Here comes bonus season!


Nothing screams bonus season like news outlets announcing the annual civil service year-end bonus! As the biggest employer with over 140,000 officers working across different ministries and statutory boards, the Singapore Public Service is often used as a benchmark for companies who are deciding how much bonus to award staff.

This year, civil servants would understandably be happy with their 1.1-month year-end bonus on top of the 0.35-month mid-year bonus that was doled out in July. To help promote more equity amongst lower-paid staff, junior-grade officers will also get an additional one-time payment of $700. Including the 13-month bonus, civil servants would have gotten a 2.45-month bonus in 2022 excluding performance or other bonuses.

This is certainly a big jump from 2020 when the Government, in light of the challenging economic situation brought about by the pandemic, decided that there would be no year-end bonus payments for civil servants. 

Public vs Private 

According to the data from the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM), the bonus quantum for those working in the private sector was largely comparable to that of the public sector. Before the pandemic, employees in the private sector would roughly get at least a 2-month year-end bonus and while the figures dipped below 2-months during the pandemic, it seems to be slowly increasing to its pre-pandemic numbers. 

Bonus and Salary Expectations

Recruitment agency Randstad’s survey of 300 employees in Singapore also yielded some interesting insights: 

  • 50% of respondents said they will be receiving a bonus this year, of which 65% of those who said they will be getting a bonus this year also said they are satisfied enough to stay in the company for at least the next 6 months
  • 80% of respondents indicated they will have a salary increment 
  • 37% of respondents expect to receive at least 1 to 3 months in bonus payments while 43% expect to receive at least 1 to 3 months in bonus payments excluding their 13th-month bonus. 
  • 12% of those who expected to receive a bonus would be getting 7 months or more in bonus payments 
  • 25% expect to receive less than 1 month in bonus payments 

These figures would give you a better idea of how to benchmark your bonus during this season to see how you fare.

Even if yours is on the lower side, it’s important to also take in other considerations such as industry benchmarks, the economic outlook, and how the company is doing. Beyond fiscal considerations, having flexibility at work, encouraging bosses, good colleagues and work fulfillment are other aspects that are important too. We certainly hope your bonus adds to the festive cheer as your wrap up your work year!

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