After three months of improvement, the federal retirement claim processing times have increased once again. The Office of Personnel Management’s May report detailed that the average processing time for retirement claims bounced up to 88 days, an increase from 80 days in April.
This marks a significant increase from the 70-day wait time in May 2021. While the fiscal year-to-date average processing time increased by 13 days since last year, it has remained unchanged since last month, averaging 87 days to receive benefits.
The number of federal employees retiring decreased for the fifth consecutive month. Although OPM received 9,673 new claims in May, a 3% decrease from April, the agency processed almost 10% fewer – 10,266 – claims compared to April’s 11,393 processed claims.
As for the retirement claims backlog, last month the inventory is the lowest it has been since January, with 32,346 claims waiting to be processed. This is still far above the 24,619 claims OPM had backlogged last May as employees are slowly returning to the office.