Retirement backlog continues to reach record highs despite processing improvements

In March, the Office of Personnel Management’s inventory of backlogged retirement claims rose once again, to a record high of 36,349. OPM received fewer and processed more claims in March than the previous two months, while also improving the monthly average processing times, but it wasn’t enough to make a dent in the backlog.

OPM received 10,042 retirement claims in March, almost exactly 2,200 fewer than in February. It also processed 9,117 claims, an improvement...

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In March, the Office of Personnel Management’s inventory of backlogged retirement claims rose once again, to a record high of 36,349. OPM received fewer and processed more claims in March than the previous two months, while also improving the monthly average processing times, but it wasn’t enough to make a dent in the backlog.

OPM received 10,042 retirement claims in March, almost exactly 2,200 fewer than in February. It also processed 9,117 claims, an improvement of almost 1,000 more than last month.

OPM also knocked a week off of the monthly average processing time, bringing it down to 82 days. It peaked in October of last year at 95 days. This brought the fiscal-year-to-date average processing time down from 90 days to 89.

That said, OPM clarified in a disclosure 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 128 days to complete.” That means cases produced in more than 60 days took on average eight days longer in March than in February. The average time for cases that took less than 60 days didn’t change.

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