Civil Service Bonus 2009


This year, civil servants will get the usual AWS and a one-off payment of 0.25 month capped at $750.

This means that a civil servant earning a monthly salary of $3k will get 1.25 months of bonus worth $3,750, whereas another civil servant earning $10k a month will only get 1.075 months or $10,750.

Whose bonus would you prefer to get? 🙂

Straits Times says:

“Even with the one-off payment and 13th month payment, PSD said the annual salaries of civil servants will still fall by 8 per cent to to 22 per cent this year, compared to last year’s annual pay, with those in senior positions seeing the largest drop.” (ST, Nov 26, 2009)

I boldfaced the words above because I’m wondering why it is necessary for PSD or ST to even mention that.

I’m sure all of us sympathise with the high-earning senior civil servants for sacrificing so much (see how a millionaire civil servant flaunted his wealth and got reprimanded.) 🙂

Back to Straits Times. It’s again important for the mainstream news media to mention “No pay hike for ministers” and yet again repeat that the top public sector earners will see their pay “shrink by up to 22 per cent.”

Yes yes yes, we all feel their pain.

“Announcing the second deferment on Thursday, the Public Service Division (PSD) said that annual salaries of officers in the elite Administrative Service, and of political, judicial and statutory appointment holders, will in fact shrink by up to 22 per cent this year.

This means that the annual salary for ministers at the entry-level grade of MR4, for example, will amount to $1.49 million this year, down from $1.92 million last year.

For Administrative Officers on the Superscale Grade (SR9), annual pay packages will be down to $338,100 this year – a 15 per cent decline from $399,500 last year.” (ST, Nov 26, 2009)


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  1. I feel sorry for the MSM as they have to leave unsaid that even with the “pay drop”, Mr Once-every-50-years in 2006 and 2008 Minister for the Environment and Water is still earning more than President Obama and Hu Jintao and Medvedev combined!!!

  2. no, stat boards usually pay out much more bonus. but since election is coming, i think they’ll either do it quietly or simply follow suit to avoid trouble, playing it safe like everybody else. make a small mistake and the spotlight will be on you. cheers!

  3. This is the reason why i stopped reading the rags or watching the mouthpiece news long time ago.
    A bonus as far as I understand is defined as what is paid in addition to the usual or expected compensation.
    I am disgusted that the mouthpieces are spinning this as a pay ‘cut’ or ‘shrink’.
    Where did this sense of entitlement come about?
    What next – HDB is loosing money providing public housing?

  4. No. staff in stat boards are not included every year when the newspaper announces civil service bonuses. they are also not defined as civil servants.

    only those who work in ministries are civil servants.

    stat boards are hived off cell organisations that can have its own pay and welfare structure, however, they report to a parent ministry as far as its operations go.

    I also doubt that any stat board has higher pay/bonus than ministries.

  5. poor civil servant on

    i’m a civil servant getting under 3k monthly.

    and it’s just a standard 13th month + $750 so why everyone’s making a big deal?

  6. upper lower class on

    frm stats also same 13th month + $400.
    Glad that they nv take away the 13th month, can pay back edu loan interests~.

    Comparing $ only make oneself miserable.
    Can only blame oneself not street smart, lucky, well-connected, business/financial savvy or hardworking enough.

    Those making lesser $$ will always argue with more $$.

    Totally agree with Singapore Short Stories
    Singapore Short Stories Says:
    November 27th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    It also a contentious issue when it comes to MONEY!”

  7. this article just misleads singaporeans into thinking that civil servants are getting very little bonus this year.

    what most don’t know is that top performers (scholars and admin officers) still get their individual performance bonus of at least 6-8 months paid out in march

    the only thing that has been cut to 0.25 months is the civil service-wide bonus, which is miserable for rank-and-file civil servants, but no big deal to the elite civil servants.

  8. “what most don’t know is that top performers (scholars and admin officers) still get their individual performance bonus of at least 6-8 months paid out in march”

    wow. but how true is that? do you have any references or links to reports?

  9. cos there’s no need to. it’s already sufficiently “transparent”. nobody wants to rock the boat at this critical juncture.

    and if you’re envious, why don’t you join them!

  10. poor civil servant on

    Performance bonus come in march-april.

    For normal civil servants like me, we usually get 0.25 to 2x our monthly pay.

    lets not compare with the superscale it’s just isn’t fair.

  11. lolz…ultimately, if u tink bonus is too much, then just join civil service to enjoy this perks, if you think its too little den resign and go private sector, no point discussing about it. i dun even know why they have to announce this.

  12. they announce this so that people will think they also suffered in this recession and have some level of transparency. stupid singaporeans long conditioned by our media will take the announcements at face value without digging deeper.

  13. I am not a civil servant, earning less than 2k, and of cos, i dont even have a performance bonus at all *envy*, not even a mid-year bonus, and yes, not even a national day bonus.

    Yest i dare to say, i work harder than you civil servants , definitely.

  14. HOW do you know you work harder than anyone else? I’ve never met a bigger congregation of ignorant and self righteous fools than here.

    noneed, same to you. Ignorant fool.

  15. noneed post #19 December 3rd, 2009 at 5:40 pm:

    why it isn’t fair to compare of cos.

    do you think you are as good as those high fliers? thick skinned isn’t somebody? somebody should buy you a mirror..maybe your ugly girlfriend whom you can’t afford to marry.

  16. another thing, don’t speak too soon about working hard when you cant tell the difference between your face and your arse.

