OPM’s Retirement Backlog Climbs 12% in October

OPM’s retirement backlog climbed higher in October. How does this compare to the last few years?

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.

MonthClaims ReceivedClaims ProcessedInventory (Steady state is 13,000)Avg. # of Days to Process Case in 60 days or lessAvg. # of Days to Process Case in more than 60 days

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.