Wage Credit Scheme: $600 million for more than 90,000 employers

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 who are not using Giro or PayNow Corporate will
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 who are not using Giro or PayNow Corporate will get their payouts issued as cheques.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than 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 Finance Ministry and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said in a statement on Friday (March 15) that the wage credit payouts will be given out by March 31.

The funds are intended to help firms 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, the statement said. This co-funding ratio will fall to 15 per cent for 2019 and 10 per cent for 2020.

The Wage Credit Scheme co-funds wage increases for Singaporeans up to a gross monthly wage of $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 extended a further 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 who are eligible will receive letters from Iras by the end of this month, in which they will be told 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 who are not using Giro or PayNow Corporate will get their payouts issued as cheques.

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

Employers who wish to check their eligibility can do so at www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/wcs.aspx