OPM retirement claims backlog reaches lowest point in a year

The Office of Personnel Management’s backlog of retirement claims in June reached its lowest point in a year.

The inventory of unprocessed retirement claims stood at 14,530, about 1,500 claims away from the agency’s self-proclaimed “steady state” backlog of 13,000.

OPM has been slowly reducing its inventory since February when the backlog stood at more than 23,000 claims. The agency had the most success when it reduced the backlog by nearly 3,000 claims during the month of May.

OPM received 6,141 claims in June, nearly 600 more than May’s total of 5,548 and just slightly more than the 5,929 claims the agency received in June 2016.

Processing times also slightly improved in June. The agency has so far this fiscal year processed 55 percent of claims within OPM’s 60-day standard, just slightly better than the previous month’s 54 percent processing time. In June alone, the agency processed 62 percent of claims within the target 60-day goal.

It took OPM 99 days on average in June to process claims that took longer than the 60-day average, 10 days higher than May’s average time of 89 days.

The latest numbers from OPM show familiar patterns that the agency has experienced year after year. The agency sees a spike in retirement claims in January and February, as the first months of the year are typically the most popular months to retire. The January spike drives the backlog up, and OPM makes some progress working through unprocessed claims during the quieter spring months.

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