SINGAPORE: Civil servants will receive a half-month year-end bonus, with lower-wage civil servants receiving a minimum of S$900, the Public Service Division (PSD) said on Friday (Nov 25).
Together with the 0.45-month mid-year bonus that was announced in July, civil servants will receive a full-year annual variable component (AVC) of 0.95 month in 2016.
The sum of this year's AVC is 0.2 month lower than last year’s full-year AVC of 1.15 months, with a minimum year-end payment of S$1,100. "The lower AVC is in line with the lower economic growth for 2016 compared with 2015," PSD said in a media statement.
"The Singapore economy grew by 1.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in 3Q16, slower than the 2.0 per cent growth in the previous quarter. The Singapore economy grew at a slower pace of 1.7 per cent in the first three quarters of 2016, compared to 2.1 per cent over the same period a year ago.
"Taking into account the global and domestic economic environment, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has forecast that the economy will grow by 1.0 per cent to 1.5 per cent for the whole of 2016."
The PSD added that around 1,900 civil servants will benefit from the minimum AVC payment of S$900.
"For example, an officer earning a monthly salary of S$1,500 will get a year-end AVC of S$900. This is S$150 more than what he would get at 0.50 month of his monthly salary (which would have been S$750)," it said.
It added that the year-end AVC payment, including the minimum payment, was decided in consultation with the public sector unions.
Ms Cham Hui Fong, assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said that while the total payout package is "relatively lower than recent years", the labour movement and public sector unions are "supportive" of the lower quantum, given the current economic climate.
"In light of the narrowing GDP growth forecast ... coupled with the uncertain outlook for 2017, the payout package fairly reflects the Government’s financial prudence while taking into account the recommendations by the National Wages Council," Ms Cham said.
"The labour movement, the public sector unions as well as the relevant Government agencies will continue to push ahead with targeted measures to collectively help our working people up-skill and re-skill, and be ready to take on future jobs during an upturn.”
Mr G Muthukumarasamy, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers (AUPDRW), said the payout will "go a longer way to help our low-wage workers". He noted that it was "a timely sum to help our members cope with year-end expenditure, such as (their) children’s education and back-to-school spending”.
Mr Yeo Chun Fing, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE), said that AUPE "understands that the rewards for civil servants have to be moderated" but that it is nevertheless "appreciative" of the 2016 payout.
"Our civil servants have been working tirelessly to deliver quality public services and push forth initiatives to boost our economy, transform our industries and uplift the skills of our working people," Mr Yeo said. "We look forward to better rewards when the economy recovers.”
All civil servants will also get the non-pensionable annual allowance (NPAA) of one month, to be paid in December together with the AVC.