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|