Retirement Claims Continue to Surge

OtnaYdur/Shutterstock.com

The number of new retirement applications continues to exceed the government’s estimates, according to the latest data from the Office of Personnel Management.

OPM received 10,183 new claims in March, more than double the 5,000 applications the agency expected to come in last month. Still, OPM managed to reduce the claims backlog by 11 percent between February and March, processing 14,683 claims during that time. The backlog now stands at 36,603 retirement claims -- a 40 percent reduction since January 2012, but a 1.5 percent increase from January 2013.

OPM hopes to have the retirement claims backlog largely eliminated by the end of 2013, but that could prove difficult if the unexpected influx of new applications continues during the spring and summer. OPM significantly underestimated the number of new claims in February, expecting 5,600 claims but actually receiving 20,374 applications.

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. OPM received 44 percent more retirement claims in March 2013 than in March 2012, the agency’s statistics showed.

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.

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

(Image via OtnaYdur/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.

    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.