After a sharp rise in the federal retirement processing backlog in January, the numbers dropped last month — but still about equal to 2019 levels.
The Office of Personnel Management reported the backlog was at 23,629 claims in February, compared to 23,370 claims in February 2019.
The numbers of claims both received and processed also declined last month. Claims received in particular fell from 17,134 in January to 9,273 in February. That’s compared to 10,792 claims received in February 2019. But while processed claims fell from January to February — from 10,059 to 9,627 — January to February 2019 was a period of increased processing.
The time for processing retirement claims also shrank somewhat between January and February of this year, according to OPM’s data. The monthly average processing time decreased from 58 to 54 days, while the fiscal year-to-date average monthly processing time decreased from 61 to 59 days.
Compared to this time a year ago, both processing times are taking longer.