SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday (Aug 27) said it supports the move by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to increase the minimum qualifying salary to S$5,000 for entry-level employment pass (EP) holders in the financial services sector.
The increase in salary will provide further support for hiring of Singaporeans in the financial services sector, said MAS.
On Thursday, MOM announced that the minimum qualifying salary for all EP candidates will be raised by S$600 to S$4,500 from Sep 1. For EP candidates in the financial services sector, this will be increased by a further S$500 to S$5,000 from Dec 1.
It is the first time the manpower ministry is setting higher qualifying salaries for a specific sector.
Qualifying salaries for older and more experienced EP candidates in the financial services sector will also be raised, with those in their 40s needing to met about double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants, said the manpower ministry.
For renewal applicants, the new salary criteria will come into effect from May 1, 2021.
"Salaries in the financial services sector have been consistently higher than in other sectors. The sector also continues to hire and has been attracting strong interest from local jobseekers with good qualifications," MOM said.
READ: Minimum qualifying salary to rise by S$600 for Employment Passes and S$100 for S Passes, higher requirement for financial services
MAS said it worked with MOM to determine the new minimum qualifying salary for those in the financial services sector, and took into account the higher local salary levels for those in the sector.
"The sector has continued to create jobs even in the current crisis, albeit with a smaller net increase of about 1,500 jobs in the first half of the year, with four out of five jobs going to Singapore citizens," said MAS.
"While job creation will be slower in the second half of the year and could remain muted next year, the financial sector is well positioned to be an important source of job opportunities for Singaporeans in the years ahead."
This "calibrated increase" in the minimum qualifying salary will allow financial institutions to complement their local workforce by "tapping on a global talent pool for the specialised skillsets that the financial sector needs", said MAS.
These include employees in areas such as cyber security, machine learning, and full stack development, as well as expertise in new growth segments like green finance, pandemic risk insurance, and family offices.
Ms Jacqueline Loh, deputy managing director of markets and development at MAS, said: “The move towards the higher salary criteria for EP candidates complements MAS’ manpower development programmes to expand job opportunities and deepen local capabilities.
"A high quality workforce, with a strong Singaporean core complemented by EP holders with specialised skills, will best enable our financial services sector to compete internationally, and seize new growth opportunities as the Asian and global economies recover.”
READ: More than 6,300 opportunities available in manufacturing sector through SGUnited programme: MOM
CHANGES TO QUALIFYING SALARIES FOR S PASS
MOM also announced on Thursday that from October, the minimum qualifying salary for S Pass holders will be raised by S$100 to S$2,500, with qualifying salaries for older and more experienced S Pass candidates revised accordingly.
The changes will apply to renewal S Pass applicants from May 1, 2021.
MOM also said that it will also extend job advertising requirements under the Fair Consideration Framework to S Pass applications submitted from Oct 1, 2020. The minimum job advertising duration for EP and S Pass holders applications will be doubled from 14 days to 28 days from Oct 1.
"This will promote greater awareness of vacancies in mid-skilled jobs among local jobseekers, and also require employers to make greater efforts to consider local candidates," said MOM.