The backlog of retirement applications at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) surged 37 percent in January with a larger number of federal employees retiring at the end of 2020.
In January 2021, 13,850 federal employees retired which increased the retirement applications backlog up to 26,968. This figure is the highest number of retirement claims since April of 2013.
OPM’s Processing Time of Retirement Applications
OPM’s processing time was an average of 78 days last month. This was slightly higher than the month of December at 75 days, but 17 days higher than the average of 61 days in January 2020 (which was before the coronavirus the pandemic occurred).
The backlog, which has been a challenge for OPM for many years, has historically experienced surges in retirement claims each January and February as many federal employees put in their papers to retire during that season each year. OPM states about 26% of all retirement applications come in the first six weeks of the year.
Below is a the latest chart and table showing the progress for the last year.
- How to Deal With OPM’s Delay in Retirement Application Processing
- How to Submit a Healthy Federal Retirement Application Package
According to OPM, about 14 percent of federal employees are currently eligible to retire. In five years, that figure is expected to jump to 30 percent. OPM’s Retirement Services team gets more than 1.5 million telephone calls plus 280,000 email requests each year.
CSRS / FERS Retirement Application Inventory (OPM)
Disability determinations are included in the pending number after approval. Average Processing Time in Days represents the number of days starting when OPM receives the retirement application through final adjudication. *Initial retirement cases produced in less than 60 days, on average took 51 days to complete; whereas cases that were produced in more than 60 days, on average, took 104 days to complete.
CSRS / FERS New Retirement Claims Processing Time