Saturday, November 24, 2012

Civil servants to get year-end bonus of 0.7 month

SINGAPORE: Singapore's 77,000 civil servants will get a year-end Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.7 month.

Lower-wage officers will get an AVC of at least S$1,000, signalling the government's continued commitment to help low-wage workers.

The Public Service Division in the Prime Minister's Office announced the bonus in a statement on Thursday.

The statement said the bonus amount was decided against the backdrop of a "more subdued global economic outlook".

It said: "Singapore's economic growth is expected to remain subdued for the rest of 2012, with the economy expected to grow by around 1.5%.

"The electronics manufacturing cluster would continue to be weighed down by tepid external demand. On the other hand, expansion in the construction sector could provide modest growth support to the overall economy.

"In addition, growth may be slightly lower than forecast if the weakness in the externally-oriented sectors persists into the final quarter of 2012."

The year-end AVC payment was decided in consultation with the unions.

Some 2,000 civil servants earning less than S$1,430 will benefit from the minimum AVC payment of S$1,000. For example, an officer drawing a monthly salary of S$1,200 will get a year-end AVC of S$1,000, instead of S$840 based on 0.7 month of his salary.

About 96% of these 2,000 civil servants are Division IV officers.

All civil servants will also get the Non-Pensionable Annual Allowance (NPAA) of one month, to be paid in December along with the AVC.

Last year, civil servants got a 0.75-month year-end AVC.

In a statement, the labour movement says it is happy that the government has supported its proposal to have a higher dollar quantum to help the low-wage workers.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) says this is also in line with the National Wages Council's (NWC) recommendations for 2012/2013 to help low-wage workers with higher dollar quantum.

Mr Stephen Lee, President of the Singapore National Employers Federation, said: "Most of the export sectors are not doing very well. Some of the domestic sectors like construction and healthcare are still doing okay. So I think the demand for labour, the low GDP growth and the negative productivity are the forces that would decide this year's bonus.

"For the private sector, the bonus should depend on their annual result and if some companies do well they should reward their workers fairly."

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