January’s Retirement Rush Not as Bad as 2018

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By on February 6, 2019 in Retirement with 0 Comments

The annual surge of new retirement applications that come at the start of a calendar year has pushed the backlog of retirement claims to a level not seen since around this time last year at the Office of Personnel Management.

OPM received 13,264 new claims in January which is actually 9% less than January 2018. Even though OPM processed 8,162 claims last month (almost 18% more than it did in December), the influx of new applications pushed the backlog up to 23,121, 28% higher than where it stood at the end of December. However, high as the new backlog is, it still has not reached the level of February 2018 when it was 24,225.

Line graph showing the progression of the retirement backlog at OPM from October 2017 to January 2019

It will be interesting to see if February has as many new retirement applications as it did in 2018. Last year, over 13,000 new retirement applications came in February on top of the over 14,000 in January which gave the backlog a big boost.

If this report is any indication, it suggests that the shutdown that started just before Christmas did not increase the number of retirement applications to kick off the year (not so far anyway).

The latest complete retirement backlog statistics from 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-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
Oct-18 9,012 6,911 19,729 63 63
Nov-18 7,510 8,077 19,162 61 62
Dec-18 5,782 6,925 18,019 60 61
Jan-19 13,264 8,162 23,121 58 60

 

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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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