Over 1,000 fewer federal employees submitted retirement claims last month than in July — a month that saw a spike in retirement claims — according to the Office of Personnel Management. OPM reported 8,032 claims in August, compared to 9,487 claims received in July. A year ago, in August 2021, they received 8,976 retirement claims.
Last month also saw 8,019 claims processed, which was less than the 10,706 claims processed in July, but more than they processed a year ago — August 2021 only saw 7,412 claims processed by OPM. The backlog has held more or less steady at 29,237 while it was at 29,224 last month. These figures are still well above the 13,000-claim steady state goal that OPM has established, which they have not met for years now.
The monthly average processing time dropped five days, however, down to 87 in August. A year ago, the monthly average processing time was 93 days. The fiscal year to date average processing time remains unchanged since June, holding at 88 days. OPM’s goal has been 60 days on average, but they have not kept the monthly average under 70 days since March 2021.
OPM noted that in August, retirement cases that took less than 60 days to process, on average, took 36 days to complete; whereas, cases that took more than 60 days to process, on average, took 127 days to complete. OPM counts processing time as the number of days starting when they receive the retirement application through final adjudication.