Wage Credit Scheme Payouts For 2018

 

Employers are reminded to make CPF contributions for employees by 15 Jan 2018 to receive Wage Credit Scheme payouts

1        Employers of eligible Singaporean employees are reminded to make the full CPF contributions for these employees by 15 January 2018 in order to receive the fifth tranche of Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts in March 2018.

 

2        To qualify for the fifth tranche of the WCS payout, employers must fulfil the following conditions:

  1. Have given 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
  2. Have paid the employees’ mandatory CPF contributions for 2017 wages to the CPF Board by 15 January 2018[1].

 

3        Employers do not need to apply to receive the WCS payouts. 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. The payouts will be credited directly into the employers’ bank accounts or issued as cheques to employers.

 

4        The WCS forms part of the Transition Support Package announced in Budget 2013.  It was introduced as a three-year scheme, supporting wage increases made over 2013 to 2015. In Budget 2015, to give businesses more time to adjust to rising wages in the tight labour market, the Government 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[2] of $4,000 and below. This allows businesses to free up resources for investments in productivity, and share the productivity gains with their employees.

 

5        Please refer to the Annex for details on the WCS. For more information, visit IRAS’ website (www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/wcs.aspx), contact IRAS at 1800-352-4727 or email wcs@iras.gov.sg.

 

Severe Penalties for Abusing Wage Credit Scheme

6        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.

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Issued by:

Ministry of Finance

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

Singapore

15 December 2017

 

[1] Employers are required to make CPF contributions within 14 days from the end of each month for which CPF contributions are due. If the 14th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the grace period will be extended to the next working day. Late payment interest will otherwise apply.

 

[2] Gross monthly wage is defined as total wage of the employee paid by the employer in the calendar year (including basic salary, overtime pay and bonuses), divided by the number of months of CPF contribution.

 

Annex

Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) Factsheet

Who is eligible?

  1. In any calendar year from 2013 to 2017, employers qualify for WCS payouts if they give wage increases of at least $50 to employees who are on their payroll for at least three months in the qualifying year, and who received CPF contributions for at least three months in the preceding year. Employees could have been on the payroll of a different employer in the preceding year, but they must be on the payroll of a single employer for at least three months in the qualifying year.

 

  1. All Singapore Citizen employees who received CPF contributions, including full-time, part-time and casual employees, are covered by the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS).

 

  1. Employers in the following government related-entities or entities not registered in Singapore, are not eligible for the WCS:
  1. Local Government Agencies, including Organs of State, Ministries and Departments, Statutory Boards
  2. Government and Government-Aided Schools
  3. People’s Association Services and Grassroots Units
  4. High Commissions, Embassies, Trade Offices, Consulates
  5. Unregistered Local/Foreign Entities
  6. Foreign Military Units
  7. Representative offices of Foreign companies, Foreign Government Agencies, Foreign Trade Associations, Foreign Chambers, Foreign Non-profit Organisations, and Foreign Law Practices
  8. Bank Representative Offices/ Insurance Representative Offices/ Other Financial Representative Offices (registered with MAS)
  9. News Bureaus (which are representative offices)
  10. International Organisations

 

What wage increases qualify for WCS payouts?

  1. Wage increases are computed on an annual basis, based on the difference between the gross monthly wage of an employee in the qualifying year and the gross monthly wage of the employee in the preceding year. For each qualifying year, WCS payouts will be paid to the employer for all the months in the year in which CPF contributions are made by him for the employee. For the fifth payout, new wage increases given to employees in 2017 over 2016, as well as sustained wage increases previously given to employees in 2016 over 2015, and 2015 over 2014, will qualify for WCS payouts. All wage increases and sustained wage increases must be at least $50 to qualify for WCS payouts.

 

When and how will employers receive WCS payouts?

  1. For each year that an employer qualifies for WCS payouts, he will receive the WCS payouts at the end of March in the subsequent year, via direct credit to his GIRO bank account for income tax/GST, or by cheque. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which is the administrator of the Wage Credit Scheme, will notify the employer of his payout by post. Employers do not need to apply to receive the WCS payouts.

 

When do employers have to pay CPF contributions?

  1. CPF contributions are due at the end of each month. However, employers have a grace period of 14 days to pay CPF contributions after the end of the month. If the 14th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the grace period will be extended to the next working day.

 

  1. If CPF contributions are not paid on time, employers will be sent a reminder to pay the outstanding CPF contributions, and late payment interest would apply.
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Last Updated on December 04, 2017
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