Employers to get Wage Credit Scheme payouts in March next year

SINGAPORE – Employers can look forward to the next tranche of Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts in March next year.

To qualify, they will have to pay the mandatory Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions on this year’s wages for their qualifying employees to the CPF Board by Jan 14, said the Ministry of Finance and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore on Friday (Dec 17).

The move is part of the Government’s efforts to support businesses in transformation and share productivity gains with workers.

More than $2 billion in wage credits have been disbursed to employers during the pandemic so far, said the authorities.

This includes the $940 million in WCS payouts to more than 98,000 employers in March this year.

To qualify for the upcoming tranche, employers must have given Singapore citizen employees, who earned a gross monthly wage of up to $5,000, a wage increase of at least $50 this year, and/or have sustained the salary rise (at least $50) previously given to employees in 2019 and/or last year.

The payouts in March will be credited directly to employers’ registered bank accounts through PayNow Corporate or Giro.

Employers who have not set up a PayNow Corporate account or registered for Giro are advised to do so by the end of February next year to receive their payouts in March.

The WCS, which co-funds wage increases, was introduced in 2013 as a three-year scheme and then extended to 2020.

In Budget 2021, it was extended by another year at a co-funding level of 15 per cent to further support wage increments and help companies build up their local workforce and emerge stronger from Covid-19.

This followed earlier enhancements to the scheme in 2020’s first Unity Budget, when government co-funding of qualifying wage increases in 2019 and 2020 were raised by five percentage points to 20 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

The gross monthly wage ceiling for employees was also raised from $4,000 to $5,000 for both years, enabling more to qualify for the wage credit.

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