MOF, Iras remind employers to make CPF contributions by Jan 15 to qualify for wage credit scheme

To qualify for the fifth tranche of the payouts, employers must have raised the gross monthly wages of their Singaporean staff by at least $50 this year.
To qualify for the fifth tranche of the payouts, employers must have raised the gross monthly wages of their Singaporean staff by at least $50 this year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Employers of eligible Singaporean workers must make full Central Provident Fund contributions for their staff by Jan 15 in order to get Wage Credit Scheme payouts in March.

To qualify for the fifth tranche of the payouts, employers must have raised the gross monthly wages of their Singaporean staff by at least $50 this year. This includes overtime pay and bonuses.

Another qualifying criterion is that employers must have maintained the salary increases of at least $50 given to employees last year and in 2015.

They must also have paid their employees' mandatory CPF contributions for this year's wages to the CPF board by Jan 15, said a joint statement from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Friday (Dec 15).

Under the Wage Credit Scheme, the Government co-funds 20 per cent of pay increases to Singaporean workers earning a gross monthly wage of up to $4,000.

The scheme is meant to help businesses free up resources to invest in boosting productivity.

It began as a three-year initiative from 2013 to 2015 and was extended to 2017 to give businesses more time to adjust to rising wages in the tight labour market, said Iras and MOF.

Employers do not need to apply to receive payouts. The taxman will inform them by March if they are eligible and the payouts will be credited directly into their bank accounts or issued as cheques.

Iras and MOF also warned that anyone caught abusing the scheme can be charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and face a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.