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FAQs on Workfare Bonus Scheme
 

General Questions on Workfare Bonus Scheme (WBS)

1. What is the Workfare Bonus Scheme?
2. What is the rationale behind the WBS?
3. How long will the WBS run for?
4. Will the WBS be an on-going scheme?
5. What is the budget for the WBS?

Eligibility Criteria - General

6. Who is eligible for the Workfare Bonus?
7. I did not sign up for the Progress Package. Do I still qualify for WBS?
8. I worked for 6 months in 2006, but not in a continuous stretch. Do I qualify for WBS?
9. What is the deadline for declaring my 2006 income in order to qualify for the second allotment of WBS?

Eligibility Criteria - Employment (General)

10. If I am both an employee and self-employed, how will I be assessed on my income eligibility for WBS?
11. What is the rationale for giving Workfare Bonus only to those with monthly gross wage of $1,500 or less?
12. Why are workers assessed on monthly gross salary (or annual net trade income in the case of self-employed) and not household income?
13. Why is employment period based on the calendar years of 2005 and 2006?
14. Why is it that I do not get the bonus if I worked for at least 6 months across 2005-6, although I did not work for at least 6 months in 2005 or in 2006 alone?
15. I do not have CPF contributions and have not received an income tax return, how do I sign up for the second portion of WBS?

Eligibility Criteria - Employment (Employees)

16. I am a contract / part-time employee. Will I be eligible for WBS?
17. I am on no-pay / study leave / medical leave / maternity leave. Will I be considered as employed?
18. How is my income derived?
19. What is considered income? Will bonuses be included?
20. Why is bonus included?
21. If I change jobs during a continuous 6-month period, do I still qualify for WBS?
22. I am an odd job labourer. Can I qualify for the Workfare Bonus?
23. I was working as a babysitter in 2006 and earning an income. Do I qualify for the second allotment of WBS?
24. I was doing domestic work in 2006 and earning an income. Do I qualify for the second allotment of WBS?
25. What kind of proof of employment and income do I have to show in filling up the WBS Income Declaration Forms?
26. Why am I now being asked for more employment details in the declaration form when this was not required previously?

Eligibility Criteria - Employment (Self-employed)

27. What is the definition of a self-employed person?
28. How do you determine my average monthly income?
29. When will I receive my Income Tax Return?
30. When is the deadline for declaring my 2006 income in order to qualify for the second allotment of WBS?

Eligibility Criteria - Age

31. Why is the scheme only for those 40 and above?
32. What is the assessment date for the age criterion?

Eligibility Criteria - Housing

33. What is Annual Value (AV)?
34. Why is there a housing requirement? Why is Annual Value (AV) used, instead of housing type?
35. How is the Annual Value (AV) requirement of $10,000 decided?
36. What address is used to determine my Annual Value (AV)?
37. What is the assessment date for determining my AV?
38. I disagree with my Annual Value (AV) assessment. How do I appeal?

Eligibility Criteria - Citizenship

39. Can Permanent Residents qualify for WBS?

Payment of WBS

40. I qualify for the Workfare Bonus. What do I need to do in order to receive my Bonus?
41. How much bonus will I get?
42. How will I be paid the Workfare Bonus?
43. My father (or immediate family member*) is bedridden/physically immobile or of unsound mind, and does not have a bank account. How can I help my father encash his Progress Package cheque?
44. My friend is bedridden/physically immobile or of unsound mind, and does not have a bank account. How can I help my friend encash his Progress Package cheque?
45. Why must 10% of the bonus be credited into my Medisave Account?
46. Will the Workfare Bonus be included in my total income to be declared to IRAS for the next financial year?
47. Can I withdraw my bonus partially or must I do so in full?
48. How and when will I receive the payment of the bonus?
49. Is there a deadline to encash the cheque that I receive?
50. What will happen if I fail to encash my cheque by 30 November 2007?
51. What if I fail to submit my income tax declarations by 1 April 2007?
52. What happens to the Progress Package if the beneficiary passes away after signing up?

