Key Highlights for Businesses and HR Leaders from Singapore Budget 2024

Mr. Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Finance, unveiled the Singapore Budget 2024 Statement on Friday, February 16, 2024. The budget, totalling S$131 billion, is aimed at fostering a more resilient and united nation.

Here are the key highlights that businesses and HR leaders should take note of:

Central Provident Fund (CPF)

  • Starting from 1 January 2025, there will be an elevation in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for senior workers aged 55 to 65. Employers will benefit from an extended CPF Transition Offset, covering half of the increase in 2025.
  • The Enhanced Retirement Sum will be raised to S$426,000, marking a significant fourfold increase compared to the Basic Retirement Sum.
  • Every Singaporean will receive top-ups ranging from S$100 to S$1,650 in their CPF MediSave Account.
  • A one-time bonus ranging from S$1,000 to S$1,500 will be granted to Singaporeans with CPF retirement savings below S$99,400. This bonus will be deposited into their CPF Retirement or Special Account.

Uplift lower-wage workers:

  • The qualifying monthly wage cap is set to increase from S$2,500 to S$3,000, accompanied by elevated Workfare payments of up to S$4,900 per year.
  • Commencing July 1, 2024, the Local Qualifying Salary will see an upswing from S$1,400 to S$1,600, and the minimum hourly rate will be raised from S$9.00 to S$10.50 per hour.
  • The Progressive Wage Credit Scheme will extend co-funding support for salary increases implemented in the qualifying year 2024.

SkillsFuture:

The Singaporean government is set to introduce the SkillsFuture Level-Up Programme, with a focus on providing heightened support for mid-career workers, specifically targeting Singaporeans aged 40 and above. This initiative encompasses several key components:

  • In May 2024, a S$4,000 top-up to SkillsFuture Credit will be provided, intended for use in selected industry-oriented training courses aimed at improving employability outcomes.
  • An enhanced subsidy for mid-career individuals pursuing an additional publicly-funded full-time diploma.
  • Introduction of the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Training Allowance, offering a monthly allowance of up to S$3,000 for a maximum duration of 24 months, applicable to selected full-time courses.

Medi-Save Bonus:

All adults aged 21 to 50 will receive a one-time MediSave Bonus of up to S$300.

Unemployment Support:

In the latter part of 2024, Singapore will unveil a temporary financial support scheme designed for workers who have experienced layoffs. This initiative seeks to aid affected employees in pursuing training opportunities or exploring more fitting employment prospects.

Retirement Needs:

  • The Majulah Package is crafted to offer support to 1.6 million Singaporeans born in 1973 or earlier, addressing their retirement and healthcare needs.
  • The Matched Retirement Savings Scheme is slated for expansion, now covering Singaporeans aged 55 and above. Moreover, the annual matching cap will be raised to S$2,000, with a lifetime matching cap set at S$20,000.
  • There will be a 20% increase in the quarterly payment of the Silver Support Scheme, along with an elevation in the qualifying per capita household income threshold to $2,300.
  • Singaporeans aged 51 and above will receive a one-time bonus ranging from S$750 to S$1,500 deposited into their CPF MediSave Account.

Rising Business Costs:

The Singaporean government is earmarking S$1.3 billion as a component of the Enterprise Support Package to help alleviate the rising business costs. Additionally, improvements will be implemented in the Enterprise Financing Scheme, and the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit will be extended until June 2025.

Invest in Emerging Technologies:

The Singaporean government has declared a commitment to invest more than S$1 billion over the next five years to implement the National AI Strategy 2.0. The fund aims to bolster the pool of AI talent and ensure access to advanced chips to facilitate the growing utilization of AI. Furthermore, there are plans to enhance Singapore’s nationwide broadband network, with a target of achieving speeds up to 10Gbps by the year 2030.

To learn more about the National AI Strategy 2.0, head over to Smart Nation Singapore: https://www.smartnation.gov.sg/nais/

Effectively navigating the dynamic terrain of labour laws, which undergo continuous changes, can pose challenges. Partnering with an HR service provider provides a solution for staying consistently informed. Links International emerges as a prominent industry leader in HR outsourcing, providing services such as payroll outsourcing, visa applications, PEO/EOR services, outplacement, recruitment, and more. Feel free to reach out to us to explore how we can help optimise your business operations in 2024!

For further information on the Budget 2024, please head over to the official website of the Singaporean government: https://www.gov.sg/features/budget-2024

Read also:

  1. Singapore Visa Update: All You Need to Know About COMPASS
  2. How to Strategically Plan a Budget for HR in 2024
  3. Labour Law Insider – APAC 2024 Q1 Legislation Update
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