OPM’s Retirement Backlog Climbs 12% in October

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By on November 7, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments

Line graph showing the progression of OPM's retirement backlog from October 2016 to October 2017

The backlog of outstanding retirement claims at the Office of Personnel Management spiked last month, jumping just over 12% to a total of 18,860.

At the end of September, the backlog stood at 16,828. That was higher than it was a year ago when it was at 16,677 at the end of last October. In fact, the backlog spiked 10% in October 2016, yet it still was 13% lower at that time than it is today.

By way of comparison, at the end of October 2015 the backlog was 12,642, and at the end of October 2014 it was 14,137.

Despite the backlog’s recent upward trend, it was a lot worse in the past. At the end of October 2012, the backlog stood at 37,086. And in July 2012, it was at 44,679.

OPM has previously defined the “steady state” of the backlog to be 13,000. According to its strategic plan for processing retirement applications, “By having no more than 13,000 claims on hand, the staff will be able to adjudicate 90 percent of all the claims covered by this plan within 60 days.”

Given that 13,000 appears to be the agency’s goal, it’s noteworthy that the last time the backlog was at or below that level was at the end of December 2015.

The latest backlog data published by OPM are included below.

Month Claims Received Claims Processed Inventory (Steady state is 13,000) Avg. # of Days to Process Case in 60 days or less Avg. # of Days to Process Case in more than 60 days
Oct-16 7,326 5,795 16,677 49 91
Nov-16 5,065 5,723 16,019 48 94
Dec-16 5,483 6,405 15,097 52 95
Jan-17 15,317 7,327 23,087 53 89
Feb-17 9,114 8,285 23,916 38 104
Mar-17 7,216 10,602 20,530 38 105
Apr-17 6,581 8,179 18,932 51 80
May-17 5,548 8,340 16,140 48 89
Jun-17 6,141 7,751 14,530 47 99
Jul-17 10,070 7,509 17,091 45 98
Aug-17 7,136 7,102 17,125 47 105
Sep-17 8,810 9,107 16,828 45 93
Oct-17 8,850 6,818 18,860 44 93

 

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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.

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