MINDEF and SAF Sign-On Bonuses


To retain talent in the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces, MINDEF has announced the following monetary incentives:

  • “Recruitment bounty” from $16,000 to $25,000. This is an increase of $10,000. If you are a polytechnic graduate and join as a Combat Specialist, you will receive $25,000 as sign-on bonus.
  • A new pay component called the “Variable Market Bonus”, to be paid on top of existing bonuses to all SAF officers and Defence Executive Officers (DXOs). Paid out in 2 portions – once in April and once in October – the bonus quantum depends on 2 factors: economic performance with GDP growth exceeding 4% and the officer’s individual performance. The “Variable Market Bonus” can be as much as two months’ salary.
  • “Full Savings Vesting Bonus” will be introduced in October 2007 to enhance the existing SAVER package. Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean said, “This bonus, which is earned at the end of the first 10 years of service, is pegged at five times of the last-drawn monthly salary for new officers who join us.” Officers can also withdraw an advance of up to $20,000 from this bonus once they are eligible.
  • Partial sponsorships for non-graduate officers to get a local part-time degree.

Just 3 months ago, MINDEF announced higher starting pay for new entrants.

See this asiaone news article, this channelnewsasia article and the Minister’s speech for more info on the new monetary incentives.


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  1. yup. the one-time bonus is attractive. but does that mean these poly graduates will be stuck with a poly qualification for the rest of their lives? does the army encourage further studies, like those done in private sector, for these servicemen?

  2. seriously..there is no awards or watsoever.my bf is a regular (sign on fr poly). i wanted him to study part time degree…in fact..cos he work shift work in rsaf…he cant go on wit part time degree even if he’s willin to pay on his own. N there is no change in salary even if he upgrades to degree ( even when its related to his work!). NO idea y polytechnic sign on regulars are neglected so badly. and 2nd contract isnt a sure get thingy even if your performance is gd. there isnt job security at all. IN fact..im so worried that he cant get the 2nd contract n come out wit jus a poly diploma… as he will have to start fr scratch (meanin lower pay as well at early thirties when he has a family to feed..or mayb even children that may come along its way).NO one seem to dare to complain to the govt…includin me..hahaha..in case i get sued or blacklisted.haha

  3. in fact..he has a colleague who tried to study part time degree n requested for mornin shift work every day for 2 yrs… tat particular person apparently was being blacklist my his superior.. n wasnt given 2nd contract at the end. it really puzzled me n i really hope some changes can b done to improve this lot of polytechnic regulars.

  4. i guess it really bores down to individual and their bosses. i had a couple of specialists, 3SG they say. i will make arrangements for my specialists should they come to me and highlight their intention to further their studies. however, this must come with no compromise of their standards in their work.

    There are certain criterias which i take into considerations before i put up my specs for further education. i had rank them in order:

    1. attitude in work
    2. his intention of further education
    3. the time which he chose to study

    i think i need not elaborate on point 1. point 2, many a times, specialists who came forth that they want time off to study, often were already thinking of leaving the force. personally i am not in favor of that becoz the work load during his time away on courses/lessons will have to be bore by his colleagues which isnt fair. there had been numerous encounters whereby these group often used study periods to meet up with their girlfriends etc.

    3rd point, sometimes it must be communicated to them by their superiors the reason why they are advised to hold back their further education plans, it could be the time is not right? i must admit some of the superiors are holding them back for selfish gains, but many times, specialists wanted to pursue their education during critical points of their career such as during ranking periods, when their promotion is due etc. this is a bad move, at least in my opinion. i urge all specs to consult their superiors and plan at least 3 years ahead in terms of career advancement. believe me, there will be a time whereby they should go get that degree and stay out of the competition.

  5. I a Ex-Navy who sign on after ‘O’ Levels. that time when i sign i was only paid $1,100 (year 1998) BONUS not fixed really depends on market also. If you able to get a joint poly scheme better do so. pay higher after U graduate. A lot of Pros and Cons in the SAF. U can add me at MSN [email protected]. I give you more details.

  6. Hello mates,

    If you’re holding a higher nitec certificate chances are you won’t become a 2nd sergeant unless you upgrade to a diploma from a polytechnic.

    If you sign on with the army you will most probably be earning about 3-4 thousand dollars a month. With the Navy in your first 10 years of service, you will ge additional bonuses of 600 credits a year which will be increased if you continue with the army. I believe that if you serve long enough you can earn up to 1000 credits a year. Credits can be used to cover medical expenses, housing loans etc. I’m not to sure about how it works in the Air Force or Army.

  7. I was previously from 3rd guards during my actuve days. Now im 26yrs old. I am thinking of signing on in SAF but i don’t even have a primary-6 cert so is there anyone who can recommend where i can sign on. Please help. Thank You.

  8. hi guys! what is salary for commando 3sgt regular ? what is the allowance for crf (commando regular force) ? let me knw 😀 thanks 😀

  9. Recently my son has been approached to sign on for 3 years. He ill be completing his service in May 2017.
    He’s corporal now. Sign on bonus $30K (is that true?) and may i know how’s the payment mode?

    Appreciate your reply and thanking you in advance

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