OPM Retirement Backlog Continues to Decline in April

The OPM retirement backlog has been on a steady decline so far in 2024.

The backlog of outstanding retirement claims at the Office of Personnel Management declined 4.4% in April.

OPM received 6,901 new retirement claims last month and processed 7,647 which brought the backlog down from 16,823 to 16,077.

With the annual “surge period” now over, the rate of both incoming retirement applications as well as the agency’s pace of processing both slowed over the previous months. The “surge period” is defined by OPM as the first quarter of the year (January – March) during which time the greatest numbers of federal employees retire.

In March 2024, OPM processed 10,711 retirement claims, 29% more than in April. The average monthly processing time also went up in April to 61 days to 55 in March.

However, the number of incoming retirement applications has declined steadily since January, so this isn’t a big surprise. The amount of new retirement applications that came in during January was 47% than in April. The good news for new or soon to be federal retirees is that the OPM retirement backlog has declined by 23% since the end of January.

MonthClaims ReceivedClaims ProcessedInventoryMonthly Average Processing Time (Days)
January 202412,9976,46720,82266
February 20248,79410,02519,59147
March 20247,94310,71116,82355
April 20246,9017,64716,07761

As of April 2024, OPM estimates in its retirement Quick Guide that federal retirees will get their first full annuity payments within 3-5 months of retiring. That was also the same estimate given by OPM as of the end of March.

OPM Retirement Backlog: April 2020 – April 2024

The table below shows the statistics on the OPM retirement backlog during April for the last five years. It is at its lowest point by far at the end of April during that time and has been on a steady decline so far throughout 2024.

Claims ReceivedClaims ProcessedInventory
April 20206,7408,11519,889
April 20219,41411,39625,386
April 20229,98311,39334,939
April 20238,29810,83920,384
April 20246,9017,64716,077

OPM Retirement Backlog Processing Status – April 2024

MonthClaims ReceivedClaims ProcessedInventory (Steady state goal is 13,000)Monthly Average Processing Time in DaysFYTD Average Processing Time in Days
January 202312,4049,14224,8589390
February 20239,56210,92023,5006584
March 20238,3548,92922,9256981
April 20238,29810,83920,3847079
May 20236,0968,35518,1257178
June 20234,8546,60916,3707478
July 20237,2616,58417,0478578
August 20237,3836,46717,9637478
September 20236,7688,87915,8527077
October 20236,9246,09816,6787373
November 20235,2076,05915,8266669
December 20235,6627,19614,2926869
January 202412,9976,46720,8226668
February 20248,79410,02519,5914762
March 20247,94310,71116,8235561
April 20246,9017,64716,0776161

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.