OPM’s Retirement Backlog Starting to Recover from January Spike

March 5, 2020 2:19 PM , Updated March 18, 2020 3:05 PM
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Line graph showing the progression of OPM's retirement claims backlog from October 2018 to February 2020

February was another busy month for the retirement services office at the Office of Personnel Management, but despite that, the retirement backlog was reduced just a bit after the usual January rush of new claims that always seem to come pouring in to start off a new calendar year.

There were 9,273 claims received in February and OPM processed 9,627. The backlog went 23,983 at the end of January to 23,629 to close the month, a reduction of 1.5%. On average, it took 54 days to process each claim which improved over January’s 58 days.

As is usually the case, January was a big month for new retirees. There were 17,134 new claims that came in last month. That was also a big uptick over the previous year when there were 13,264.

The backlog is right around where it was this time last year. In the last few years, OPM has been able to carry the momentum of the claims processing into March as well, so it will be interesting to see if the backlog continues to improve at this time next month.

The latest complete data are included below.

MonthClaims ReceivedClaims ProcessedInventory (Steady state goal is 13,000)Monthly Average Processing Time in DaysFYTD Average Processing Time in Days
Oct-189,0126,91119,7296363
Nov-187,5108,07719,1626162
Dec-185,7826,92518,0196061
Jan-1913,2648,16223,1215860
Feb-1910,79210,54323,3704657
Mar-1910,04813,21720,2015055
Apr-196,9939,39217,8025655
May-197,8778,45117,2286256
Jun-198,2016,92818,5016056
Jul-198,0008,08818,4135556
Aug-198,8789,71517,5765056
Sep-197,4567,65617,3765756
Oct-197,0446,53817,8825959
Nov-197,8227,31418,3906261
Dec-195,2056,68716,9086662
Jan-2017,13410,05923,9835861
Feb-209,2739,62723,6295459

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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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