Latest Government Scam Threatening Retired Staff

An absolutely disgraceful new Government scam threatening retired staff with debt recovery for overpayments of as little as $33 from the 1990’s.

Just what sort of idiots have we got running this country?



Plenty! Amazing how penny pinching a Liberal government can be - except when they are lining their own and/or ‘mates’ pockets…


How do they prove the Overpay as the records people keep are only for 7 years at most (even Banks). One I would try to argue they have to prove.


I wonder how they intend to fix the fact that they may have as a consequence also pro-rata overpaid super. Any extra paid to your super fund needs to be treated differently for tax purposes. Whole dollars only? Will the ATO have the relevant records to reassess, given the employee Is just as unlikely to hold relevant details.


A payroll system called PERUSE caused the problems when it was implemented in mid 1996.

According to a staff memo at the time, people’s timesheets needed to be closed off after recording 11 calendar days instead of 14.

Employees were subsequently overpaid by three days so they would not be disadvantaged by any shortfall in their regular salaries.

The memo said overpayment would be recovered from a staff member’s final salary “at the time you cease employment at RGH, e.g., retirement, resignation or transfer to another department/hospital”.

Only 18 employees involved… & threatened with debt collectors from the outset…


If any of the former workers discovered that they had been underpayed in the 1990’s, or even a decade ago, I wonder if the Governmant would pay them the shortfall, whether it be $33 or $33,000.

And another State Governmnet does not even know if they have been allegedly robbed of $2.5 million or $25 million.

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I wonder if there is more to this story…such as employees having option or had agreed to defer the overpayment until one of the above conditions are met. Notwithstanding this, the employees would have known about the debt and knew that when they meet one of the trigger conditions, it would need to be repaid. If an employee stayed in the same hospital for 40 years after the overpayment was made, technically the overpayment could be requested on retirement after 40 years.

Maybe the employee who has recently retired forgot about the outstanding overpayment (or hoped after time it would have disappeared or been forgotten about by the hospital’s payroll) for some reason has a grip that it now has to be paid back. It is possibly lucky that the government hasn’t compounded CPI to the amount as it could be double or more of the original overpayment.

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Yes there is, and it is all in the ABC report.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said about 200 SA Health employees were overpaid.

“In consultation with the union at the time, it was agreed that those overpayments would be returned at the time the staff member ultimately finished their employment,” Mr Lucas said.

"Due to an administrative error, it was recently identified that 18 former staff did not have these overpayments deducted and Treasury had sought to contact them.

In simple language, the SA Govt Department stuffed up the final payouts of 18 terminating staff, out of approx 200 who were reportedly subject to the adjustment.

This does leave some questions about the 18 and what happened next. “Sought to contact them” is not quite the same as issuing a debt collection notice, if that is indeed how it has transpired.

It does seem rather petty Irrespective of view point.

Although given how payroll reports and final payment advices are detailed to employees, how would any employee know if there was an error of the type indicated in the final calculation?

Payslips typically report accrued benefits, entitlements or deductions. Were these amounts ever declared/shown and carried forward in an identifiable way?


Me’thinks the statute of limitations applies; usually 6 years depending upon State - worth checking …


If it was claiming money through courts etc act, yes, but a known debt to government where there are conditions could be different. It will very much also depend on state one resides, application of SoL, when/triggers for start of SoL and what exemptions apply.

Like any unusual claims, it may be worth getting legal advice, but in these cases unless the advice can be given at no cost, the costs of any such advice is likely to far exceed the outstanding debt.


Nasty ones.

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