backlog of retirement applications at the Office of Personnel Management increased by 10% in October.

OPM received 7,326 new claims last month, a relatively average number based on past figures. However, OPM only processed 5,795 which caused the backlog to go up over 16,000, closer to where it stood in August.

OPM had been on a more rapid processing pace earlier in the year. In April for example, it processed almost 12,000 claims in one month.

The lowest the retirement backlog inventory has been this year was in June when it got down to 13,529. It’s been on an upward trend since then.

December is historically a slow month for incoming claims, however, this is normally the “calm before the storm” since January usually sees a massive spike in new retirement applications, inevitably pushing the backlog higher.

A recent report from OPM’s Office of Inspector General noted that customer service problems have hampered OPM’s retirement services office. These problems are not likely to help the backlog problem since the report noted that the department had its own “backlog” of sorts with numerous phone calls and inquiries from customers that were not getting addressed. For details, see Customer Service Problems Plague OPM’s Retirement Services.

The latest data for October are included below.

Month Claims Received Claims Processed Inventory (Steady state is 13,000) % Processed in 60 days or less (FYTD) % Processed in 60 days or less (Monthly)
Oct-15 8,374 10,438 12,642 74% 74%
Nov-15 6,019 6,099 12,562 76% 82%
Dec-15 4,753 5,916 11,399 78% 83%
Jan-16 15,423 7,061 19,761 79% 80%
Feb-16 11,293 8,362 22,692 80% 85%
Mar-16 5,741 9,222 19,211 82% 88%
Apr-16 7,241 11,935 14,517 80% 76%
May-16 7,210 7,692 14,035 80% 75%
Jun-16 5,929 6,435 13,529 79% 75%
Jul-16 9,238 7,205 15,562 79% 74%
Aug-16 6,818 6,046 16,334 78% 72%
Sep-16 6,946 8,134 15,146 77% 64%
Oct-16 7,326 5,795 16,677 58% 58%


About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.