# 2021-061 Pay and Benefits, Recovery of overpayment

Recovery of overpayment

Case summary

F&R Date: 2021-03-29

When the grievor was commissioned from the ranks with a simultaneous promotion to Lieutenant, his pay increment (PI) was incorrectly calculated by the administrative/pay staff. He queried his PI level on multiple occasions and, after twice receiving confirmation in writing that it was correct, he accepted it. A review of his PI conducted two years later determined that he was being paid at the incorrect level and he now owed approximately $12,000. The grievor contended that he exercised due diligence regarding his pay and he should not be held accountable for the overpayment.

The Initial Authority found that the error in the grievor's pay was regrettable and, although he had exercised due diligence, he was still require to repay the money he was not entitled to receive.

The Committee noted that both parties agreed that the Canadian Armed Forces was responsible for the error in the grievor's pay and that the grievor had exercised due diligence. The only dispute was whether the overpayment should be recovered from the grievor. The Committee found that an administrative error does not create an entitlement to a benefit when none exists and the grievor was not entitled to keep the money he had received in error. Consequently, the Committee recommended that the grievor pay back the overpayment and that the repayment period be extended so as not to cause him undue financial hardship.

FA Decision Summary

The Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, acting as the Final Authority (FA), agreed with the Committee's finding that the grievor had been overpaid in error, from May 2018, and noted that the amount had been recovered. 

Further, after reviewing the file, the FA also noted that the grievor had been employed in a higher rank position since October 2019 and had been recommended for accelerated promotion. The FA waived the time in rank requirement in the grievor's recruitment offer and promoted him, effective October 2019.

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