Frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions provide information about the Public Service Pay Centre, including information on your pay, insurance and benefits.

What to do if you have not been paid?

Please follow the steps on Experiencing problems with your pay.

How do I request the status of a Phoenix case?

To request a status of a Phoenix case that was previously submitted, please complete the Phoenix case status request form.

Why do I need to complete a pay action request form?

You must complete a pay action request for all requests (pay action) submitted to the Pay Centre by email, fax or mail as it is required by our imaging application. If a request is received without this form or mandatory fields are not completed, it will be rejected by the system automatically and returned to the sender.

Why is my request being rejected?

Refer to Why the Pay Centre rejected your pay action request.

Why have my compensation services moved to Miramichi, New Brunswick?

Your compensation services and pay account were transferred to the new Pay Centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick as part of the consolidation of pay services project. As part of the transformation of pay administration initiative, the consolidation of pay services project will gradually transfer pay administration services from departments and agencies using or planning to use the Government of Canada endorsed Human Resources Management System (PeopleSoft) to the Public Service Pay Centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick. The consolidation of pay services will ensure the continued sustainability and increased efficiency of pay services for the Government of Canada, while addressing the high attrition and turnover rates in the compensation community.

Why has there been a change to my net pay?

A change to net pay may occur for many reasons. Some of the factors to consider are: changes to your province of work or residence, salary, deductions, taxable allowances and benefits, personal credits, and hardship exemptions.

You are reminded that your own personal income situation is unique.

Additional information can be found on the change to net pay page.

Where can I find my personal record identifier and pay list number?

Your eight-digit personal record identifier and four-digit pay list number can be found on your payment statement (pay stub) (accessible only on the Government of Canada network), in the top left corner. Your personal record identifier is in the field "personal record identifier PRI" and your pay list is in the field "paylist number P/L". A personal record identifier number is created for all employees hired in the federal government.

I am a new employee to the public service. How do I make sure that I receive my first pay without delay?

In addition to the documents that your departmental human resources must send to the Pay Centre-Mail facility to begin work on your file, the following mandatory forms need to be completed and sent by encrypted email, fax or mail to the Pay Centre in order to ensure that you receive your first pay without delay. Please keep the original documents for your records.

Additional information can be found on the new to the public service page of the pay and changes in your life section.

Where do I go to see and manage my personal pay, pension, and insurance information online?

Departments and agencies using the Compensation Web Applications (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) have access to useful tools that help you to view and manage your personal information, including your pay stubs, tax slips, pension, and insurance information. For more information about Compensation Web Applications, please visit the link above.

I would like to change my tax credits. How can I do this?

To change your tax credits, you must complete and forward a personal tax credits return (TD1) form to the Pay Centre. If you work in Québec , you must also complete a source reductions return form (TP1015.3v). For all other provinces, the applicable provincial TD1 is required in addition to the personal tax credits return (TD1) form. All tax forms are available on the Pay Centre website.

Additional information can be found on Deductions in the pay and changes in your life section.

I would like to modify a voluntary deduction. How can I do this?

You can modify many of your voluntary deductions through the Compensation Web Applications (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) or by contacting the Pay Centre.

I have received a promotion or started an acting pay assignment. When will I see the increase on my pay?

Your manager will provide your signed letter of offer to your departmental human resources section who will, subsequently notify the Pay Centre of your promotion or acting pay. Once the required documentation is received by the Pay Centre, your new salary rate will be calculated and action to process the promotion or acting pay will be taken within 20 working days of receipt. Refer to the Pay Centre service standards for additional information.

Additional information concerning changes to your basic pay can be found in the life events section changing your employment.

My marital status (married, common-law, divorce, separation) recently changed. Who should I notify?

You are responsible for updating your profile in PeopleSoft with your change of marital status, as well as updates to your name, address and next of kin, if applicable. In addition, you will be required to send a written notification of your marital status change to the Pay Centre.

The pension and benefits site contains information about the process you should follow in the event of your getting married or reaching common-law status or of your divorce or separation.

Other sources you may want to notify regarding the change to your marital status include your banking institute(s) and any applicable insurance companies in order to change beneficiary information. Other areas to consider include having your name changed on your provincial driver’s licence, and health card.

