Federal Retiree Claim Backlog Decreasing

November 9, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) processed more federal retirement claims in October than it expected.

The overall backlog is down 39% since January. OPM received 8,138 new claims last month, 3,814 less than in September, and completed 12,228 applications, according to its latest statistics. At the end of October, the total number of backlog was 37,086.

The agency projected it would receive 7,000 new claims in October and would process 11,500, for a projected inventory of 38,478. While it processed more claims than expected, the ratio of claims received and processed is actually less than what it projected for the month.

In September, OPM processed 12,563 claims, the most of any month of the year. Between September and October, OPM reduced the overall backlog by 10%.

Tens of thousands of federal retirees wait months for their complete annuities — some for more than a year — and in the meantime have to get by on reduced interim pensions (see “OPM Making a Dent in Federal Retiree Claims Backlog”).   

OPM Director John Berry pledged to Congress that fixing pension processing would be his top priority this year. In January, OPM released a strategic plan calling for a 50% increase in retirement processing staff, streamlining processes, improved information technology and better cooperation and data exchange with other agencies.    

Complete statistics are here.