For the third straight month, the Office of Personnel Management received fewer federal retirement claims than projected, according to monthly federal retirement data.
While the number of claims increased slightly over June — 7,814 compared to 7,523 — it was less than the 8,000 OPM projected it would received. Every month since April has fallen below OPM’s projections.
Still, OPM received more claims in June than in any other month except for January, when more than 21,000 poured in.
OPM also hit its goals for processing claims. Staff processed 8,964 claims, nearly 500 more than its goal.
OPM has consistently overshot its processing goal every month this year except April. That has helped OPM make progress cutting back a longstanding backlog of claims that at the beginning of the year stood at more than 61,000.
Overall, the backlog has dropped by 12,785 claims, a nearly 21 percent decrease from January. The backlog now stands at 48,323 claims.
For July, OPM expects it will receive more claims — 8,400 for the month. It also aims to amp up its processing goal to 11,500, a 37 percent jump from last month’s goal.
The agency aims to cut the backlog to less than 50,000 by the end of August.
OPM rolled out a new strategy in January to tackle the backlog that included adding more staff and upgrading technology.