If as a result of the change in your marital status you are changing your bank or bank account, you will need to send a completed direct deposit enrolment request (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) form to the Pay Centre along with the completed pay action request form.

Additional information regarding changes to your status, can be found in the life events section changing your employment.

I have an illness and will be away from the office for an extended period of time. What is the process that I should follow?

The complexities involved with the administration of sick leave benefits, which include employment insurance, disability or long term disability insurance, Canada Pension Plan or Québec Pension Plan, etc, require that you work closely with your manager, departmental human resource section and the Pay Centre to ensure that leave records are accurate and up-to-date, that you receive information of your options and benefits and that forms are properly filled out and disseminated to the appropriate organization in a timely manner.

Additional regarding taking leave for an illness, as well as other types of can be found on the taking leave page of the pay and changes in your life section.

I have been on sick leave with pay and am about to run out of credits. What will happen?

Depending on your circumstances, you may request that sick leave credits be advanced to you to cover the period of your absence. This type of leave is covered in your collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment. However, you should be aware that you can request a leave of absence due to your illness or injury. Refer to Appendix B: Leave without pay for additional information.

Additional information concerning taking leave for an illness, as well as other types of leave, can be found on the taking leave page of the pay and changes in your life section.

What will happen with my pay and other benefits if I proceed on pre-retirement transition leave?

If you proceed on pre-retirement transition leave, your pay will be adjusted to reflect the shorter workweek, however, pension and benefits coverage and the corresponding premiums and contributions would continue at the pre-arrangement levels. Refer to Appendix C: Pre-Retirement Transition Leave: A Special Working Arrangement for additional information.

Additional information concerning taking pre-retirement transition leave, as well as other types of leave, can be found on the taking leave page of the pay and changes in your life section.

Can my request for leave with income averaging be denied?

Your manager will need to take a thorough assessment of the feasibility of allowing the work arrangement on the operation before approving the request. Refer to Appendix D: Leave with Income Averaging: A Special Working Arrangement for additional information.

Additional information concerning taking leave with income averaging, as well as other types of leave, can be found on the taking leave page of the pay and changes in your life section.

When should I notify my manager of the date that I will proceed on maternity and/or parental leave?

You should notify your manager as far in advance as possible, with notification at least 4 weeks prior to the date you plan to commence your maternity and parental leave without pay.

Additional information concerning maternity and parental leave, as well as other types of leave, can be found on the taking leave page of the pay and changes in your life section.

How will the pay centre be notified that I will be proceeding on maternity/parental leave without pay?

Once your maternity and parental leave is approved, your manager will notify human resources who will subsequently update the departmental human resources system and provide the necessary information to the Pay Centre under cover of a completed pay action request form.

Additional information concerning maternity and parental leave, as well as other types of leave, can be found on the taking leave page of the pay and changes in your life section.

I would like to apply to work a variable work week. How should I proceed?

Your request to complete your weekly hours of work in a period other than five standard working days requires the approval of your manager. Your manager will assess the organization to ensure operational requirements can be met and that the work arrangement will not incur an increase in operational costs, such as overtime.

Additional information on variable or compressed work week can be found on the changing your employment page of the pay and changes in your life section.

What is dual employment?

Dual employment is when an indeterminate (permanent) employee on an extended period of leave without pay accepts another position for a specified period in the same, or in another department.

Additional information on dual employment can be found on the changing your employment page of the pay and changes in your life section.

What are the steps I need to take when I am transferring from one department to another within the public service?

Once you have signed the letter of offer with your new department, you should follow the following steps:

  • advise your former department’s manager
  • provide your new department manager with your signed letter of offer
  • provide your former department’s manager with a copy of the letter of offer
  • ensure all leave requests have been submitted to your former manager and approved prior to your departure
  • complete your departmental departure form (if applicable)
  • meet with your former department’s finance section to review any outstanding monies owing to your former department

Additional information can be found on transferring between departments page of the pay and changes in your life section.

As an employee hired for a specified period as a term, will I receive notification if my specified period employment is not being extended?

