The OPM retirement backlog grew yet again in September despite far fewer new retirement claims received than in the prior month.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) received 7,589 new claims in September 2021, 15% less than the number received during August (8,976). Despite that, only 7,344 were processed, approximately 1% fewer than had been processed during August. This helped drive the total backlog up to 28,810, .86% higher than where it finished in August.
The total backlog is the highest that it has been since 2013 when it sometimes topped 30,000 and even 40,000.
Another factor that likely helped increase the OPM retirement backlog in September was the total case processing time. OPM reported that it took 94 days on average to to process an application, the highest that statistic has been all year so far. As OPM notes, this figure “represents the number of days starting when OPM receives the retirement application through final adjudication.”
So far in 2021, the monthly average processing time has averaged 81 days.
More Federal Employees Retiring in 2021
As I noted in my article last month, more federal employees have retired on average so far in 2021 than in prior recent years. That trend has continued with September’s data.
These are the monthly averages:
|Year||Average Monthly Claims Received|
|2021 (so far)||8,984|
OPM Retirement Processing Status – September 2021
|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 39 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 112 days to complete.