Ross Wiseman says he realizes it probably won't be able to collect all of the money, given the recipients' age and the amounts owed.
He says repayment plans will be created to reflect people's circumstances and avoid causing hardship.
The Finance Department says 427 people were overpaid in their pensions, with 204 owing less than $300 and about 40 on the hook for more than $5,000.
The department says the error was the result of indexing pensions and integrating provincial pensions with the Canada Pension Plan as required when people turn 65.
Wiseman says the money is owed to the pension plans affected and its members, not the government. (VOCM)