Retirement Backlog Holds at Just Over 23k

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By on March 5, 2019 in Retirement with 0 Comments

Line graph showing the progression of OPM's retirement backlog from October 2017 to February 2019

February saw the typical surge of new retirement applications to kick off the start of a new year, however the Office of Personnel Management was able to process most of them last month to keep the backlog from getting a lot worse than it already was.

Despite the surge of 10,792 new applications, OPM was able to process 10,543 which allowed for only a minimal increase in the backlog. January had 13,264 new applications which left the backlog at 23,121. It now stands at 23,370, only a 1.1% increase over January.

While being over 23,000 is quite high, it is not as bad as it was at this time a year ago. At the end of February 2018, the backlog stood at 24,225.

While February is often a popular month for retirement applications, January is usually the worst of the two. This year was no exception as new retirees submitted their applications to coincide with the start of a year.

OPM’s stated goal is to have a backlog of only 13,000 applications. It will likely be a while before it gets back down to that level. The risk of having the higher backlog is it could mean federal retirees have to wait longer for services and annuity payments.

The latest complete figures 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
Feb-19 10,792 10,543 23,370 58 57

 

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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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