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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

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