Retirement claims remained steady while backlog inched down in June

About as many federal employees submitted retirement claims in June as the month before, but the Office of Personnel Management was able to reduce the backlog this time.

The number of new claims — 6,555 in June versus 6,648 claims in May, according to the most recent report — is close to where it stood a year ago. And the number of claims processed was 7,300, a 12.7% decrease from May but a 5.4% increase from June 2019.

After a sizable spike in the amount of time to process claims reported last month, OPM saw the days start moving downard. It took a monthly average of 81 days to process claims and a fiscal-year-to-date average of 65 days in June. That’s compared to 83 days and 64 days, respectively, in May.

As was the case the month before, for June’s report OPM issued a disclaimer stating, “Initial retirement cases produced in less than 60 days, on average took 41 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 142 days to complete.”

Even as some agencies begin reopening offices, much of the federal workforce remains in telework mode, which has complicated hiring and training processes as well.