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OPM reduces the retirement backlog by one-third in 2023

January 11, 2024

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The Office of Personnel Management made some of its best progress at reducing the number of pending retirement applications from federal workers last year, reducing the backlog by 34% in 2023 and breaking multiple recent records in the process.

Long a source of frustration for the governmental HR agency, lawmakers and retirees alike, OPM’s inventory of pending retirement claims has been plagued by delays due to the still largely paper-based nature of federal employment records, staffing issues and other challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of these issues, as the backlog climbed to a high of more than 36,000 pending claims in March 2022.

But OPM moved on multiple fronts last year to improve the process. The agency released its long-awaited IT strategic plan, which includes plans to develop a “digital retirement system,” complete with electronic records and an online retirement application process.

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