About the Wage Credit Scheme
The Government has introduced the Wage Credit Scheme to help businesses which may face rising wage costs in a tight labour market. Wage Credit Scheme payouts will allow businesses to free up resources to make investments in productivity and to share the productivity gains with their employees.
Over the period 2013 to 2015, the Government will co-fund 40% of wage increases given to Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of $4,000 and below.
Only employers are eligible for the co-funding. Employers need not submit any application to IRAS. The Government reserves the right to disqualify any employer from receiving Wage Credit. The qualifying conditions are listed in the table below.
- Qualifying year refers to the year for which Wage Credit is computed, based on the wage increases given in that year. There are 3 qualifying years, i.e. 2013, 2014 and 2015.
- All employers, with the exception of entities on the employer exclusion list, will automatically qualify if they pay qualifying wage increases to their Singaporean employees who meet the following criteria (i.e. qualifying employees):
- A Singapore Citizen;
- Earning a gross monthly wage less than $4,000;
- Received CPF contributions from a single employer, for at least three calendar months in the preceding year;
- On employer's payroll for at least three calendar months in the qualifying year (i.e. employer must have paid employee CPF contributions for at least three calendar months in qualifying year)
| Qualifying wage
- Wage increases up to a gross monthly wage level of $4,000 will be co-funded. Wage increases that are sustained in subsequent years will continue to be co-funded until 2015.
- Wage increases must be at least $50 to qualify for co-funding.
- Once an employee’s gross monthly wage exceeds $4,000, the portion of the wage increase that brings the gross monthly wage above $4,000 will not be eligible for co-funding.
Wage Credit Scheme payouts are taxable in the Year of Assessment when the payouts are received. Payouts may be used to offset any outstanding tax arrears.
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Illustration of Wage Credit Computation
The formula used to compute Wage Credit on each qualifying employee in the qualifying year is:
Wage Credit for each employee = 40% x Qualifying wage increase x No. of months of CPF contribution made by the qualifying employer
- If an employer increases the gross monthly wage of his employee by $200 in 2013 as shown in the illustration, the Government will co-fund 40% of the $200 wage increase (i.e. $80) which will be paid in 2014, and in the subsequent two years if the increase is sustained.
- If the gross monthly wage is further increased by $300 in 2014 and another $100 in 2015, the Government will co-fund 40% of the further wage increases, i.e. total wage increase of $500 and $600 in 2014 and 2015 respectively, over 2012.
- At the end of three years, the employer would have paid a total of $15,600 more in wages to the employee and the Government would have co-funded $6,240.
Wage Credit for 2013 = 40% x $200 x 12 months = $960
Wage Credit for 2014 = 40% x ($200 + $300) x 12 months = $2,400
Wage Credit for 2015 = 40% x ($200 + $300 + $100) x 12 months = $2,880
Total Wage Credit = $960 + $2,400 + $2,880 = $6,240
See more Worked Illustrations on how Wage Credit is computed.
Gross monthly wage is total wages paid by the employer to the employee in the calendar year, divided by the number of months in which CPF contributions were made. Total wages paid to an employee is derived from the CPF contributions that the employer makes for the employee per month based on the allowance and payments for which CPF contributions are required. Total wages include basic salary and additional wages such as overtime pay and bonuses, and exclude employer’s CPF contributions.
Compute your Wage Credit using the WCS Calculator:
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Disbursement of Wage Credit Scheme Payout
When and how will payouts be made?
- Employers do not need to apply for Wage Credit. They will receive their yearly payout automatically via direct credit to their GIRO bank account for income tax/GST, or by cheque. The three yearly payouts will be made by the end of March 2014, 2015 and 2016.
- The first payout, to be disbursed by the end of March 2014, is for wage increases given in 2013 over 2012. Employers must pay their employees' CPF contributions for wages earned in 2012 and 2013 by 14 Jan 2014 in order to be considered.
- From the last week of March 2014, employers can also check their eligibility for the first payout online (direct link to be provided from last week of March).
Request for Wage Credit breakdown by employee
- Employers will receive a total amount of Wage Credit without the breakdown by employee. From the last week of March 2014, 2015 and 2016, employers may submit an online request (direct link to be provided from last week of March) for a breakdown of their total Wage Credit by employee.
- Processing fees are applicable if the employer has more than 100 qualifying employees.
Appeal for Wage Credit recomputation or adjustment
- In any given year of payout (2014, 2015 and 2016), employers have until 30 June of the same year to submit appeals. Only appeals on Wage Credit for that particular qualifying year, and not previous years, will be considered.
- Each appeal will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Employers must substantiate their claim with supporting documents.
Here are some examples of appeals that IRAS is prepared to review:
- Request for amalgamation of CPF records of ceased UEN(s) with new UEN (e.g. due to the merger of 2 companies, conversion of business entity, or change in UEN)
- Request for Wage Credit adjustment for overseas Singaporean employees for whom CPF contributions were not made but whose salaries were nonetheless paid
Find out more about what employers need to know for the disbursement of the first payout at the end of March 2014 by downloading the Quick Guide on First Wage Credit Scheme Payout 2014 .
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Abuse of the Wage Credit Scheme
The Government takes a serious view of any attempt to abuse the WCS, and will take firm action against those involved in such cases. Click here to find out more about how the Government prevents abuse of the scheme, and how to report any suspected abuse or fraud to IRAS.
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Before you ask us a question, check this handy list of FAQs to get answers to your questions quickly.
You can also refer to the WCS Slides with voiceover for more information.
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You may also contact us for further assistance or clarification on the Wage Credit Scheme.
• Email us
• Helpline: 1800-3524727 (8 am to 5 pm from Mon to Fri)
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