OPM Retirement Backlog Tops 35k

The OPM retirement backlog broke the 35,000 mark at the end of February 2022.

The OPM retirement backlog has topped 35,000 total claims as of the end of February 2022.

At the end of January, the backlog grew to 31,307. It now stands at 35,424. January and February are usually the more popular months of the year for federal employees to retire and 2022 was no exception.

In January, OPM received 13,266 new retirement claims. In February, 12,241 new claims came into the retirement services office. The net result is that the retirement backlog has hit yet another new high figure not seen since 2013.

In terms of processing, OPM processed 8,124 claims in February, fewer than it managed to get through in January (8,689). The average monthly processing time in February was 89 days, an improvement over January (94).

Although the backlog has reached an impressive new high, the good news for federal employees who may be waiting for their retirement claims to be processed is that we are now past what traditionally are the busiest months of the year in terms of new incoming retirement claims, so that likely will help OPM start to work through some of the claims and start to chip away at the backlog.

Last year was an exception to this, however. March and April 2021 had higher numbers of incoming retirement claims than February:

  • February: 7,495
  • March: 9,664
  • April: 9,414

However, years prior to that were the opposite. 202o for instance looked like this:

  • February: 9,273
  • March: 6,566
  • April: 6,740

Stay tuned to see how March turns out.

OPM Retirement Processing Status – February 2022

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

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 44 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 120 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.