Retirement Backlog Continues to Improve After Peaking in March

The retirement backlog at OPM has been slowly improving over the last two months.

The backlog of outstanding retirement claims at the Office of Personnel Management showed little change last month but is slowly being reduced.

OPM received 7,684 new retirement claims during May and processed 8,451. That resulted in a 3% reduction in the total backlog over the previous month, bringing it down to 24,619. That is the highest that the backlog has been at the end of May since 2013.

So far in 2021, OPM has averaged processing 8,635 retirement claims per month against an average of 9,621 received. For comparison, here is how the average claims have fared over the last five years for the same time period (January – May):

YearAverage Claims ReceivedAverage Claims Processed
20219,6218,635
20209,2729,018
20199,7949,953
201810,3329,630
20178,7558,546
20169,3818,854

What has your experience been with the retirement application process? Feel free to share in the comments below.

The latest complete retirement statistics are included below.

MonthClaims ReceivedClaims ProcessedInventory (Steady state goal is 13,000)Monthly Average Processing Time in DaysFYTD Average Processing Time in Days
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
Mar-206,5668,93121,2646160
Apr-206,7408,11519,8896861
May-206,6488,36018,1778364
Jun-206,5557,30017,4328165
Jul-206,8196,62017,6319568
Aug-206,7755,83618,5707368
Sep-206,2446,54018,2747369
Oct-208,3236,99219,6057777
Nov-205,8765,45920,0227476
Dec-205,1355,47019,6877475
Jan-2113,8506,56926,9688578
Feb-217,4958,00326,4607778
Mar-219,6648,75627,3686976
Apr-219,41411,39625,3867175
*May-217,6848,45124,6197074
Disability determinations are included in the pending number after approval. 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 39 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 110 days to complete.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.