Special Employment Credit (SEC) Guide
Special Employment Credit scheme (SEC) was started in 2012 when Singapore government wish to support the employment of older low wage Singaporeans after introducing it in Budget 2011. Employers are able to receive help on the payroll for SEC payments from 8% to 23% of the employees’ wages in 2015, depending on their ages and income given for the month. The 5 year SEC term was initially until 31 December 2016 but was extended to additional 3 years, up to 2019.
SEC For Employing Aged 50 And Above
The wage offsets under Special Employment Credit Scheme are tiered by worker’s age where employers have initially received SEC up to 8% of employee’s monthly wages if they hired Singaporeans who are of age 55 and above and earning up to SGD$4000 as reflected in the payroll system. The wage offsets varies for employees aged above 50 but below 65 and who are aged 65 and above. SEC was adjusted up to 8.5% of the wage at Budget 2014 to help employers with the cost increases in CPF contribution rates for the seniors. It was further enhanced at Budget 2015 to encourage the support of employing older workers (age >= 65) or retirees who wish to continue to work again where employers can receive up to 11.5% SEC.
For easier payroll accounting and understanding as to how much SEC that the employers can receive for 2015, please see the illustration with calculation examples below:
In 2016, the SEC amounts are readjusted to the initial stage. It is at 8% and 11% respectively depending on the age group where the taxable employment credit are illustrated below:
SEC For Employing Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)
Special employment credit for persons with disabilities (PWDs) is extended as well which employers can help them to enter workplace where they can be independent. The scheme will be until 2019 which the wage-offset is up to 16% of PWD’s monthly salary (age <= 50). Employers can also find out more regarding payroll matters or other schemes such as the Open Door Programme (ODP) on how employers can have help in hiring persons with disabilities as well.
For Year 2015:
- SEC for employing PWDs, age above 50 is 17% of the wage monthly in 2015 (one-time increase up to 1%).
- SEC for hiring PWDs, aged above 65 and above is 23% of the wage monthly.
- The maximum SEC for employers of employees whose payslip income from $1,500 to $3000 will be at $240 (age <= 50), $255 (age > 50) and $345 (age >= 65) monthly.
For Year 2016:
- SEC for hiring PWDs, age between 13 to 65, is 16% of the monthly wage.
- SEC for employing PWDs, age 65 and above is 22% of the monthly wage.
- The maximum SEC in 2016 for employers of employees whose payslip income from $1,500 to $3000 will be at $240 (13 < age < 65 ) and $330 (age >= 65) monthly.
How To Qualify For Special Employment Credit scheme (SEC)?
SEC is only applicable to employers who have made CPF contributions to their employees who are at least 50 years old (age 50 and below for PWDs). It is not applicable to self-employed even if the age is eligible. The age group of the employees is determined in the same way as their CPF contributions where if the employee becomes 50 years old in July 2015, the employer can only qualify for SEC from August onwards. Eligible employers will be automatically assessed and notified by CPF Board for the qualification.
The cut-off date to qualify for SEC is by making the mandatory CPF contributions to the employees 14 days latest, after end of the month. SEC will be paid to the qualified employers by CPF Board in September for payroll from January to June or March of the following year, for payroll from July to December. The mode of payment is either with the same bank accounts that are registered with CPF Board for the employee’s CPF contribution through GIRO or they will send a cheque to employers if they did not have the application. Please be aware that SEC payments are taxable.