OPM retirement backlog nearly unchanged for November

The Office of Personnel Management processed nearly the same volume of federal retirement claims last month as it had the month before, but did little to reduce its overall backlog.

OPM saw only 5,065 new retirement claims in November, more than a 30 percent decrease in the volume of claims it received in October, and the second-lowest monthly volume it has seen in the past year. However, OPM processed 5,723 claims this month, at nearly the same rate that it processed claims this October.

Currently, the OPM backlog of retirement claims stands at 16,019, a less than 4 percent change from where it stood at the end of October. The total backlog remains well above OPM’s steady-state benchmark of 13,000 claims.

The inventory backlog usually surges to its highest point in January, the time of year when most federal employees file for retirement benefits following an end-of-year retirement. OPM then spends the rest of the year trying to bring down that backlog.

The percentage of claims processed in 60 days or less rose to 61 percent in November, up from 58 percent in October. That’s the second-lowest rate it’s processed those claims since October 2015.

The average number of days to process a case in 60 days or less fell to 48 in November, down from 49 in October.

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