OPM’s Retirement Backlog Stays Steady in July

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By on August 5, 2019 in Retirement with 0 Comments

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

The backlog of outstanding retirement claims at the Office of Personnel Management remained relatively flat in July.

OPM received 8,000 new claims and was able to process 8,088 bringing the total backlog down to 18,413. It stood at 18,501 at the end of June so this represents a .48% reduction.

OPM spent an average of 55 days processing claims during July which is below its stated goal of 60 days.

The backlog was at 18,334 at the end of July 2018, so it is basically unchanged from that time. However, the backlog has been as high as 23,370 this year when it peaked at the end of February after the normal start of year surge of new retirement applications that flood OPM to kick off a calendar year.

If this all sounds depressing, keep in mind the backlog has been over 60,000 at times in the past (that came back in January 2012). While following years have certainly seen an improvement over astronomical numbers like that, a recent GAO report found that OPM still has work to do to improve its retirement application process.

A copy of the latest complete statistics 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
Mar-19 10,048 13,217 20,201 50 55
Apr-19 6,993 9,392 17,802 56 55
May-19 7,877 8,451 17,228 62 56
Jun-19 8,201 6,928 18,501 60 56
Jul-19 8,000 8,088 18,413 55 56

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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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