OPM cuts retirement backlog to its lowest level in more than a year

The Office of Personnel Management ended 2017 with a bang, as it brought its retirement claims backlog to its lowest level in more than a year. As of Dec. 31, OPM had an inventory of 14,515 in unprocessed claims.

OPM was able to achieve this feat despite experiencing a slight spike in claims in November. That spike raised the backlog to 19,294, its highest level since March.

The previous low in 2017 occurred at the end of June, when the backlog stood at 14,530. But according to OPM’s numbers, you’d have to look beyond October 2016 to find a month with lower numbers than in December.

Even though December’s number of new claims (5,568) was similar to what OPM received in November (5,572), the agency processed double the number of claims as it had in the previous month, 10,347 compared to 5,138.

December’s surge in processing also buoyed OPM’s turnaround rate. The agency processed 67 percent of its claims in 60 days or less, bringing its fiscal year-to-date rate to 62 percent. That put the average number of days to process a case in 60 days or less to 43. Likewise, the average number of days it took to process a case over 60 days was at 96.