Federal retirement still up over 2020, processing times remain lengthy

Few aspects of federal retirement seem to be trending down more than a year after the pandemic first hit the U.S. According to numbers released by the Office of Personnel Management, new claims, processed claims, processing times and the overall claims backlog were all higher in April 2021 than April 2020.

New retirement claims numbered 9,414 last month – about a 3% decrease from March and about a 28% increase year over year.

There were 11,396 claims processed in April – about a 30% increase from March and about a 40% increase year over year.

The backlog of retirement claims decreased from March, down to 25,386 claims in April, but the total was still about 28% higher than in April 2020. The average processing time was 71 days in April compared to 69 days in March, and compared to 68 days for April 2020.

OPM included a disclaimer that “initial retirement cases produced in less than 60 days, on average, took 44 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 99 days to complete.”

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