Self-employed below 45: Workfare maximum $8 cash monthly?


Why is the bulk of the Workfare payout to CPF – up to 90% of the payout?

I refer to Josephine Teo’s article “Workfare and the Singapore approach to tackling wage inequality” (Straits Times, Nov 6).

It states that “Over the past decade, about 830,000 Singaporeans have benefited from the $5.5 billion disbursed. It is a permanent feature of our social security system, topping up salaries of low-wage workers and helping them save for retirement.

According to the Workfare web site – Singaporeans age 35 to 44, can receive up to $1,000 a year – 10% cash/ 90% Medisave (self-employed), and up to $1,500 – 40% cash/ 60% CPF (employees).

So, for say a self-employed person age 44 – the maximum Workfare in cash is $100 a year ($8.33 monthly).

Since the above example is ‘the maximum’ – I wonder what are the minimum, median and average payouts?

What’s the point of topping up, up to 90% of the Workfare payout to the Medisave account, which may likely be consumed by ever-rising healthcare costs in the future, in one’s lifetime?

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.