Phoenix Overpayment Recovery Letters

USJE and PSAC have been receiving and responding to many requests for assistance as a result of overpayment recovery letters that members are receiving.

PSAC has posted a few articles on them:

UPDATE: Have you received a Phoenix overpayment letter? Here’s what you need to know (April 13, 2022)

Phoenix overpayment letters: Keep an eye out for overpayments that are over six years old (June 30, 2022, updated September 27, 2022)

Phoenix overpayments: more letters expected this year, and how PSAC is taking action (February 20, 2023)

PSAC’s recommendations on how to respond to the employer’s letter:

  • Respond by the deadline provided in the letter: All employees that receive a letter should be sure to provide a response within the four-week timeline provided in that letter to avoid immediate recovery of the overpayment by default.
  • Do not select “Option 1” if you wish to challenge the recovery in any way: The only circumstances in which you should select “Option 1” in Annex B is if you:
    • are confident that the overpayment calculation is correct; and
    • do not wish to challenge the recovery of the overpayment on any of the grounds listed. If you wish to challenge the validity or accuracy of the overpayment in any way, you should select “Option 3” in Annex B.
  • If any of the overpayment amounts are over 6 years old: you should select “Option 3” in Annex B and include information such as provided in the following sample:

The alleged overpayment ($___) contains amounts ($____) that are outside of the limitation period provided for under the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act because I received the overpayment letter on (Insert date), but the overpayment is from (Insert date)(i.e. it is more than 6 years old). I believe that the Employer is statute-barred from collecting this overpayment, per my union PSAC’s information:

Please provide me with a written confirmation of whether this debt will be deleted/adjusted from my pay file.

  • Request additional information or records if necessary: If you are unable to verify the accuracy of the overpayment calculation, you should request all information and records from the employer that are necessary to determine if the calculation is correct.

USJE has identified some patterns of concern:

  1. Some departments are sending their own recovery letters, and the format is inconsistent with the information provided by the Pay Centre recovery letters;
  2. Some departments are not even sending a letter. They are either sending a GC 214, some with prefilled information and some with nothing, or they are telling employees to complete a GC214 which is only available if you have access to the government websites;
  3. Some departments are responding incorrectly to our members when our members respond identifying statute-barred amounts;
  4. Many of the letters are missing the information regarding Flexible Recovery of Overpayments, nor are they providing the option for employees to benefit from the Flexible Recovery of Overpayments;
  5. Overpayment Recovery letters that do not list the amounts individually, but in a single paragraph with amounts that are not statute-barred.

This is completely unacceptable. USJE is of the opinion that the departments should focus their resources on fixing the issues impacting their employees and making sure their employees are paid properly for the work they perform. 

If you think you would like to file a grievance, please head to GRIEVANCES REGARDING PHOENIX OVERPAYMENT RECOVERIES.

If you have any questions regarding Phoenix please contact