Salary overpayment

View the process for the recovery of overpayments

Getting started

Process overview

A salary or wage overpayment occurs when a SA Government employee, past or present receives money to which they are not entitled.  An overpayment may be the result of:

  • late advice to payroll of leave without pay, leave, change in hours or separation

  • incorrect or misinterpreted advice by the business areas to payroll

  • incomplete or incorrect documentation

  • processing or system error.


In general, this is how a wage or salary overpayment is dealt with:

  1. Employee is overpaid

  2. Overpayment identified

  3. Either:

  • Overpayment repaid in full

  • Payment plan begins

  • Debt recovery

Notification of an overpayment

South Australian Government employees are responsible for contacting payroll services as soon as they identify a discrepancy in their pay advice or bank account.  Similarly, managers are responsible for contacting payroll services when they observe something that may result in an overpayment to an employee.


If you need help with a salary overpayment, use the Get in touch section drop-down, select your agency to view contact information.


How to

Determination 6: Recovery of Overpayments 

While overpayments are not intentional, action is required to recover any monies overpaid to employees in accordance with Determination 6: Recovery of Overpayments issued by the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.

Under the Treasurer's Instructions (TI5) South Australian Government agencies are obliged to recover all debts, including the overpayment of employee salaries. The Determination standardises the way overpayments are handled and processed for all employees under the Public Sector Act 2009.

  1. Where an overpayment is $50 or less, make an automatic deduction from the employee's next pay.

  2. Where an overpayment is greater than $50, make reasonable attempts to negotiate repayment arrangements.

  3. In the absence of a repayment agreement, make a unilateral deduction at the rate of at least 10% of the employee's nett fortnightly salary. The employee will be given due notice prior to this occurring.

  4. Overpayments should be repaid within a five-year period.

  5. If an employee determines the repayment arrangement would cause them undue hardship, they can make alternative arrangements via their agency human resources department who will then liaise with Shared Services SA.

  6. Outstanding overpayments without a repayment arrangement in place will be handled according to the new procedures.

These procedures apply regardless of the circumstances and causes (employee error, agency error or payroll processing error) surrounding the overpayment.

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