Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) Payouts in March 2018
The Singaporean Ministry of Finance has reminded all employers to make CPF contributions for employees by 15 Jan 2018 to receive Wage Credit Scheme payouts in order to receive the fifth tranche of Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts in March 2018.
According to a recent statement, to qualify for the fifth tranche of the WCS payout, employers must fulfill several conditions:
– They must have paid Singaporean employees a gross monthly wage increase of at least $50 in 2017 and/or have sustained the gross monthly wage increases (at least $50) previously given to employees in 2016 and 2015; and
– Have paid the employees’ mandatory CPF contributions for 2017 wages to the CPF Board by 15 January 20181.
“Eligible employers will receive letters from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) by March 2018 informing them of the amount of WCS payout they will be given. They do not need to apply to receive the WCS payouts. The payouts will be credited directly into the employers’ bank accounts or issued as cheques to employers,” read the statement.
The WCS is part of the Transition Support Package announced in Budget 2013 and was was introduced as a three-year scheme, supporting wage increases made over 2013 to 2015. To give businesses more time to adjust to rising wages in the tight labour market, the Government in Budget 2015, extended the WCS for two more years, over 2016 to 2017. Under this extended scheme, the Government co-funds 20% of the wage increases given to Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of $4,000 and below. This allows businesses to free up resources for investments in productivity, and share the productivity gains with their employees.
The ministry also cautioned that the Government takes a serious view of attempts to abuse the Wage Credit Scheme and offenders can be charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code for abusing the scheme, where they may face up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine.