The Office of Personnel Management reduced the outstanding backlog of retirement claims by 10% last month.
Thanks to a combination of fewer incoming new claims and a robust amount of claims processed during the month, OPM cut the backlog by 2,365. The backlog is the lowest it has been so far this year, although it is higher than it was at the same time last year by 1,063.
OPM was able to make this improvement despite a slower pace of processing the claims. In March, it took an average of 61 days to process the claims whereas in February it was only 54 days. OPM has averaged 58 days for its monthly processing time so far in 2020.
January saw its usual surge in new retirement claims which brought the backlog up from its lowest point in at least the last two years. Recovering from the year end surge is always a struggle for OPM, although things could be much worse: OPM saw its backlog top 60k back in the 2012 timeframe. Today’s current backlog of 21,264 is a far cry from that.
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, OPM has reassured federal retirees that its retirement services will continue to operate as normal. Claims will get processed and annuity payments will continue to be sent each month.
In light of this unusual situation, it seems that OPM has made good on this promise, at least in terms of maintaining a steady rate of processing retirement claims.
The latest data 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|