If you are an employee hired for a specified period as a term, you will receive one month’s notice if your term is not being extended under the Treasury Board policy on Term Employment Section 7.4. The Term Employment Policy does not apply to individuals hired as casual, student or seasonal.

If I am considering retiring or resigning on a voluntary basis or on grounds of disability, how should I proceed?

Once you have decided on a retirement or termination date, the following steps should be followed:

  • Contact pension and benefits as soon as possible (i.e. 3 months in advance), to obtain and understand the options available to you with respect to your pension entitlements.
  • Visit preparing for retirement and terminating employment for more information on the effects to your pension plan when retiring or resigning from the public service
  • Submit your letter of resignation or retirement to your manager and receive a letter of acceptance for your departure
  • Ensure all leave requests have been submitted to your manager and approved prior to your departure
  • Ensure your address in human resources managent system is up-to-date.
    • Any outstanding pay cheques, pay-stubs or related statements, such as income tax information slips, and retroactive revisions, will be forwarded to your home address, unless advised otherwise.
    • After your departure, it is important that you advise the Pay Centre of any change to your home address
  • Meet with your departmental Finance section to make arrangements for the repayment of any outstanding monies owing (i.e. travel advance)
  • Provide the Pay Centre with information relative to the disposition of any funds (i.e. severance pay, vacation leave pay out, (if applicable)
  • Complete your departmental departure form (if applicable)

Additional information concerning retirement or termination from the public service as well as leaving the public service for many other reasons can be found in the pay and changes in your life section.

How should my spouse or next of kin proceed in the event of my death?

In the event of when death occurs, your spouse or next–of-kin should contact your manager or an individual close to you in the office who will inform your manager of your passing.

Additional information concerning when death occurs as well as leaving the public service for other reasons, can be found in the pay and changes in your life section.

What is a workforce adjustment?

A workforce adjustment is a situation that occurs when the services of one or more indeterminate employees will no longer be required beyond a specified date due to a lack of work, the discontinuance of a function, a relocation in which the employee does not wish to participate or an alternative delivery initiative.

To learn more about the Workforce Adjustment process and to find answers to questions about a particular workforce adjustment situation, refer to the workforce adjustment and career transition web page on the Treasury Board Secretariat web site as well as your particular collective agreement.

The Directive on Career Transition for Executives provides information for Executives affected by a workforce adjustment situation.

For more information, visit the workforce adjustment page of the pay and changes in your life section.

What documents are required by the pay centre to commence pay for newly hired students?

In order to ensure pay is commenced correctly and in a reasonable time frame, the following documents are required by the Pay Centre: a letter of offer, the employee questionnaire (or equivalent), a completed and signed Oath (GC-29), income tax forms based on their province of work and a completed Direct Deposit enrollment form.

Why are all these documents required to start someone's pay?

The information found in each of these forms must be input into the payroll system in order to commence pay correctly.

Why can you not commence pay with the letter of offer only and receive the rest of the documents at a later date?

There are several reasons all of these documents are required at the same time. The letter of offer is the legal authority to employ a person and establishes their group and level and rate of pay.

The Oath of Allegiance must be signed on the first day of work as legislated.

The provincial tax forms are required to ensure that the employee pays the correct rate of tax by province.

The employee questionnaire (or your departmental equivalent) has the employee’s personal data, including emergency contact, date of birth, address etc.

The direct deposit enrolment form ensures the employee’s pay moves directly to their bank account, as was legislated in 2014. Paper cheques are no longer issued.

If there is missing information the system will not be able to commence pay.

How do I send the package of forms to the pay centre?

Once you have received all the forms completed and signed you will have to complete a pay action request form. Please select new hire as the work type and casual or student less than 3 months less than 6 months as the sub-work type. Once completed, ensure it is signed by a departmental trusted Source and forward it to the Pay Centre for processing. If the pay action request form is not completed properly it will be rejected and the full package returned to you.

What if I am missing a form?

If you send the pay action request and only some of the required documents the whole package will be rejected and returned to you. Without all the forms/data mentioned above pay cannot be commenced.

When can an employee expect to receive their first pay cheque?

The employee can expect their first pay cheque within 20 days from the receipt at the Pay Centre of all of the above mentioned documents.

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