By 31 March 2018, over 90,000 employers in Singapore can expect to receive over S$800 million in payouts under the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), as announced by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are among the largest group of beneficiaries of the scheme, standing to receive 71% of the amount to be paid out.
By virtue of the WCS payouts, 20% of qualifying wage increases provided in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to over 600,000 Singaporean employees, will be co-funded by the Government.
First introduced in 2013 to help businesses to manage rising wage costs and to share their productivity gains with their employees, the WCS co-funds wage increases given to Singaporean employees up to a gross monthly wage of S$4,000.
Following Budget 2018, the WCS will be extended for three more years to 2018, 2019 and 2020. Government co-funding will remain at 20% in 2018 and progressively narrowed to 15% in 2019 and 10% in 2020.
According to the MOF, employers who provide qualifying wage increases to Singaporean employees in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and/or sustain qualifying wage increases given in 2017, 2018 and 2019, will be eligible for the payouts in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Am I required to apply for the WCS payouts? Also, how will I know if I am eligible?
- Employers are not required to apply for WCS.
- Employers who are eligible for the payouts under the scheme, will receive letters from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) by 31 March 2018, notifying them of the total amount of WCS payouts that they will be receiving.
- Payouts will be received automatically in March of the following year, based on CPF contributions made to employees.
To check your eligibility, click here to visit the IRAS webpage on WCS.
How will I receive the payouts?
Eligible employers will receive the WCS payouts through the following means:
- Payouts will be directly credited into their GIRO bank accounts used for income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST) purposes; or
- As cheques issued to them.
Can I make an appeal with regards to the payouts?
Yes, you may. You should submit your appeal to IRAS by 30 June 2018. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For further information, refer to the Ministry of Finance or Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore websites.
Source: Ministry of Finance, Singapore