The Office of Personnel Management made good progress in reducing its retirement backlog of outstanding retirement claims in April, however, the outstanding total backlog is still at its highest level since 2013.
After making an unusual turn for the worse in March, OPM processed 11,396 retirement claims last month against 9,414 new claims that came in. That brought the total backlog down to 25,386, a reduction of 7.24% over March.
The number processed during the month was the largest monthly amount processed since March of 2019 when the agency processed 13,217 that month. The progress would have been better had it not been for the higher than usual number of new claims that came in during April. The 9,414 new claims was the highest number ever received in the month of April since 2012.
While the latest data may make it appear as though a higher number of federal employees have been retiring this year than in past years, the figures indicate otherwise. The average number of retirement claims received for 2021 so far are right about in line with the figures for the same time period in the past few years:
|Year (January – April)||New Monthly Retirement Claims (Average)|
OPM has also averaged 8,681 claims processed per month so far in 2021, the fastest pace since 2013 for the same time period. If that pace can continue, the backlog should continue to dissipate in the coming months, assuming the number of new claims that come in stay around their same levels from the last few years.
The latest complete data 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|
retirement application through final adjudication.
*Initial retirement cases produced in less than 60 days, on average took 44 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 99 days to complete.