OPM’s Retirement Backlog: Preparing for the Storm

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By on January 6, 2018 in Retirement with 0 Comments

Line graph showing OPM's total retirement backlog from October 2016 to December 2017

The Office of Personnel Management made a significant dent in the backlog of outstanding retirement claims to close out 2017.

OPM received 5,568 new claims in December but was able to process 10,347 thereby reducing the total backlog by almost 25%. That brings the backlog closer to OPM’s “steady state” goal of 13,000.

The progress on reducing the backlog comes at a good time because OPM is likely to get hit with a massive influx of new retirement applications in January and February. A quick glance at the historical data shows this trend.

Last January and February for example, the backlog soared over 23,000 thanks to a total of 24,431 new retirement applications that came in during that time period. In 2016, it jumped 73% in January, putting the total backlog at just under 20,000.

Given the apparent fact that the end of a calendar year is a popular time for federal employees to retire, it stands to reason something similar will happen again this year, but we will find out next month.

The latest data from 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
Nov-17 5,572 5,138 19,294 46 97
Dec-17 5,568 10,347 14,515 43 96

 

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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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