Over 90,000 employers in Singapore will receive more than SGD800 million in payouts by March 31 under the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS). At around 71% of the sum disbursed, SMEs will receive the bulk of the payouts.
Through the WCS payouts in March 2018, the Government co-funds 20% of qualifying wage increases given in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to more than 600,000 Singaporean employees.
By March 31, eligible employers will receive letters from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) informing them of the total WCS payouts they will be receiving. Employers who wish to check their eligibility can do so at www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/wcs.aspx. The payouts will be credited directly to the employers’ GIRO bank accounts used for income tax and GST purposes, or issued as cheques to them.
Appeals regarding WCS payouts must be submitted to IRAS by June 30. They will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The WCS was introduced in 2013 to help businesses cope with rising wage costs and share their productivity gains with their employees by co-funding wage increases given to Singaporean employees up to a gross monthly wage of SGD4,000.
At Budget 2018, the WCS was extended for three more years (2018, 2019 and 2020) to continue support for businesses embarking on transformation efforts. Government co-funding will be maintained at 20 per cent in 2018, and subsequently tapered to 15 per cent in 2019 and to 10 per cent in 2020. Employers who give 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 WCS payouts in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Employers do not need to apply for WCS. Eligible employers will receive payouts automatically in March of the following year, based on CPF contributions made to employees.