OPM’s Retirement Claims Backlog Decreases In March

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) decreased its retirement claims backlog in March despite receiving more new claims than it received in previous months and more new claims than it expected, according to new agency figures.

The retirement claims backlog decreased by 14 percent since January, making March’s retirement claims backlog total fall to 52,274, OPM said. Since the beginning of the year, OPM has received nearly 35,000 new claims, including 7,090 in March alone – 2,090 more than it expected to receive last month and 675 more than it received in February.

But despite receiving nearly 2,100 more claims than it expected last month, OPM processed 12,386 claims in March, more than 4,000 more claims than projections estimated. This month, OPM estimates it will receive 8,000 new claims and will be able to process 8,300.

OPM was asked by Congress in February to report monthly on the backlog following Director John Berry’s testimony that OPM planned to hire more staff to process retirement claims, fire poor performers and upgrade technology. Berry also said that it is contemplating giving bonuses to claims processing employees as an incentive to expedite payments.

OPM’s plan is projected to eliminate the claims backlog within 18 months and should reduce processing times so that 90 percent of claims are processed within two months of their submission. The agency is estimating the retirement claims backlog to stand at 29,478 by the end of 2012.

Berry said that his highest priority in 2012 is eliminating the claims backlog.

Posted in General News

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