June stats from the Office of Personnel Management for newly filed claims showed last month was higher than a year ago, when the pandemic was in full effect.
Federal retirement activity slowed across the board last month, from new claims to backlogged cases and even the time it takes to process them.
Few aspects of federal retirement seem to be trending down more than a year after the pandemic first hit the U.S.
An unexpected surge in retirement claims during March exceeded OPM's ability to keep up with the backlog.
In January 2021, 13,850 federal employees retired, driving the retirement backlog up to 26,968, the highest it's been since April of 2013, when it sat at just above 30,000.
This fall was a volatile period for federal retirement claims - with a noticeable spike in October and mirroring decline the month after. But December seems to have been when activity more or less calmed down.
Choosing when to retire is never an easy decision, and the pandemic (during an election year) isn't helping feds either.
New federal retirement claims held largely steady in September, though they were still below their levels a year ago.
After six months of progress on its backlog of retirement claims, the Office of Personnel Management backslid for the first time this year in July.
About as many federal employees submitted retirement claims in June as the month before, but the Office of Personnel Management was able to reduce the backlog this time.
According to the latest data from the Office of Personnel Management, about 1.4% fewer retirement claims were filed in May compared to April.
The Office of Personnel Management's latest report of retirement claims may not be a reliable picture of the coronavirus' impact on the federal workforce size to date but compared to 2019 the numbers are significantly down.
After a sharp rise in the federal retirement processing backlog in January, the numbers dropped last month — but still about equal to 2019 levels.
Starting in the mid-1990s various experts looked at the aging federal workforce and concluded that the end, for many of them, was near.