An overpay arises when money is paid in excess of what is due in the appropriate salary, allowance or expenses payment and is recoverable in principle.
Overpayments to staff members of salary, allowances and expenses may occur for various reasons. For example, an overpayment may occur where a staff member takes unplanned leave at short notice, exceeds the permitted limits for sick leave or fails to provide appropriate certification for sick leave.
The Circular 07 of 2018 – Recovery of Salary, Allowances and Expenses Overpayments made to Staff, Former Staff Members and Pensioners came into effect on April 16th 2018 which replaced Circular 10/2017.
What distinguishes both Circular’s is the inclusion of an amended section 8 which reinstates the provisions for processing current-year and year-out recoupments that were originally set out in Circular 01/2015.
The implication for individuals is that if an overpayment is recouped in a year other than the year that it arose in, the gross amount of overpayment has to be recouped from the individual’s net salary and any tax overpaid is then recouped by the individual from Revenue.
The key principles of the Recovery of Overpayments Circular are that:
- An overpayment of salary/allowances/expenses represents monies owed to the Exchequer and is recoverable in principle;
- Departments and Offices have an obligation to seek to recover the amount of the overpayment and correct the mistake in the disbursement of public funds subject to relevant procedures and practices in Government accounting;
- The civil servant/former civil servant/pensioner has a reciprocal obligation to repay the amount owed to the Exchequer.
The Circular provides for a variety of ways in which an overpayment of salary, allowances, and expenses may be recovered, including repayment plans, delayed pay adjustments, etc.
The Circular also provides for exceptional/hardship arrangements where appropriate for the particular circumstances of a staff member/former staff member/pensioner.
The staff member/former staff member/pensioner will be asked to complete a form to support their application for exceptional and hardship arrangements.