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Civil servants to get 1-month year-end bonus; highest in four years

SINGAPORE — In a sign of Singapore’s improving economic situation, civil servants will get the highest year-end bonus in four years, amounting to one month’s salary, with lower-wage officers receiving a minimum of S$1,800, the Public Service Division (PSD) announced on Monday (Nov 27).

President Halimah Yacob delivers her speech during the opening of the Second Session of the Thirteenth Parliament on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the Parliament House.

President Halimah Yacob delivers her speech during the opening of the Second Session of the Thirteenth Parliament on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the Parliament House.

SINGAPORE — In a sign of Singapore’s improving economic situation, civil servants will get the highest year-end bonus in four years, amounting to one month’s salary, with lower-wage officers receiving a minimum of S$1,800, the Public Service Division (PSD) announced on Monday (Nov 27).

In the past three years, year-end Annual Variable Component (AVC) had slid from 0.8 month to 0.65 month, then 0.5 month.

Together with the mid-year AVC of 0.5 month announced in June, civil servants will get 1.5 months’ bonus in total this year, excluding the 13th-month payment – called the Non-Pensionable Annual Allowance – that will be paid in December together with the AVC.

“The AVC payment is in line with the more optimistic economic outlook for 2017 compared with 2016. The payment (including the minimum payment) was decided in consultation with the public sector unions,” said the PSD in a press release.

Around 1,490 lower-wage officers will receive the minimum of S$1,800 this year, as compared to the minimum of S$900 this group received in 2016. These are mainly those on the Officer Support Scheme doing administrative work.

For instance, an officer earning S$1,500 per month will receive S$1,800 – higher than his monthly salary.

“This signals the Government’s continued commitment to help low-wage workers,” said the PSD.

The PSD noted that the Singapore economy grew by 5.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the third quarter this year, higher than the 2.9 per cent growth in the previous quarter. In the first three quarters of this year, the economy grew at a faster pace of 3.5 per cent, compared with 1.7 per cent over the same period a year ago.

Recently, the growth forecast for 2017 was adjusted upwards by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent, taking into account the global and domestic economic environment.

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong said: “The economy is showing signs of an uptick with gross domestic product expected to grow above 3 per cent due to upbeat global environment and importantly, increase in our productivity. We are heartened to see that working people will be able to reap the benefits of this positive outlook.”

Fellow unionist G Muthukumarasamy, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers, added that he was encouraged to hear that lower-wage officers would receive at least S$1,800. This would ease their year-end expenditure on necessities such as back-to-school materials, he said.

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