The Office of Personnel Management in the News

May 25, 2017

severance

Below are a few stories from the Office of Personnel Management that have recently been in the news.

OPM Reduces Retirement Claims Backlog in April

OPM reduced its retirement claims backlog by almost 8 percent last month which is huge news. They received 6,581 new claims, but they processed 8,179, which brought the backlog down under 20,000 to 18,932. It was almost at 24,000 earlier this year. They would like to keep a steady state of 13,000 applications, however, it hasn’t been under that since December 2015.

New Annuity Scam Hits Federal Retirees

In other news, OPM has alerted federal retirees of a scam where imposters contact federal annuitants to try to steal money from them. How it works: The imposter claims to be an OPM employee, contacts a federal annuitant, and threatens to cut off his/her retirement payments saying an immediate payment is required.

The imposters sound convincing and use real names and titles. They may also have personally identifiable information of the retirees they are contacting. OPM posted a blog that says they never make these kinds of calls and told annuitants not to believe this.

OPM Updates Severance Pay Calculation Guide

This guide landed the OPM in the news again as it was created to help agencies calculate an employees’ pay based on age and length of service. Full-time and part-time employees are eligible to receive severance pay if they’ve served at least 12 consecutive months and were involuntarily separated from their positions, other than firing for poor performance or misconduct.

Severance pay includes:

  • 1 week of pay at the basic rate for the position the employee held at the time of separation for each full year of creditable service through 10 years.
  • 2 weeks of pay at the basic rate for the position that employee held at the time of separation for each full year of creditable service beyond 10 years.
  • 25 percent of any applicable amount for each full 3 months of creditable service after the final first year.

Most career and career-conditional employees in competitive or excepted service are eligible to receive severance pay. Most presidential appointees are not.

The guidelines are meant to help agencies “considering and/or undergoing some type of reshaping (e.g. reorganization, management directed reassignments, furlough, transfer of function, reduction in force)”, OPM said.

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