Retirement checks unaffected by Sandy

Crews work to fix damage in Philadelphia after the storm. Crews work to fix damage in Philadelphia after the storm. Matt Slocum/AP

The severe weather along the East Coast has not mucked up federal retirement claims processing, according to Office of Personnel Management officials.

“We do not expect any interruption in retirement claims process and the call center remains open,” said an OPM spokeswoman. The agency’s claims processing facility is in Boyers, Pa., in Western Pennsylvania’s Butler County. The spokeswoman also said retirement checks will continue to be issued without interruption.

Laurence Kelly Davis, an OPM customer service specialist in Boyers who teleworks, said facility operations were running smoothly as far as he could tell. He said the Boyers area experienced heavy winds and downed trees; some OPM training classes also were canceled because of the major weather event that began as Hurricane Sandy and morphed into an unprecedented storm affecting millions of people along the Eastern Seaboard. “We actually had an 80-foot pine fall on the house,” Davis said of his property.

An automated message notifies callers who dial into the 888-767-6738 number for retirement services that they can expect extended wait times and/or unintended disconnections due to the severe weather. This reporter did not wait long to talk to a service representative, but the line went dead after a five-minute conversation. OPM is encouraging those interested in checking on the status of their retirement applications or other retirement-related documentation to go online.

The storm also did not disrupt federal payroll operations administered by the National Finance Center or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. DFAS and NFC provide payroll for much of the federal workforce.

Retirement claims surged in September, adding to a backlog that OPM is slowly but steadily shrinking. The agency received 11,952 new claims in September, 4,952 more than it anticipated, and 2,979 more than it received in August. But OPM completed 12,563 retirement claims in September -- the most claims processed in a single month so far this year and 1,063 more than it expected to complete last month. The backlog now stands at 41,176 claims, down 33 percent since January.

Despite that success, many federal retirees still wait several months for their applications to be fully processed.

OPM administers benefits for 2.5 million federal retirees and processes about 100,000 new claims annually.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.