This year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) received far more retirement applications in August than July. However, despite the increased number of claims, OPM managed to make a reduction in the backlog for August.
The goal for the backlog is 13,000 according to OPM, but this is a level that has not been met since 2015. August’s total backlog was reduced to 17,513 all the way down from 18,334, which is an approximate 4.5% reduction overall. For July, there was actually a slight increase in the backlog regardless of the fact that were significantly fewer applications that arrived in July compared to August.
Generally, the backlog trend gradually reduces in size in the fall since fewer new claims make their way in. However, due to many federal employees retiring at the end of the calendar year, OPM tends to see a sharp increase in January and February. Only time will tell if this year will prove to follow the trends of the previous years.