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4.9 Miscellaneous Points on Advising Obligations
- The new advice re-print facility allows advices to be retrieved from VIEW. The new folder in VIEW replaces the old mainframe print facility (using TSO) which was only available to the System Support Officers in State Offices. The new folder is located in the Advices Tab in VIEW and is called Reprint Advices – Pre DOCGEN2. From this folder there are two subfolders: Period and Date Range.
- The Period subfolder selects the period or type of advice. The options are:
- Daily (includes all PIPS, IPS and batch except for quarterly advices)
- Quarterly (March, June and September Statutory Increases)
- Yearly (includes all PIPS, IPS, batch and quarterly advices for a calendar year)
- The Data Range subfolder specifies the date range for the advice to be reprinted:
- Daily – Archived daily advices are available from 1990. Start and end date fields must be completed using DD/MM/YYYY format and be within the same calendar year.
- Quarterly – Quarterly advices are only retained for a period of seven years. Select the required quarter from the drop-down box.
- Yearly – Enter year using YYYY format.
- After entering the required information in the Period and Date Range Subfolders a message box will be displayed with 'Information Inserted Successfully'. The request will be included in the nightly batch reprint job.
- Group destination (special register) payees are excluded from automatic advice production and require manual action. Deceased payees have advices issued to the executor of their estate, even though the letter may be addressed to the deceased person's mailing address.
- Computer advice is generated for overseas residents, but the address details are omitted so these have to be manually addressed and despatched.
- The Department's preference is that joint correspondence be sent where possible. PIPS will default to joint advices when both pensioners are:
- in the same assessment
- in payment; and
- recorded at exactly the same address (including spelling, abbreviations etc).
PIPS will not default to joint advices for age pensioners paid by DVA if either member of the couple has not been recorded on the CO.CO screen of the Mainframe as having signed an authority for DVA to release personal information to their partner. PIPS will default to separate advices unless authorisation has been provided.
The Department's Legal Services Group has advised that it is not appropriate to advise pensioners of any overpayments in a joint advice letter. Each debtor must be contacted individually so they have a chance to reply to the letter personally.
As PIPS does not notify the delegate of an overpayment prior to authorisation, it is impossible to identify whether an overpayment exists prior to the advice letter being generated. If it can be reasonably determined that an overpayment may arise from a pensioner's assessment, the joint advice default should be set to single.
- Although telephone advice of changes is generally acceptable, in some cases, it may be better to have the changes verified in writing. For instance if a change of address is notified in a phone call, a Form D2589 Statement of Circumstances should be sent to ascertain any changes in financial circumstances, thereby verifying the new address, and possibly preventing an overpayment.
However, pensioners should not be discouraged from providing information over the telephone, nor should they be told that all information must be placed in writing. There may be valid reasons for the pensioner to opt for verbal advice (e.g. illness or illiteracy).
In some circumstances, written advice will be necessary. For example, a section 127 VEA notification specifically requests written advice. Staff should not alienate a pensioner by insisting on a strict adherence to this requirement. In certain circumstances, such as requesting information in relation to Self Managed Superannuation Funds, the nature of the documentation requested, will require the pensioner to supply the documentation by mail.