Phoenix: Government resumes recovery of new overpayments; now collecting pension arrears

The Public Service Pay Center has restarted its work to recover new overpayments caused by the Phoenix pay system. Back in April, due to the pandemic, the Pay Centre announced it would pause the recovery process for new overpayment cases to help alleviate financial hardship caused by the spread of COVID-19. Members who already had a repayment plan in place were unaffected.

In addition to restarting the recovery of new overpayments, the government will also start collecting pension arrears. When the Phoenix pay system first launched in 2016, it delayed pension plan enrolment for numerous employees. The Pay Centre was unable to process pension arrears until spring 2020, however the spread of COVID-19 delayed the recovery process until now.

PSAC has fought for a clear and fair policy that determines when the government can recover any overpayments from public service workers. The government can only recover payments when all three of the following conditions are met:

  1. all monies owed to the member have been paid;
  2. the member has received 3 consecutive correct pay cheques;
  3. a recovery agreement has been established with the member.

All public service workers have the option to pay the outstanding amount in one lump sum if they do not wish to implement a payment plan. Any member experiencing financial hardship can also request an overpayment recovery plan that is less than 10% of their gross bi-weekly pay.

All overpayments will continue to be taxable, therefore members who have an overpayment identified by the Phoenix pay system will be issued a new tax slip for the corresponding year. Please note, PSAC’s victory to ensure that members only have to reimburse the net pay, rather than the gross amount, still stands.

If you are experiencing Phoenix pay issues, please follow our step-by-step guide to access help available to you from both the union and your employer.


November 13, 2020