The Office of Personnel Management says sequestration cuts have forced the agency to suspend overtime hours for employees working in its Retirement Services office and to curtail call-center hours.
The Office of Personnel Management has made steady progress chipping away at a longstanding backlog of retirement claims. But Oversight Committee lawmakers and other government watchdogs remain concerned that the absence of a long-term plan to overhaul the mostly paper-based process combined with across-the-board budget cuts and a lack of strong leadership within OPM could stall or derail the progress the agency has made.
Not that long ago, the Office of Personnel Management faced a crisis in processing retirement claims. In part two of our special report, “Retirement Conundrum,” Federal News Radio examines how OPM set out to beat its backlog, and how it can stay ahead of an unexpected surge in claims amid automatic budget cuts that threaten to derail progress.
The Office of Personnel Management now estimates it will not be able to clear a longstanding backlog of retirement claims until next summer. OPM Associate Director for Retirement Services Ken Zawodny told Federal News Radio the suspension of overtime in late April has left the agency essentially treading water when it comes to processing retirement applications.
On the In Depth show blog, you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.
The number of federal employees filing for retirement is on a downward swing. For the fifth month in a row, fewer federal employees than expected filed for retirement, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. However, OPM’s efforts at processing federal-employee retirement applications also took a nosedive last month. OPM processed just 5,700 claims in November, less than half of what it predicted it would and nearly half the number of cases the agency cleared last month.
Office of Personnel Management officials told the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Census about its plan to buy a case management system. The case management system will serve as the foundation for yet another attempt at modernizing the retirement system.
The Office of Personnel Management processed 6,447 retirement claims last month, ending 2014 with the lowest number of unprocessed claims in its inventory in more than a year.
The Office of Personnel Management has new metrics for reporting its progress on monthly retirement claims. OPM also made a sizable dent in its retirement backlog in October, which dropped by about 2,000 cases.
The Office of Personnel Management said scammers are posing as federal agents and trying to get money from federal retirees.