General Questions on Workfare Bonus Scheme (WBS)

1. What is the Workfare Bonus Scheme?
  The Workfare Bonus Scheme (WBS) is part of the Progress Package announced by the Government on 17 February 2006. The WBS gives a cash bonus to older, low wage Singaporean workers to reward regular and productive work.
 
   
2. What is the rationale behind the WBS?
  The WBS is based on the philosophy of Workfare. Through Workfare, work ethic is reinforced as individuals are assisted to work regularly and achieve self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.
 
   
3. How long will the WBS run for?
  The WBS has a 2 year eligibility period from Jan 2005 to Dec 2006. The second and final portion of the bonus will be paid on 1 May 2007.
 
   
4. Will the WBS be an on-going scheme?
  The Government has announced that there will be more Workfare Schemes in future.
 
   
5. What is the budget for the WBS?
  The Government will set aside $400m from budget surpluses for the WBS.
 

Eligibility Criteria - General

6. Who is eligible for the Workfare Bonus?
  To get the Workfare Bonus, you must

  • Be a Singapore Citizen aged 40 and above;
  • Be living in a property with an Annual Value of $10,000 or less;
  • Be employed or self-employed and work for at least 6 months in calendar years 2005 or 2006; and
  • Earn an average monthly income of $1,500 or less
  • Have signed up for the Progress Package

The scheme will potentially benefit up to 400,000 Singaporeans.
 
   
7. I did not sign up for the Progress Package. Do I still qualify for WBS?
  The WBS was launched as part of the Progress Package (PP). Therefore if you did not sign up for the Progress Package, you will not qualify for the second portion of WBS.
 
   
8. I worked for 6 months in 2006, but not in a continuous stretch. Do I qualify for WBS?
  The original employment criterion for WBS was a continuous six-month employment period, as this was meant to encourage and reward regular and productive work.

However, in recognition that there may be some employees and self-employed persons who face genuine difficulties staying employed for 6 continuous months despite their best efforts, the Government has decided to be flexible and make an exception for them. They can qualify if they have worked for at least 6 months in the calendar year, even if the employment period was not continuous, provided they have also met the other Workfare Bonus Scheme qualifying criteria.

For employees with at least 6 months of work in 2006, the Workfare Bonus will be automatically assessed based on their CPF contributions records. There is no need to apply for or to declare their income in order to receive the Workfare Bonus.

The self-employed will have their income automatically assessed based on their income tax return. No additional action is necessary for this group.

Those who have at least 6 months of work in 2006 but do not have CPF contributions and have not received an Income Tax Form for their trade income by 1 March 2007, should apply for the Bonus by declaring their income using the Workfare Bonus Income Declaration Form.
 
   
9. What is the deadline for declaring my 2006 income in order to qualify for the second allotment of WBS?
  The deadline for declaring your 2006 income to qualify for the second allotment of WBS is 30 June 2007.
 

Eligibility Criteria - Employment (General)

10. If I am both an employee and self-employed, how will I be assessed on my income eligibility for WBS?
  Your income will be derived based on your CPF contributions as an employee.
 
   
11. What is the rationale for giving Workfare Bonus only to those with monthly gross wage of $1,500 or less?
  The Workfare Bonus is targeted at the lowest 20% of income earners, ie those who earn $1,200 or less. However, to be fair to those who earn slightly more than this, the Government has decided to extend the bonus to those earning up to $1,500, which corresponds to the lowest 30% of income earners.
 
   
12. Why are workers assessed on monthly gross salary (or annual net trade income in the case of self-employed) and not household income?
  The Workfare Bonus Scheme is designed to reward individual work. Hence, workers are assessed on their individual income, rather than household income. However, to target the bonus at those in lower income households who need more help, we are using the Annual Value of housing as another criterion.
 
   
13. Why is employment period based on the calendar years of 2005 and 2006?
  You need to work regularly to qualify for the bonus. The calendar years are therefore used to determine regular work within a period. The first portion of the bonus was given to workers who worked regularly in calendar year 2005. In order to encourage people to continue to work or to seek regular work, the second portion of the bonus will be based on the calendar year 2006. The calendar year is also the period used for the self-employed to declare their annual income to IRAS.
 
