$600m in wage credit payouts for 90,000 employers

The Wage Credit Scheme co-funds wage increases for Singaporeans with a gross monthly wage of up to $4,000.
The Wage Credit Scheme co-funds wage increases for Singaporeans with a gross monthly wage of up to $4,000. PHOTO: ST FILE

Over 90,000 employers - most of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - will get more than $600 million in payouts this month under the Wage Credit Scheme.

The Ministry of Finance and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said in a statement yesterday that the wage credit payouts will be given out by March 31.

The funds are intended to help companies cope with rising wage costs, and about 70 per cent will go to SMEs.

Through the payouts, the Government will co-fund 20 per cent of qualifying wage increases given last year and in 2017, said the statement. This co-funding ratio will fall to 15 per cent for this year and to 10 per cent for next year.

The Wage Credit Scheme co-funds wage increases for Singaporeans with a gross monthly wage of up to $4,000.

It was introduced in 2013 and was originally intended to last three years. In 2015, it was extended by two years.

During last year's Budget speech, the scheme was further extended by three years to support businesses embarking on transformation efforts and to encourage the sharing of productivity gains with workers.

Employers do not need to apply to receive Wage Credit Scheme payouts. Those that are eligible will receive letters from Iras by the end of this month telling them how much they will get in payouts.

The money will be credited directly into the employers' Giro bank accounts used for income tax as well as goods and services tax purposes, or their bank accounts registered with PayNow Corporate.

Those that are not using Giro or PayNow Corporate will get their payouts issued by cheque.

Appeals over Wage Credit Scheme payouts must be submitted to Iras by June 30, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Employers can go to www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/wcs.aspx to check their eligibility.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2019, with the headline '$600m in wage credit payouts for 90,000 employers'. Print Edition | Subscribe