Two hundred and sixty nationally elected officials, government ministers, and civil servants have been overpaid for the last three years, RÚV reports. The overpayment was a result of an error in calculating annual wage increases and amounts to a total of ISK 105 million [$785,928; €753,783], or roughly ISK 400,000 [$2,994; €2,871] per person. The recipients will be required to repay their excess salary.
Every year, the Financial Management Authority (FJS) updates the salaries of nationally elected individuals, government ministers, and civil servants in accordance with figures provided by Statistics Iceland and the Wage and Human Resources Administration. These increases are outlined in a law that was passed in 2019. However, in preparation for the wage increases for 2022, it was discovered that the wrong index has been used to determine the salaries of this group for three years, or ever since the law went into effect.
Instead of basing the wage increase for this group on the average increase in the regular wages of government employees from year to year, as is specified in the law, the benchmark for increases has been the wage index for government employees.
A total of 260 people—including President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, members of parliament, judges, district attorneys, chiefs of police, and Central Bank director Ásgeir Jónsson—were overpaid as a result of this calculation error. They will be required to repay the excess wages, which will either be deducted in full from future salary or repaid via automatic payments over the course of 12 months.