   
14. Why is it that I do not get the bonus if I worked for at least 6 months across 2005-6, although I did not work for at least 6 months in 2005 or in 2006 alone?
  The Workfare Bonus is a reward for regular and productive work in calendar years 2005 or 2006. For WBS 2006 and WBS 2007, regular work would constitute working for at least 6 months in each of these calendar years.
 
   
15. I do not have CPF contributions and have not received an income tax return, how do I sign up for the second portion of WBS?
  If you have worked for at least 6 months in 2006, you may declare your income at selected Community Centres /Clubs which will be open from 1 Feb 07 to 1 Apr 07 or any of the 5 CPF Service Centres.

You will need to make your declaration by 1 Apr 07 in order to receive payment on 1 May 07. If you declare after 1 Apr 07, you will receive your payment after 1 May 07. The final date for income declarations is 30 June 07.
 

Eligibility Criteria - Employment (Employees)

16. I am a contract / part-time employee. Will I be eligible for WBS?
  Yes. Contract / part-time employees are eligible for the bonus if they meet the WBS criteria.
 
   
17. I am on no-pay / study leave / medical leave / maternity leave. Will I be considered as employed?
  You will be counted as employed as long as your salary is paid, i.e. your employer continues to contribute to your CPF.
 
   
18. How is my income derived?
  CPF Board will derive your income based on your CPF contributions. The income will be averaged over the number of months worked in the year.
 
   
19. What is considered income? Will bonuses be included?
  For purposes of the Workfare Bonus Scheme, employee income is based on the definition of gross salary under the CPF Act:

Gross salary = Total Ordinary Wages + Total Additional Wages

Where:
Ordinary Wages are wages due or granted wholly and exclusively in respect of an employee's employment. This includes allowances and overtime pay. Additional Wages are wages which are granted wholly and exclusively for that month. This includes annual bonus, leave pay, incentive and other payments made at intervals of more than a month.

Please note Additional Wages do not include retirement or retrenchment benefits and pension payments.
 
   
20. Why is bonus included?
  Bonuses are part of your employment income. Some workers will have more bonuses from their employment than others. To be fair, bonuses have to be included.
 
   
21. If I change jobs during a continuous 6-month period, do I still qualify for WBS?
  Yes, as long as you have worked 6 months in the calendar year, as determined by your CPF contributions or income declaration, and meet the other WBS criteria.
 

Eligibility: Employment Status - Employees

22. I am an odd job labourer. Can I qualify for the Workfare Bonus?
  The WBS is a cash bonus to older, low wage Singaporean workers to reward them for regular and productive work.

Odd job labourers and casual workers will qualify for the WBS so long as they have been engaged in regular and productive work for at least 6 months in the calendar year, as well as meet the other criteria.

If you do not have CPF contributions and have not received an IRAS Income Tax Return by 1 March, you can apply for the WBS using the WBS income declaration form. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will qualify for the Workfare Bonus.

However you must be able to furnish proof of regular salary payment, if called upon to verify your applications. Furnishing false information for the purpose of obtaining the Workfare Bonus by deception is a criminal offence, which carries a maximum punishment of an imprisonment term of 7 years.
 
   
23. I was working as a babysitter in 2006 and earning an income. Do I qualify for the second allotment of WBS?
  If you had been a babysitter for at least six months in 2006, and you had worked as an employee or self-employed for financial gain or reward, you can qualify for WBS if you meet the WBS criteria.

Babysitting* for immediate family members does not constitute work as an employee or self-employed for financial gain or reward.

You will need to provide the names and birth certificate numbers of your wards as evidence that you had been in gainful employment performing regular and productive work.

* This includes babysitting your own children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Nephews and nieces of babysitters are the children of the applicant's immediate family.
 
   
24. I was doing domestic work in 2006 and earning an income. Do I qualify for the second allotment of WBS?
  If you had been gainfully employed as a domestic worker for at least 6 months in 2006 in a residence that is not owned or occupied by you or your immediate family members*, you can apply for WBS if you meet the other WBS criteria.

* This means your spouse, parents, children and siblings.
 
