Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from CNA video

In an announcement by the Public Service Division (PSD) made yesterday (Nov 25), civil servants in Singapore will receive a guaranteed 0.95 month bonus along with a 13th month bonus for the year of 2016. The 0.95 month bonus consists of a mid-year bonus of 0.45 months already received and a year-end bonus of 0.5 months. 1,900 low wage civil servants will be given S$900 minimum for the year-end bonus.

Justifying the bonuses, PSD said that he Singapore economy grew by 1.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the third quarter this year.

“The lower AVC is in line with the lower economic growth for 2016 compared with 2015. The year-end AVC payment (including the minimum payment) was decided in consultation with the public sector unions.”

Bonuses for civil servants are paid for every year without fail even when there is a recession. The perks are met with envy from private sector employees whom many are facing retrenchment. Especially in the small-and-medium enterprises (SME), SME employees do not receive 13th month payout even when the company is doing well.

The PSD bonus is also enjoyed by government ministers on million-dollar salaries. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will alone receive a total of S$276,249 – the amount for a HDB BTO 4-room apartment, based off his S$1.7 million annual salary.