Parliament: SAF compensation amount for training incidents 'two to four times' that in national framework

Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) medics attend to a "casualty" during field training as part of Exercise Wallaby in Rockhampton, Australia. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the higher compensation amounts for injuries or deaths arising from SAF training or operations are to recognise the risks borne by servicemen during military training and operations. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Compensation amounts for injuries or deaths arising from Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) training or operations are generally two to four times provided for under the national framework, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Monday (Nov 19).

He said the Ministry of Defence's compensation framework tracks the Work Injury Compensation Act (Wica) for workplace incidents but would generally offer higher amounts.

This is to recognise the risks borne by servicemen during military training and operations, said Dr Ng.

He said this in a written reply to a question by Nominated MP Ho Wee San, who asked whether the SAF deems current assistance and compensation for affected families to be sufficient following recent training incidents.

Corporal First Class (CFC) Liu Kai, 22, died on Nov 3 after a Bionix armoured vehicle reversed into a Land Rover he was driving during training, while CFC Dave Lee, 19, died of heat injuries following an 8km fast march in April.

Dr Ng said that for deaths resulting from military training or operations, the compensation amount is double of what is prescribed under Wica.

Dr Ng said: "On top of this,additional compensation may be granted if there are exceptional circumstances or when the serviceman had rendered service beyond the call of duty."

Welfare support is provided through grants disbursed from the SAF Benevolent Fund, which can be used to meet the immediate needs of the families of servicemen who have died, as well as for financial assistance to the family, he said.

Mindef also provides servicemen with $150,000 of Group Term Life and $150,000 of Group Personal Accident insurance under the Mindef/SAF Group Insurance Core Scheme.

Dr Ng said: "The premiums for these insurance are paid by Mindef, in recognition of our servicemen's contribution to national defence and security, and to strengthen our care for them."

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