OPM Slowly Makes Up Lost Ground on the Retirement Claims Backlog

Gloszilla Studio/Shutterstock.com

The backlog of federal retirement claims waiting to be processed fell slightly in April for the second month in a row, but it still remains higher than it was at the end of 2013, according to the latest numbers from the Office of Personnel Management.

OPM processed 10,002 applications last month, bringing the claims backlog down 10.5 percent to 16,618. That still leaves a larger pile of pending claims than in October 2013, when the inventory stood at 14,176. Claims surged in January and February, fueling the increase in the backlog that OPM is now slowly digging out of.

Even in April, OPM received more claims than it had anticipated. The agency projected it would get 6,500 applications, but actually received 8,047. OPM still reduced the backlog by several hundred more claims than its target level for April.

The latest progress follows some negative press for OPM’s retirement processing. The Washington Post in March published a scathing investigative report on inefficiencies in the system, prompting a bipartisan group of senators to demand more information on steps OPM is taking to modernize the process.

OPM originally attempted to eliminate the backlog by the summer of 2013, but sequestration forced the agency to scale back its ambitions.

As of February, the typical federal retiree waited 61 days for his or her claim to be processed, according to OPM. That is down from 91 days last July and 156 days in December 2011, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta noted in a March blog post. But the senators who demanded more information on retirement modernization efforts said that 61 days is still no faster than processing times in 1977.  

(Image via Gloszilla Studio/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:

  • 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.

    View
  • 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.

    View
  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • 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.

    View
  • 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.

    View

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