Low-wage workers to receive Workfare bonus

Low-income workers will receive their second instalment of this year's Workfare Special Bonus (WSB) payment by Thursday.

Announced during the Budget, the WSB is part of the Grow and Share package and is meant to help low-income Singaporeans cope with the rising costs of living. It is given on top of the regular Workfare Income Supplement (WIS).

WSB is paid in a total of four instalments - with two amounting to 50 per cent of WIS for work done in 2010, and 25 per cent of WIS each year for work done in 2011 and 2012.

The first payment was made in May this year.

Workers who earn under $1,700 and are 35 years and older, among other criteria, are eligible for WSB and will receive their bonus payments fully in cash.

For example, a low-wage worker aged 60 and earning $1,000 a month will receive $1,400 in WSB this year: $700 in May and $700 by 1 December 2011.

This is on top of the $2,800 that he will receive in WIS this year, giving a total of $4,200.

A worker aged 45 earning the same wage will receive $700 in WSB this year, on top of the $1,400 that he will receive in WIS, giving a total of $2,100.

Self-employed persons are eligible for the bonus if they declare their income and make CPF Medisave contributions. Those who did so by Oct 31 this year will receive their bonus on Dec 1.

Those who have declared their income by May 31 this year but have yet to contribute to their Medisave may still qualify for WIS and WSB for work done in 2010, if they make their Medisave contributions by Dec 31 next year.

The WSB is expected to cost Government about $450 million over three years.

For more information on the Workfare Special Bonus, please visit the website www.growandshare.gov.sg or call 1800 2222 888.