Federal retirement claims processing times dropped for the third consecutive month. The Office of Personnel Management reported that April’s average monthly processing time for claims was 80 days, down from 82 days for March and 89 days for February.
Compared to a year ago, however, this represents a nine-day increase from April 2021. The fiscal year-to-date average processing time has also trended downward since February, reaching 87 days last month. But that number is also noticeably higher than the same time in 2021.
As for the number of employees entering retirement lately, OPM received fewer new claims in April — 9,983 — than in any of the previous three months. The number of claims processed also rose to 11,393 in April, the highest so far in 2022. These numbers are somewhat comparable to 2021, although last April only saw 9,414 new claims and 11,396 claims processed.
The backlog of claims decreased to 34,939 in April compared to 36,349 in March and 35,424 in February. It’s still far above the 25,386 claims OPM had in its backlog last April, and agencies are still working to bring employees back to offices, which had contributed to the slow processing times.