OPM Retirement Backlog Slashed By 5.3% in October

The OPM retirement backlog was reduced by over 1,400 total claims in October.

The OPM retirement backlog was reduced by just over 5% in October 2022, a reduction of 1,415 claims in total. A closer examination of the backlog figures indicates that the total number of federal employees retiring is up in 2022 over the last several years.

The Office of Personnel Management processed 7,838 retirement claims in October, and only 6,423 new claims came in during the month which allowed for the reduction in the overall backlog. However, the total retirement backlog still stands at 25,227. This is the lowest it has been so far this year.

The average monthly processing time was a little bit lower in October as well. At 89 days, that is right about the average for the year so far (88 days). It has been as high as 94 days this year when it hit that figure in January which is always one of, if not the busiest, months of the year for federal employees to retire.

How the OPM Retirement Backlog Has Fared

The OPM retirement backlog peaked at 36,349 in March 2022 and has been slowly getting reduced since that time. It is now at its lowest point since June 2021.

The number of federal employees retiring is up in 2022 so far this year compared to the last few years. As of the end of October, 9,127 new retirement claims per month have come into OPM, 9,277 claims were processed on average per month, and the total backlog has averaged 31,114 retirement claims.

By way of comparison, these are the annual average figures since 2017:

YearClaims ReceivedClaims ProcessedTotal Backlog
*2022 figures are through the end of October

According to OPM, these were the total number of voluntary retirements for each of the last three fiscal years:

  • FY 2022: 45,503
  • FY 2021: 62,062
  • FY 2020: 56,873

The latest data on the retirement backlog are included below.

OPM Retirement Backlog Processing Status – October 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 37 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 121 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.