Breaking News: From the Straits Times.

By Lynn Lee

SINGAPORE‘S ministers and top civil servants will start the New Year with a pay increase, ranging from 4 per cent to 21 per cent.

This is the second phase of an increase that was decided on in April.

Under the revised salary package announced by the Public Service Division (PSD) on Thursday, ministers at the starting grade will take home $1.94 million next year – an increase of 21 per cent over this year’s $1.6 million.

MPs and administrative officers – the elite of the civil service – will see their salaries going up by around 4 per cent or more.

The changes come after the first round of pay hikes in April, when the Government also announced that civil service salaries would be adjusted over time to keep pace with private sector benchmarks.

Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service Teo Chee Hean said on Thursday that the move was in keeping with April’s announcement. ‘Public sector salaries move up and down with the market. In this tight labour market, private sector salaries have moved up significantly, as the benchmark figures show. The service needs to follow promptly in order to attract and retain good people,’ said Mr Teo, who is also the Defence Minister.

But he noted that actual pay would still be tied to performance. This includes individual performance and how the economy does. ‘We are careful to link rewards closely to performance. We have increased the proportion of annual salary that is variable. At the senior levels as much as 50 per cent of the annual salary is now performance-based,’ he said.

With the pay revision, the annual salary for President SR Nathan will go up from $3.1 million this year to $3.87 million in 2008, the Prime Minister’s from $3.09 million to $3.76 million, ministers and senior permanent secretaries, from $1.593 million to $1.94 million, entry superscale grade Admin officers, from $384,000 to $398,000 and MPs, from $216,300 to $225,000 (see tables below).

Their pay increases will come in the form of a higher monthly salary and a fatter performance bonus.

For instance, ministers at the entry grade of MR4 will get an average of 9 months performance bonus, on top of the GDP bonus, which can fall between 3 and 8 months, depending on econommic growth.

In a statement, the PSD said that this round of changes would bring MR4 salaries to 77 per cent of the private sector benchmarks, to which it is pegged. The April revisions had brought it to 73 per cent of the benchmark.

The benchmark is set at two-thirds of the median pay of the top 8 earners in banking, law, engineering and accountancy, as well as employees of multinational corporations and local manufacturers.

This was $2.2 million as of April but has been revised to $2.7 million when calculating next year’s pay.

Read also Bumper payrise in private sector pushes up govt salary benchmark


PM Lee Hsien Loong’s salary will go up from $3.09 million to $3.76 million following the latest pay revision, but like in April, he will be donating his pay increases to charity. — PHOTO: AFP


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