Civil Servants’ Annual Variable Component (AVC) Bonus Drops from One to 0.1 Month

By December 2, 2019Current

TL;DR –  About 85,000 people will be sad this December.

Every year around this time, the Government will announce details for its year-end bonus payment for civil servants. And the announcement’s just out this evening, and it has come as quite a shock to many.

The Government has said that they’re taking into account the prevailing economic uncertainties, and are exercising restraint. This is one of the lowest we’ve seen in years. We had a quick check and the AVC was one month in 2018 last year.

How much will they be receiving?

Civil servants will be getting 0.1 month year-end bonus, plus one-off lump sum payment amid economic uncertainties.

The payout for Annual Variable Component (AVC) varies from year to year, and depends on economic performance and other factors. So for 2019, all civil servants, other than those in superscale grades, will receive a year-end AVC of 0.1 month and an additional one-off lump sum payment of $250 to $1,500, with civil servants in the lower pay grades receiving a higher amount.

As for senior civil servants in superscale grades, they will receive a one-off payment of $400 in place of a year-end AVC.

Civil servants can expect to receive their Annual Wage Supplement (AWS or what’s commonly known as the 13th month bonus) as well as their AVC together with their December pay.

How many people are affected?

If you’re curious how many people are affected, well, the Singapore Public Service employs about 145,000 officers in 16 Ministries and more than 60 Statutory Boards. Within the Public Service is the Civil Service, comprising about 85,000 officers in the Ministries.

We also got hold of the email that the public servants received today from the Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, who is also the Minister-in-charge of the Public Service.

Response from the Labour Movement

As with past years, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) also released an official response to the announcement.

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Cham Hui Fong said,

“Although the economy has picked up pace slightly in the third quarter, Singapore has narrowed its annual growth forecast to a range of 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent. As the outlook remains uncertain, the public sector unions comprising the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees agreed on a calibrated approach with a view to reward lower grade officers with a higher dollar quantum. Moving forward, NTUC and the public sector unions will work closely with the public sector to actualise training under the Company Training Committees to not only enhance the employability of workers but to also ensure that they stay updated on the transformation taking place in the public sector.”

Union leaders from the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers (AUPDRW) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) also commented on the announcement.

President of Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers (AUPDRW), Brother Subari Samuri said,

The Civil Service Year-End Payment for 2019 is reasonable as the economy is still uncertain. I am appreciative of the Government’s efforts to support the lower wage civil servants in this time of uncertainty. This is because the civil servants have always put in their best efforts to support government initiatives and programmes to serve the people in Singapore. We will continue to work closely with PSD to review the salaries of lower wage civil servants and upgrade the value of their jobs to provide better work prospects for them.

General Secretary of Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE), Brother Sanjeev Tiwari said,

“The Civil Service Year-End Payment for 2019 is reflective of the lower economic growth expected for 2019. We have taken a cautious approach by having tiered payments for all, providing more to our lower income officers and less for our officers with more senior grades. With the lump sum, Operations Support Scheme officers can expect to receive a full year AVC of more than 1 month for 2019. With the various transformation efforts within public service, our focus remains on ensuring our officers are adaptable and ready for new roles.”


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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

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