In March of this year, the employer implemented temporary measures to suspend the recovery of pension arrears and overpayments resulting from errors with the Phoenix pay system. These measures were implemented in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize any financial pressures faced by federal public service employees. ACFO-ACAF has been informed that this suspension has been lifted and the Pay Centre will resume recovering pension arrears and overpayments shortly.

Pension contribution in arrears

The Pay Centre has confirmed that if you owe pension contributions in arrears as a result of Phoenix errors, you will be notified in writing and the notification will clearly state the amount owing, the missed period and the available payment options. You will be given four weeks from the date of the letter to confirm your preferred payment option before recovery begins.

The payment options include:

  • pension arrears collected on a bi-weekly basis, over the same period of time for which arrears are due;
  • extending the recovery period to twice the period of the deficiency; or
  • extending the recovery period to three times the period of the deficiency (for employees who are experiencing financial difficulty).

If you do not confirm your preferred payment option within four weeks of the date of the letter, the Pay Centre will assume you have selected option one above.


The Pay Centre will also be contacting all employees who have an overpayment to be recovered in writing prior to initiating the recovery. Employees experiencing financial difficulties can request that an overpayment repayment plan be established at less than 10% of your gross bi-weekly pay.

ACFO-ACAF strongly recommends that if you are subject to a pension arrears or overpayment recovery, you make arrangements to repay or immediately contact the Pay Centre immediately to request a payment plan.

If you have questions regarding a pension arrears or overpayment recovery, you should contact the Pay Centre Client Contact Centre directly at 1-855-686-4729. If, after contacting the Pay Centre, you still have questions, feel free to contact an ACFO-ACAF Labour Relations Advisor at