Despite Fewer New Claims, Retirement Backlog Has Slight Uptick

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By on October 8, 2018 in Retirement with 0 Comments

Line graph showing the trends of OPM's retirement backlog from October 2016 - September 2018

The backlog of retirement claims at the Office of Personnel Management saw a small increase in September despite fewer new claims coming in than during the previous month.

The latest backlog now stands at 17,628, .66% higher than in August and 4.75% higher than at the same time a year ago.

OPM received 7,142 new claims in September, 19% fewer than it did in August, yet it managed to make a sizable reduction in the backlog in August despite the higher number of incoming applications. Processing times were faster in August than in September which was likely a factor; 56 days on average versus 64.

OPM said in its FY 2018 – 2022 strategic plan that its goal going forward is to get the average retirement case processing time down to 60 days or less. In FY 2017, OPM processed retirement cases in 67 days on average. In FY 2018, it averaged 59 days for monthly case processing time. Clearly, the agency is making progress in this effort since this is a significant improvement over the previous fiscal year. It will be interesting to see if OPM can continue to meet or improve this goal over the next few years.

The latest complete data as published by OPM 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
Mar-18 7,767 13,262 18,730 49 57
Apr-18 8,390 9,631 17,489 58 57
May-18 7,625 7,090 18,024 58 58
Jun-18 9,397 9,223 18,198 65 59
Jul-18 8,281 8,145 18,334 57 59
Aug-18 8,826 9,647 17,513 56 58
Sep-18 7,142 7,027 17,628 64 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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