OPM’s Retirement Backlog Improves by 6.5% Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Even with the coronavirus worries gripping the country, OPM made a nice improvement to its retirement backlog in April.

Despite a widespread shutdown of the American economy thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Office of Personnel Management’s retirement services operations clearly are up and running as normal. Proof of this lies in the new retirement processing statistics published by OPM today.

For the month of April, OPM received 6,740 new claims but processed 8,115. That helped to get the backlog down under 20,000 for the first time since its usual spike at the start of the year. The new backlog now stands at 19,889, a 6.5% drop over March.

While that’s a nice improvement, the backlog is still quite a bit higher than it was at this time last year. At the end of April 2019, the backlog was 17,802, almost 12% lower.

For the sake of comparison, the backlog at the end of April 2018 was 17,489 and 18,932 at the end of April 2017.

While the number of claims processed was fairly close to what was done in March, it happened at a slower pace. In March, the average processing time was 61 days; in April it jumped up to 68.

Again, considering the disruption left in the wake of the coronavirus, one has to think these numbers are a nice accomplishment for OPM given that employees are likely working remotely, worried about getting sick, etc.

The latest complete statistics are included below.

MonthClaims ReceivedClaims ProcessedInventory (Steady state goal is 13,000)Monthly Average Processing Time in DaysFYTD Average Processing Time in Days

Average Processing Time in Days represents the number of days starting when OPM receives the retirement application through final adjudication.

*Initial retirement cases produced in less than 60 days, on average took 41 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 109 days to complete.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.