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Appendix C: Information on recoverable payments

The Department of Finance is responsible for administering:

  • the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme (PCSS)
  • the Judges’ Pensions Scheme
  • the Governors-General Pension Scheme.

Legislation for these schemes requires that Finance report recoverable payments that arise from inadvertent overpayment of pension benefits (see Table C1).

Overpayments are most often a consequence of Finance receiving notification of an event that has a retrospective impact on an amount of pension already paid. In general, recoverable payments arise where:

  • regular pension payments are made prior to receiving notification of the death of a member
  • a PCSS member receives regular pension payments prior to providing notification of work undertaken in a recognised ‘office of profit’ position, which has the effect of reducing the amount of pension paid in an earlier period
  • there are incorrectly calculated pension benefits due to system or human error.

All amounts are recovered, although amounts paid and amounts recovered may not align where recovery was undertaken in subsequent financial years.

The number of recoverable payments and the amounts of those payments can vary significantly between financial years, particularly depending on the number of ‘office of profit’ positions held by retired parliamentarians in a relevant year.

Previous years’ reported information can change, for example when Finance is notified of the event after the relevant financial year.

Appendix C: Information on recoverable payments

Table C1: Recoverable superannuation scheme payments – parliamentarians, judges and governors-general, 2019–20 and 2020–21.

2020–21

2019–20

Legislation

Number of

payments

Amount

paid

$’000

Amount

recovered

$’000

Number of

payments

Amount

paid

$’000

Amount

recovered

$’000

Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1994

Death payments

10

27

25

18

43

50

Other payments

49

70

130

110a

166a

160

Total

59

97

155

128

209

210

Judges’ Pensions Act 1968

Death payments

4

43

102

10b

93b

64b

Other payments

Total

4

43

102

10

93

64

Governor-General Act 1974

Death payments

1

7

7

Other payments

Total

1

7

7

a The previously reported number of payments was 94 and the amount paid was $132,000. The revised figures include additional 'office of profit' positions held in 2019–20 but notified to Finance in 2020–21.

b The previously reported number of payments was six, the amount paid was $42,000 and the amount recovered was $65,000. The revisions relate to pension payments to a member in 2019–20 prior to receiving notification of death in 2020–21 and a minor rounding adjustment resulting from a taxation reversal.