THE SINGAPORE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE
Who are the Senior Public Service Leadership (SPSL) appointment holders?
SPSL appointments include positions like Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Chief Executive Officers of major statutory boards, and key Department Heads. SPSL appointment holders can be Administrative Officers (AO) as well as professional officers from Ministries or Statutory Boards.
What is the role of an Administrative Officer?
Administrative Officers (AOs) are officers who are experts in the business of government. As leaders and managers in the public sector, AOs play a key role in the development and implementation of national policies, as guided by the elected government. AOs prepare ahead for the future, anticipate and analyse problems, and contribute to the survival, security and success of Singapore.
What are my development opportunities as an Administrative Officer (AO)?
AOs are tested regularly in different domains in the public sector, to stretch them and equip them with the necessary instincts and skills for public sector leadership. In addition, some AOs are assigned to ground postings in Community Development Councils and private sector companies, to learn from and contribute to these organisations.
Who selects Administrative Officers? How do I apply to join the Administrative Service?
The Public Service Commission selects and appoints the Administrative Officers. You can apply to join the Administrative Service if you have an outstanding career history, a proven track record of leadership qualities and the desire to contribute to the nation. You should also be a Singapore Citizen or be willing to take up citizenship.
Read on for more details about Public Service Leadership Careers.
PUBLIC SERVICE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME
What is the duration of the Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP)?
The PSLP is a long-term leadership development programme that aims to develop capable officers to take on key Public Service Leadership positions.
Entry to the programme can be at any juncture, where there will be a variety of career pathways to cater to the officers’ inclinations.
Who is the PSLP managed by?
The PSLP is centrally managed by the Public Service Division to groom capable and talented individuals for leadership positions within the Public Service.
Can I choose the agencies of the two sectors I am posted to during the General Phase of the PSLP?
During the selection interview, you may like to share with us your career inclinations and your preferred posting sectors. These, together with other considerations such as availability of suitable positions, will form the basis for your eventual posting.
Who oversees the career paths of officers on the PSLP?
The career paths of officers on the Sectoral Phase of the PSLP are overseen and managed by senior Public Service leaders in the respective sectors, supported by the Public Service Division. As the needs of each sector may differ from the others, the senior leaders in each sector will identify the capability and competency needs as well as put in place developmental initiatives required for each sector.
What are the requirements for me to remain in the PSLP?
You will remain on the PSLP as long as you perform on the job and exhibit the potential to eventually take on key Public Service Leadership positions in the sectors.
Is there a bond for the PSLP?
There is generally no bond for the programme. However, if you are sponsored for post-graduate studies while on the programme, you may be required to serve a bond period.
REMUNERATION FOR POLITICAL APPOINTMENT HOLDERS AND MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
What is the review on political salaries about?
On 21 May 2011, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of an independent committee to review the basis and level of political salaries to ensure that the salary framework remained relevant for the future. The review covered the salaries for the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, political appointment holders, and Members of Parliament (MPs) including Non-Constituency MPs and Nominated MPs.
The Committee’s report was submitted to the Prime Minister on 30 December 2011 and converted into a White Paper, “Salaries for A Capable and Committed Government”. The Committee kept in mind three principles when determining political salaries:
1. Salaries must be competitive so that people of the right calibre are not deterred from stepping forward to lead the country.
2. The ethos of political service entails making sacrifices, and hence there should be a discount in the pay formula.
3. There should be a “clean wage” with no hidden perks.
The revised salaries took effect from 21 May 2011.
In 2017, the Prime Minister formed a new independent committee to review the salary framework to ensure that it remained appropriate and valid. The 2017 Committee affirmed the continued relevance of the salary framework.
Will there be any further reviews to the salary framework and by whom?
The 2012 White Paper on “Salaries for a Capable and Committed Government” recommended that an independent committee be appointed every five years to review the salary framework. The independent committee will be appointed by the Prime Minister.
Remuneration of Political Appointment Holders
What is the benchmark used to determine political salaries?
In 2012, the salary of an entry-level Minister (i.e., job grade MR4) was benchmarked to the median income of the top 1,000 income earners who were Singapore citizens, with a 40 per cent discount to reflect the ethos of political service.
The salary levels of other political appointment holders were determined based on their salary ratios to MR4 and reflected their roles and responsibilities.
In 2017, the independent committee set up to review political salaries noted that the benchmark had increased since 2012, and recommended adjusting the salary levels of political appointment holders to match the benchmark. However, the Government decided not to make any changes and to keep the political salaries at the 2012 level, since the economy was still in transition. Political salaries have thus not been adjusted since 2012.
Why benchmark to the top 1,000 Singaporean income earners?
The competencies and responsibilities held by the top 1,000 income earners are a reasonable reflection of the quality and abilities of those whom the Government seeks to bring in as MPs and political appointment holders.
