Agencies Making Loads of Mistakes While Preparing Retirement Applications

retirement planning for federal employees

A committee has highlighted that many of the government agencies are making a lot of mistakes while preparing retirement applications. It suggests that OPM should guide the agencies in this regard and the agencies should also follow the suggestions mentioned by OPM to the letter. OPM promised to find new ways to solve this problem by working with GAO.

retirement planning

Agencies Making Many Mistakes While Preparing the Retirement Applications

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has highlighted that a few agencies are making a lot of mistakes when they are preparing the retirement applications and then sending them to the OPM for further processing.  The committee mentioned four agencies that were the worst as they had error rates that exceeded the government wide rate, 13 percent in September. The agencies are the Social Security Administration, the Interior Department, the Veterans Affairs Department and the Agriculture Department.

Major Errors

About 15 percent of the retirement applications prepared by the Social Security Administration has at least one error in September. The error rate was highest in April when it stood at 30 percent of a total of 27 cases. The Veterans Affairs Department made errors in preparing 20 percent of 357 cases in September. Interior Department made mistakes in 18 percent of the 51 cases and the error rate of the Agriculture Department was 23 percent while preparing applications for 92 cases in September.

The Letter

A letter was sent to the Government Accountability Office by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in which the GAO was requested to review the method undertaken by the agencies and OPM to process the employees’ retirement claims. In the letter, it was mentioned that though OPM is taking steps to ensure that the current processing system becomes more efficient, it should also ensure that the processing is more accurate and efficient.

The lawmakers also showed concern over whether the agencies are following OPM’s guidance with regard to processing the applications or not.

OPM’s Response

A spokesperson for OPM, Sam Schumach, stated that the agency appreciated the interest shown by the committee on the topic of preparing retirement applications. He further added that the agency would surely work with the Government Accountability Office so that the number of errors could be reduced and most of the agencies know about the ways to improve their performance in the future.

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