About 400,000 lower-income Singaporeans are expected to receive S$1,500 – the first payout of the Workfare Special Payment – from next Tuesday (28 July), said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in a statement on Friday (24 July).
According to the MOF, those eligible will be notified of the payment details via SMS if they have registered their mobile numbers with SingPass, while others will receive letters by the following week.
“Those with government-registered bank accounts will receive the July payout of S$1,500 earlier, via direct bank crediting on 28 July 2020. The rest will receive the payout later by cheque, mailed to their NRIC-registered address, by 15 August 2020,” the Ministry stated.
It added that the second payout of S$1,500 will be given via direct bank crediting on 28 October or via cheque – mailed to their NRIC address – by 15 November.
The MOF noted that the payout will be given to workers who are eligible for Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) before 31 March 2021 for their work done in 2019.
Meanwhile, for citizens who qualify for WIS for the Work Year (WY) 2019, after July 2020 and before 31 March 2021, will receive the payout in the month that they become eligible for WY2019 WIS.
The Ministry also explained that the WIS – which targets the bottom 20 per cent of the workforce – is paid in the form of CPF top-ups for retirement, as well as cash to supplement earned income.
Totalling S$1.2 billion, the Workfare Special Payment is part of the Care and Support Package announced by Minister Heng Swee Keat during the Resilience Budget in March, which aims to provide S$3,000 in cash to supplement the household needs of low-wages earners for this year.
Heng Swee Keat: Lower-wage workers have experienced strong real wage growth, at a time when many workers around the world are experiencing wage stagnation
Writing on his Facebook page earlier today, Mr Heng said that many workers in Singapore are going through a tough time during this period of economic uncertainty.
“Our lower-income workers in particular, have less to fall back on,” he added.
As such, Mr Heng hinted that the announced Workfare Special Payment will help these workers with immediate needs and retirement adequacy by providing a wage supplement to the lower-income workers.
While noting that the additional support for training is an integral part of Workfare, he said, “Taken together with SkillsFuture SG and the Progressive Wage Model, we have a strong ecosystem of support to uplift our lower-wage workers in a sustainable way.”
Mr Heng went on to say that Singapore’s lower-income workers have “experienced strong real wage growth” at a time when many workers around the world are experiencing wage stagnation, adding that the Government can and will “continue to invest in and support” the lower-wage workers so that they can continue to learn and grow.
“Our commitment to Singaporeans is that even as we create new opportunities, we will ensure no one will be left behind by progress. We will enable every worker to make a better living, as long as they are willing to work hard,” he concluded.