Retirement Applications Spike in February

qvist/Shutterstock.com

The federal retirement claims backlog is up 56 percent since December, partly because the Office of Personnel Management received more than 20,000 new federal retirement applications last month alone, according the agency’s latest figures.

OPM significantly underestimated the number of new claims in February, expecting 5,600 claims but actually receiving 20,374 applications. That added to the current backlog, which now stands at 41,103 claims, a 14 percent increase in the last two months.

New applications usually pour in at the end and beginning of every year. In January, OPM received 22,187 such claims, about what the agency expected for that month. But February 2013 marked a 218 percent increase in new filings over February 2012, when OPM received 6,415 claims for the month. Ongoing budget uncertainty in agencies as well as federal employees’ fears over reduced pay and benefits could be factors in the retirement spike. Human resources experts and other government observers have predicted a federal “retirement tsunami” for at least a decade that has not fully materialized yet.

Despite the increased backlog, OPM continues to make progress on processing retirement claims. The backlog is down 33 percent since January 2012. And the agency processed 3,833 more retirement claims last month than it expected to. OPM is hoping it can whittle down the current backlog to 26,578 retirement claims by the end of March.

Many federal retirees still wait several months, and sometimes years, for their applications to be fully or correctly processed. OPM administers benefits for 2.5 million federal retirees and processes about 100,000 new claims annually.

(Image via qvist/Shutterstock.com)

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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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