Civil servants to get mid-year bonus of 0.45 month plus one-off payment

Civil servants will also get a one-off payment ranging from $200 to $300, with those in the lower divisions getting more.
Civil servants will also get a one-off payment ranging from $200 to $300, with those in the lower divisions getting more.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Next month, civil servants will get a slightly lower mid-year bonus of 0.45 month's pay, compared with the previous two years.

They will also get a one-off payment ranging from $200 to $300, with those in the lower divisions getting more.

Last year, civil servants received a mid-year bonus of half a month's pay, plus one-off payments ranging from $300 to $500.

The lower mid-year payments for the 85,000 civil servants come as Singapore recorded lower-than-expected economic growth of 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, based on preliminary estimates.

Amid global trade tensions and an electronics slowdown, the economy is expected to grow by 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent for the full year. The Ministry of Trade and Industry had revised its GDP growth forecast last month, after maintaining this year's forecast at 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent in February.

While the total employment has continued to grow, with overall unemployment rates and resident unemployment rates holding steady, the citizen unemployment rate inched up and retrenchments rose compared to the previous quarter.

It is against this backdrop that the Government will be making the mid-year payments, the Public Service Division (PSD) said in a statement yesterday. It added that it had considered recommendations from the National Wages Council and had close consultations with the public sector unions.

 
 

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong said the mid-year bonus "is a reflection of the lower GDP forecast and the economic uncertainties caused by the trade tensions".

About 1,400 officers who earn lower wages - in Grades IV and V of the Operations Support Scheme - will receive a one-off payment of $300. Those in Grade V, who number around 500, will also get a built-in wage increase of up to $50 above their annual increment.

These officers typically provide basic office administrative support functions like registry duties.

The mid-year payments signal the Government's continued commitment to support lower-wage civil servants, said the PSD.

All other civil servants will get a one-off payment of $200.

Asked how much Grade IV and V officers earn, a PSD spokesman said: "Since 2018, we have ceased releasing salary details as it is market-sensitive information."

Commenting on the lower mid-year bonus this year, union leaders urged their members to upgrade themselves and exercise prudence in their spending.

Mr Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees, said: "Especially in such disruptive times, our public officers must remain relevant and adapt to the changing dynamics through skills upgrading in areas of digitalisation and the use of new technologies."

The PSD said the Government will decide on the year-end annual variable component payment for civil servants after taking into consideration Singapore's economic performance in the second half of the year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2019, with the headline 'Civil servants to get mid-year bonus of 0.45 month plus one-off payment'. Print Edition | Subscribe