OPM clears out some retirement claim backlog

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The Office of Personnel Management continues to cut into its retirement backlog despite four straight months of receiving more claims than expected.

In its most recent report (.pdf), posted Nov. 5, OPM says it processes 4,000 more claims than it receives, knocking its backlog down to just above 37,000. The agency has reduced its backlog by more than 39 percent since Jan. 2012 when it had 61,108 claims still to process.

According to the numbers, OPM saw a surge in claims last month when it expected to receive 7,000 but actually received 11,952. However, OPM beat its monthly processing goal of 11,500 by more than 1,000 in September and more than 700 in October.

OPM has processed more claims than expected in every month this year except for April.

The agency expects to receive 7,000 applications in both November and December, but projects a jump to 21,000 in January. For every month through July 2013, OPM projects to process 11,500 claims. If its current projections stay true, it should completely remove the backlog by Sept. 2013.

OPM says a modernization process for its paper claims is expected to be in its fiscal 2014 budget.

The agency currently administers benefits for roughly 2.5 million federal retirees and projects to receive roughly 100,000 retirement claims each year.

For more:
- look at the latest OPM numbers (.pdf)

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