The Office of Personnel Management processed more retirement claims in December than in November, but did little to reduce its claims backlog in preparation for the surge in federal employee retirement it expects to see in January’s numbers.
OPM saw 5,483 new retirement claims in December, an 8 percent increase in the volume of claims it received in November, but still the third-lowest monthly volume it has seen in the past year. However, OPM processed 6,405 claims this month, an 11 percent increase in claims compared to November.
Currently, the OPM backlog of retirement claims stands at 15,097, more than a 5 percent decrease from where it stood at the end of November. However, 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.