OPM’s Retirement Backlog Tops 24k in February

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By on March 5, 2018 in Retirement with 0 Comments

Line graph showing average monthly processing time of retirement claims from October 2016 to February 2018

The backlog of outstanding retirement claims at the Office of Personnel Management has climbed to levels not seen since 2015 thanks to a surge of new claims for two months in a row.

January saw the backlog shoot above 20,000 after the number of new applications rose 41% over the previous month. And in February, the arrival of 13,290 new claims pushed the total backlog to 24,225 as OPM was only able to processĀ 9,532 total for the month.

In the first two months of 2018, the total backlog has risen 67% over where it was when it closed out 2017. The backlog is also 1.2% higher than it was at the same time a year ago and is nearly double the “steady state” goal of 13,000.

New Report Format

OPM has changed some of the data it publishes in its monthly retirement processing status report, a change which the agency says is “more in line with our 60 day processing goal.” The new report format will not feature the additional data points centered around the 60 day processing goal.

Previously, the reports contained percentages of claims processed in 60 days or less, both for the month and fiscal year to date, along with the average number of days it took OPM to process a case, both in less than and more than 60 days.

The new report format only shows the monthly average processing time and the fiscal year to date average processing time, both in number of days. You can see how the old and new report formats look side by side in OPM’s February 2018 retirement processing status report.

During the transition phase, the reports will contain both the old and new formats. The March 2018 report will be the last one issued which contains the previous format.

The latest complete retirement processing status data (in the new format) are included below.

Month Claims Received Claims Processed Inventory (Steady state goal is 13,000) Monthly Average Processing Time in Days FYTD Average Processing Time in Days
Oct-16 7,326 5,795 16,677 67 67
Nov-16 5,065 5,723 16,019 66 66
Dec-16 5,483 6,405 15,097 74 69
Jan-17 15,317 7,327 23,087 75 71
Feb-17 9,114 8,285 23,916 56 67
Mar-17 7,216 10,602 20,530 61 66
Apr-17 6,581 8,179 18,932 72 67
May-17 5,548 8,340 16,140 71 67
Jun-17 6,141 7,751 14,530 68 67
Jul-17 10,070 7,509 17,091 67 67
Aug-17 7,136 7,102 17,125 65 67
Sep-17 8,810 9,107 16,828 62 67
Oct-17 8,850 6,818 18,860 64 64
Nov-17 5,572 5,138 19,294 68 66
Dec-17 5,568 10,347 14,515 60 63
Jan-18 14,590 8,638 20,467 63 63
Feb-18 13,290 9,532 24,225 46 59

 

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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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