As leaders of the country, MPs and political appointment holders must have organisational and leadership capabilities, the capacity to handle multiple responsibilities, the ability to solve problems and take charge in a crisis, as well as the ability to further Singapore’s interests on the world stage.
Most importantly, potential MPs or political appointment holders should possess a sense of public service. We want people who have their heart in the right place, who can empathise with Singaporeans from all walks of life, and who want to contribute to the betterment of Singapore and Singaporeans.
Who are the top 1,000 income earners?
They include the following:
• Those in senior management positions including Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Presidents, Chairmen, Directors, and General Managers from a range of industries;
• Representatives from the financial services including bankers, asset managers, traders, Managing Directors, Senior Vice Presidents; and
• Professionals including lawyers, accountants, doctors, engineers.
What does the Ministerial salary framework consist of?
The salary formula features fixed and variable pay components which are linked to individual performance and national outcomes, i.e.
Annual Salary = Fixed (13 months)
+ Annual Variable Component (typically 1 month)
+ Individual Performance Bonus (3 months for good performance)
+ National Bonus (3 months if targets are met)
= 20 months.
The salaries of the appointment holders are performance-linked, to ensure that the leaders are accountable for their roles and responsibilities. The salaries are also linked to the socio-economic outcomes of Singaporeans.
As of 2012, when the Ministerial salaries were last adjusted, the reference monthly salary for a MR4 Minister (mid-point of the range) was S$55,000. This works out to an annual salary of $1,100,000. The fixed salary is $715,000, and the rest is variable.
A Minister may start at the lower end of the MR4 range with a monthly salary of $46,750. This works out to an annual salary of $935,000, of which $607,750 is fixed and the rest is variable.
Why have salary ranges? What are the grades and salary ranges?
Consistent with HR practice in both the Singapore public and private sectors, each grade has a salary range based on a ratio to the reference point, to accommodate different monthly salaries for the political appointment holders in that grade.
The salary range system gives the Prime Minister the flexibility to appoint Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers and other political appointment holders to an appropriate salary point within the range, adjust salaries and award increments within the same grade.
Find out more about the salary composition here.
Do political appointment holders get more than one pay for more than one portfolio?
No. Political appointment holders receive only one pay even if they hold more than one portfolio. Political appointment holders separately receive an allowance for the time and expenses incurred in serving as Members of Parliament.
Remuneration of the Prime Minister, the President, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker
What is the Prime Minister’s annual salary? What are the components?
The Prime Minister receives a total annual salary package that includes the 13th month bonus, Annual Variable Component (AVC) and National Bonus. It is set at two times of the MR4 benchmark, or $2.2m, which represents a reduction of 36 per cent compared to 2010. There is no annual Performance Bonus for the Prime Minister.
Pensions for political appointment holders, including the Prime Minister, were removed with effect from 21 May 2011.
What is the President’s annual salary? What are the components?
As the Head of State, the President has significant custodial powers. The President is paid the same monthly salary as the Prime Minister, including the 13th month bonus and AVC. This amounts to an annual salary of $1.54m, which represents a reduction of 51 per cent from 2010.
Unlike the Prime Minister, the President does not set national policies and does not have direct executive responsibility for governing the country unless it relates to his/her custodial role. Hence, the President does not receive a Performance Bonus or National Bonus.
The provision of a pension for the President under the Civil List and Pension Act was removed, in line with the removal of pensions for political appointment holders, with effect from 21 May 2011. The provision was never exercised and no President has received a State pension.
What is the Speaker’s annual salary? What is the Deputy Speaker’s annual allowance? What are the components?
The salary of a full-time Speaker is pegged to the MR4 benchmark. It includes the 13th month bonus and AVC, but excludes the performance bonus and National Bonus. The allowance of a full-time Deputy Speaker is pegged to 15 per cent of a full-time Speaker.
Parliament currently applies a 50 per cent discount to both positions as they are not full-time positions. This means that the Speaker receives an annual salary of $550,000 which is a 53 per cent cut from 2010, while the annual salary of the Deputy Speaker is $82,500, a 15 per cent reduction from 2010.
The pension scheme for the Speaker was removed with effect from 21 May 2011.
ABOUT THE SINGAPORE PUBLIC SERVICE
What is the difference between Ministries and Statutory Boards? Are statutory boards considered part of the Singapore Civil Service?
The Singapore Public Service employs about 150,000 public officers working in 16 Ministries and more than 50 Statutory Boards. Within the Public Service is the Civil Service, comprising about 86,000 officers working in the Ministries.
They work in various schemes of service, including the Administrative Service, legal, education, police, civil defence and accounting schemes. Statutory boards (such as HDB, CPF Board, IRAS, etc) have their own recruitment and human resource management practices. They are legally distinct employers from the Civil Service.
If you would like to find out more about the various statutory boards in Singapore, you can access their websites for details.