Other pay issues

Since 2016, there hasn’t been a single pay period without Phoenix pay issues, and the backlog is growing. As of February 2023, the Pay Centre backlog of unprocessed pay cases is 418,000. 

While some issues have been fixed, new pay issues continue to come up. PSAC members are still facing constant stress and anxiety wondering if they’ll be paid correctly, paycheque after paycheque. Here are the most common issues and their current state. 

Termination: members who retire or leave the federal public service are waiting years to have their pay files closed and to receive pay owing to them 

As of January 19, 2023, there are more than 48,800 termination cases impacting retired and former PSAC members that are waiting to be processed by the Pay Centre. Many of these cases are 2 to 4 years old, with some even older than that. This is despite the Pay Centre’s own service standard for processing terminations is 20 business days. 

Some members have waited for years to get their severance pay – presently, there are more than 900 severance pay owing cases in the backlog. The delay in processing termination cases also means that members cannot get paid out any funds the employer owes to them, like vacation leave and compensatory leave. 

The Pension Centre depends on the timely updating of recently retired members’ pay from the Pay Centre in order to pay them their correct monthly pensions. Delays in processing termination cases for recently retired members usually means that the Pension Centre is not processing their monthly pensions at the correct rate, and they are waiting years to receive the correct monthly pensions entitlements.  

If you experience problems with a termination case, please contact the Public Service and Procurements Canada (PSPC) Client Contact Centre. 

Transfers: members are waiting years to have their pay file transferred from one department to another 

When members apply for new positions with a different employer within the federal public service, with the position is often a new group and a different pay grade. 

Transfer cases require three different transactions; the original employing department, the Pay Centre and the new employing department. This process is predicated on all three of these groups processing transactions in a timely manner, and this is not happening.  

Due to the delay in processing these transfer cases, members are waiting years to be paid their new, correct rates of pay and to receive their proper leave entitlements.  

The Pay Centre recently confirmed that, as of January 2023, the backlog of transfers exceeds 16,000 cases. 

The Pay Centre’s own service standard for processing transfers is 45 business days. Meanwhile, 28% of the 16,000 unprocessed transfers are over a year old. 

PSPC Pay Centre does not address transfer cases as a pay priority, because members are getting paid every two weeks, albeit incorrectly. Only after the transfer process has been completed and the new employing department has the pay file can the member’s pay be adjusted and all retro pay owing to the member be issued. 

If you experience problems with a transfer case, please contact the PSPC Client Contact Centre. 


March 8, 2023