Salary framework for Administrative Service officers, judiciary and statutory appointment holders
Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on the salary framework for Administrative Service officers, judiciary and statutory appointment holders
Parliamentary Sitting : 8 April 2013
Mr Baey Yam Keng: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Public Service Division has completed its review of the salaries of Administrative Service officers, the judiciary and statutory appointment holders and, if so, whether highlights of the changes can be shared.
Oral Reply (for the Prime Minister) by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security, Minister in charge of the Civil Service and Minister for Home Affairs:
Madam Speaker, The Public Service Division has completed a comprehensive review of the salary framework for the Administrative Service officers, the judicial appointment holders and selected statutory appointment holders (ie the Attorney-General, Chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Auditor-General).
2. For the review, I had asked the Public Service Division to take into account the need to continue to have market competitive salaries in order to recruit and retain persons of high ability, integrity and commitment to be capable public service leaders. This is consistent with the view of the independent Committee chaired by Mr Gerard Ee, which reviewed political salaries which was debated in this House last year. Mr Ee’s Committee felt that civil servants, judicial appointment holders and statutory appointment holders are “pursuing professional careers, albeit in the public sector. Competition for talent in these groups is very keen, not just in Singapore but overseas as well.” They concluded that “civil servants, other statutory appointment holders and judicial appointment holders should be paid salaries that are competitive with the market”.
3. In carrying out the review, the Public Service Division (PSD) also maintained the policy that civil service salaries should lag, and not lead the market, even though they take reference from the market. PSD looked at multiple sources of data and also engaged Mercer, an international expert on remuneration issues. Using this data, the conclusion of the review is that current salaries are at about the right level, and will be maintained. That is, there is no need to raise them or to cut them. There will be some adjustments to certain salary ranges and start points to smoothen out salary progression.
4. There will however, be two structural changes made to the salary framework.
5. First, pensions will be removed. A Long Term Retention Package will be introduced for the Administrative Service to retain officers for leadership and policy continuity within the Public Service. For the judicial and statutory appointment holders, a gratuity plan will be introduced. Both the gratuity plan and the Long Term Retention Package are essentially of the same value as pension and are taken into account in the overall salary levels when carrying out salary comparisons. The removal of pension for the statutory appointment holders and the judicial appointment holders will require constitutional amendments. These amendments will be tabled in Parliament in due course.
6. Second, the Gross Domestic Product Bonus (or the GDP Bonus) currently received by the officers and appointment holders will be replaced with a National Bonus similar to that for political appointment holders. Unlike the GDP Bonus which is tied only to GDP growth, the National Bonus is linked to a broader set of indicators, such as the socio-economic progress of the middle and lower income Singaporeans.
7. Madam Speaker, the Government will continue to regularly review the salaries for the Administrative Service and the judicial and statutory appointment holders to ensure that they remain competitive. When doing so, PSD will not follow any specific formula, but will examine and take reference from a number of different sources, including market surveys by compensation specialists of salaries of professionals and executives in comparable jobs, and salary data from IRAS. This is no different from how it reviews the salaries of all other civil servants regularly to ensure that we are able to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of persons at all levels with the commitment and ability to serve the public and in so doing, uphold the quality of the Public Service.