At least 3,000 more federal employees submitted retirement claims last month than in June, after two months of declines, according to the Office of Personnel Management. OPM reported 9,487 claims received in July, compared to 6,032 claims received in June, and compared to 8,922 claims received in July 2021.
Last month also saw 10,706 claims processed, which was more than the 7,935 claims processed in June and the only 6,920 claims processed in July 2021. Since average processing times continue to rise, this kept the backlog of retirements claims 29,224 in July, a slight drop from June but above July 2021’s levels and even higher above the 13,000-claim steady state goal which has eluded OPM for years now.
The monthly average processing times increased again, to 92 days in July from 90 days in June. A year ago, they were at 91 days. The fiscal year to date average processing time was unchanged from June at 88 days. The goal has been 60 days on average, but OPM has not kept the average below 70 days since March 2021.
OPM notes that the average processing times in days represent the number of days starting when it receives a retirement application, through final adjudication. OPM also included a disclaimer that initial retirement cases produced in less than 60 days took, on average, 40 days to complete whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days took, on average, 126 days to complete.