Wage credit scheme (WCS) Payouts in March 2018
INLAND REVENUE AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE (IRAS) has in a media release on 15 Dec 2017 reminded employers of eligible Singaporean employees to make full CPF contributions for these employees by 15 January 2018 to receive the fifth tranche of Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts in March 2018.
According to the media release, to qualify for the fifth tranche of the WCS payout, employers must fulfill the following conditions:
- 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
- Have paid the employees’ mandatory CPF contributions for 2017 wages to the CPF Board by 15 January 2018.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will inform eligible employers by March 2018 informing them of the amount of WCS payout they will be given. The payouts will be credited directly into the employer’s bank accounts or issued as cheques to the employers. No application is required to receive the WCS payouts.
The WCS is part of the Transition Support Package announced in Budget 2013 and was introduced as a three-year scheme, supporting wage increases made over 2013 to 2015. The scheme was extended for two more years, over 2016 to 2017 to allow businesses more time to adjust to rising wages in the tight labour market in Budget 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 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 article also highlighted 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.
“We strongly encourage all eligible employers to make full CPF contributions for all eligible Singaporean employees by 15 January 2018 to receive the WCS payouts in March 2018.”