The number of federal retirement applications stuck in backlog limbo at the end of October dropped to less than 15,000 from more than 40,000 only a year earlier, the Office of Personnel Management said in its monthly progress report.

The number of claims received for the month (7,484) was about 1,000 less than expected while the number processed (11,027) was less than expected by 473. At the end of the month, the backlog stood at 14,176 compared to the office’s projection of 19,142.

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