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20 October 2022 Parliamentary Replies

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on ratio for annual total compensation of top earners versus lowest earners for Civil Service

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on ratio for annual total compensation of top earners versus lowest earners for Civil Service

Parliamentary Sitting: 20 Oct 2022

Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Prime Minister with the recent changes to remuneration for civil servants (a) what is the projected ratio of the annual total compensation of the top earners against the lowest ones; and (b) whether there is a target ratio that the Government hopes to attain.

Written Reply by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service.

The Government does not compare the annual total compensation of top earners against the lowest earners within the Civil Service, nor do we set a target ratio for doing so.

Such a comparison is not meaningful, because the Civil Service employs officers in diverse job roles across many different sectors, and we benchmark pay against comparable industries in the private sector. A comparison of the top and lowest earners within the Civil Service would not be reflective of the differences in benchmarks and level of talent competition across industries.

The remuneration package of leaders and officers also reflect different job scopes and it is unclear what the ratio between a top earner and a lower earner would represent.  At the leadership level, even though compensation is benchmarked against comparable top jobs in the private sector, we have chosen not to close salary gaps to the same extent. This reflects the ethos of public service that our leaders undertake.

Nevertheless, the Civil Service continues to support progressive wage approaches. For example, we uplift the wages of our junior officers by according to them higher adjustments as part of the recent salary adjustments. When determining our Annual Variable Component (AVC) payments, officers in the junior grades have received a higher payment as a proportion of their salaries. Beyond wage changes, we also work closely with unions to redesign jobs and to identify and address training needs so that productivity gains are commensurate with wage increases.