    Unless you are God, or live with a person that fits the definition of who you’re talking about, when you sound so darn bloody certain about something you know nothing bout, you look utterly stupid. In short, you’re a frog in the well.

    I’m very sure the scholar-AOs work harder than anyone who has posted in this thread including myself, including directors who get up at 4am to respond to emails sent by PS who was sending it from across the Pacific Ocean or working several days non stop away from their families on minimal 3 hour naps. Thats all in a day’s work.

    Hard work, long hours and job stress aside, your in-built IQ (known as CEP)- further damaged by your terrible degenerative experience in your local farmer universities makes you not even a-tenth compared to them if you died trying. Frogs in the well croaking in jealousy always make a good laugh.

  17. to noneed: you really think very highly of high fliers. i don’t deny there some good ones in the establishment, but there are also some terrible ones. just watch tv and see how some of them talk. and don’t forget the media is already showing the best clips they can find.

  18. The division 1 and upwards will be paid back by Performace bonus,salary increment or even both which nobody know.

  19. why people always talking about civil servants are paid too much. This government is open and if you are capable then apply a job there, if not then shut up, keep your head down and go back to work.

  20. I think people talk about civil servants paid too much because highly paid civil servants mostly come from the scholarship route, and there is a feeling that the wealthy ones have higher chances of succeeding in getting a scholarship than poorer ones.

    Also, a lot of people feel more capable than they really are and think they are at the A/A+ grades in life. They cannot comprehend why those at the top can be paid so much more than the A/A+ grades.

    It’s a little like hifi. The additional 10,000 you spend on it is only going to get you another 3-5% improvement, which are only audible to a small group of people.

  21. The other thing is that the perceived performance of the top civil servants is not worth the millions they are paid.

    This is unlike in school – where you can see clearly that the A+ students are really deserving as they are able to solve problems that you can’t even comprehend. And they solve them in a fair setting.

  22. I think it is very sad that our top echelons are getting such fat salaries.

    But then again, I seriously don’t want the calibre of our ministers to be like those in our neighhbouring countries… In fact, for that matter, many bigger countries have worse shit leaders.

    It just so happened that the solution (of not having crap leaders) to getting more capable people sums up to (severe) social inequality, so what to do?

  23. “middleclass: HDB suffered a $2 BILLION deficit! as reported earlier this month by what you called “mouthpiece news” 🙂
    channelnewsasia: HDB suffers S$2b deficit”

    Eh, I think we are getting confused between GLC and a stat board, a loss and a deficit. If a GLC is losing money, then it is worth the attention, since the government is into these companies it purely for investment and returns. Theoretically, for GLC, the government do not influence the (purely economic, profit-driven) decisions these companies made. [Well, skeptics can question why some director boards is flooded with ex-government scholars… but that is another debate… and who cares when our Keppel, ST, NOL, SIA, etc etc (barring the recent recession, which is global anyway) is making big money?] So, if a GLC is making a 2 billion loss, then it is definitely an under-reported “mouthpiece” news.

    On the other hand, a stat board ought to function to achieve certain governmental/social aim. For instance, HDB’s mission reads “We provide affordable homes of quality and value. etc”. So the social aim is that (ideally) everyone is Singapore gets housed in proper housing. To achieve this social aim (which, btw, includes snuffling your oppositions by not upgrading their lifts), the government pledges a piece of their budget, and running a deficit just means that they had spent more than this allocated budget. As such, shouldn’t we be (somewhat) happy that HDB (a stat board) is running a deficit? It just reflects that the government is willing to spend beyond its allocated budget to achieve his social goals. In fact, we should be really worried if they are not spending anything.

    Of course, a huge deficit will point to management inept, excess expenditure, or in the best scenario, just some crappy accountants who cannot do simple math at the start of the workyear. For the more serious of the issues above, we just have to ask ourselves if the flats we are staying in had been good thus far. Anyway, I doubt the staffs at HDB will be happy next year will all the (confirmed!) budget cuts coming their way, coz first to kanna is always staff welfare.

    Personally, I stay in Marsiling, and my frequent trips to JB always tell me Singapore housing Buay Pai lah. To say the least, I think Singapore is the one of the only few places on Earth where public housing is not quite equivalent to slums/ghettos/Poor people’s accomodation. What do you think?

  24. Well, I was ONCE in the civil service, and it is the place to STAY if you want a cosy life. I left because the deadlogs felt I was out-of-synch with them and preferred doing things their way. My entire department was closed down gradually after the ‘senior manager’ who was busy skirt-chasing the women siphoned my works out to sub-contractors.

    Some of them basically does NOTHING almost every day. Just collect sub-con weekly reports, rephrase and submit as their own weekly report. During the days, they water flowers for their bosses, go lunch with their kakis and gossip.

    The short & fat senior manager – who is now a Director in the CPF board even said this ‘you guys better think of ways on how to spend the 500k budget this year otherwise, next year’s IT budget will shrink! and we won’t have money to spend anymore’.

    The entire department of kakis basically stoodstill because nobody wants to pass their job/experience out to new recruits…meaning they get to keep their jobs permanently (since nobody knows how to take over). They buy the SAME software repeatedly over the years to reduce workload & re-learning…that’s also why some statboards are stuck with Lotus Notes.

  25. Whatever amount they are getting, it is better than nothing. For alot of us working within the private sector, no bonus for both 2008 & 2009.

  26. Pingback: Civil Service Bonus mid-2010 | - Your Salary in Singapore

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