OPM makes progress on backlog during October lull in retirement claims

The Office of Personnel Management's retirement claim processing backlog shrank by 1,400 claims in October.

The Office of Personnel Management’s retirement claim processing backlog shrank by 1,400 claims in October. OPM only received 6,423 claims last month, down more than 1,600 from September, when it received 8,086. But it still processed 7,838 claims, bringing the backlog down to a total of 25,227.

That’s still almost double OPM’s “steady state goal” of 13,000 claims. And the number of claims OPM processed also fell from the previous month by nearly 3,000; OPM processed 10,681 claims in September.

OPM also made progress on its monthly average processing time in days. That dropped from 92 in September to 89 in October. Because October is the first month in the new fiscal year, the fiscal-year-to-date processing time is also 89 days.

OPM noted that in October, retirement cases that took less than 60 days to process, on average, took 37 days to complete; whereas cases that took more than 60 days to process, on average, took 121 days to complete. OPM counts processing time as the number of days starting when they receive the retirement application through final adjudication.

OPM also updated the layout of its retirement statistics website. The goal, according to an OPM spokesperson, was to feature the data more prominently. That data includes monthly updates on claims processing, audit reports on the number of retirement claims submitted with errors broken down by agency, and the total number of retirees processed by OPM by fiscal year.

In 2022, OPM processed 114,505 retirement claims. That’s the second highest amount in 22 years, topped only by 2013, when OPM processed 138,039 claims.


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