   
25. What kind of proof of employment and income do I have to show in filling up the WBS Income Declaration Forms?
  Your eligibility will be assessed based on your declared income and employment on the form. You will need to provide details of your employment such as the name of their employer, and the employer’s address and telephone number. You must also be able to furnish proof of regular salary payment, if called upon to verify your applications, such as pay slips or receipts for trade goods. Furnishing false information in this document for the purpose of obtaining Workfare Bonus by deception is a criminal offence, which carries a maximum punishment of an imprisonment term of 7 years.
 
   
26. Why am I now being asked for more employment details in the declaration form when this was not required previously?
  We have introduced new requirements for income declaration to ensure that only those who have been engaged in regular and productive work receive the Bonus.
 

Eligibility Criteria - Employment (Self-employed)

27. What is the definition of a self-employed person?
  You are considered a self-employed person if you carry on a trade, business, profession or vocation. In other words, if you are making money by buying and selling goods, providing professional or personal services, you are a self-employed person.

A self-employed person may be a sole-proprietor or a partner of a partnership business.
 
28. How do you determine my average monthly income?
  Your average monthly income is calculated from the total income in the period of self-employment over the number of months of self-employment.

Income for the purpose of WBS will be based on
  • your annual net trade income as declared to IRAS if you submitted an Income Tax Return to IRAS; or
  • your declared income if you submitted a WBS income declaration form. For the self-employed, income will be based on net trade income, i.e.

    Annual Net Trade Income = (Gross Profit - Allowable Business Expenses) in the year of qualification (2005 or 2006)

    Gross profit excludes income from share dividends, employment and interest from savings.
  •  
       
    29. When will I receive my Income Tax Return?
      IRAS is in the process of sending out the Income Tax Returns. All self-employed persons should receive their returns by 1 Mar 2007.
     
       
    30. When is the deadline for declaring my 2006 income in order to qualify for the second allotment of WBS?
      You would need to submit your IRAS Income Declaration Form B by 30 June 2007 to qualify for the second portion of WBS.
     

    Eligibility Criteria - Age

    31. Why is the scheme only for those 40 and above?
      The scheme targets mature and older workers as younger workers have greater potential for future income growth.
     
       
    32. What is the assessment date for the age criterion?
      For first bonus paid on 1 May 2006: The assessment date for the age criterion was 31 Dec 2005.
    For second bonus paid on 1 May 2007: The assessment date for the age criterion is 31 Dec 2006.
     

    Eligibility Criteria - Housing

    33. What is Annual Value (AV)?
      AV is the property value used to calculate the property tax of your home. The AV can be found on the property tax bill that you receive each year.
     
       
    34. Why is there a housing requirement? Why is Annual Value (AV) used, instead of housing type?
      The housing criterion helps to target low wage workers from the lower income households.

    AV is a simple way to determine household income indirectly. Using AV instead of housing type is a fairer way to determine property value, as some applicants may be staying in smaller and less expensive private properties with an AV similar to a large HDB flat.
     
       
    35. How is the Annual Value (AV) requirement of $10,000 decided?
      The AV cut-off of $10,000 covers about 90% of households, and includes almost all HDB flats, as well as smaller private residences such as walk-up flats and shop-houses. Singaporeans staying in larger properties with AVs above $10,000 are likely to be earning higher incomes, and unlikely to be the group that the Workfare Bonus Scheme is meant to target.
     
       
    36. What address is used to determine my Annual Value (AV)?
      The AV will be based on the property reflected in your NRIC. The NRIC address must show where you are staying. If it does not, you should update the address immediately at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) or any police station.
     
    37. What is the assessment date for determining my AV?
      For the second portion of WBS, the assessment date for determining your AV is 31 Dec 2006.
     
       
    38. I disagree with my Annual Value (AV) assessment. How do I appeal?
      You may approach IRAS for a re-assessment. If the AV of your property is subsequently re-assessed and meets the housing criterion, you may then appeal for your Workfare Bonus.
     

    Eligibility Criteria - Citizenship

    39. Can Permanent Residents qualify for WBS?
      The Workfare Bonus is a privilege of Singapore Citizens.
     

    Payment of WBS

    40. I qualify for the Workfare Bonus. What do I need to do in order to receive my Bonus?
     
    If you are:  
    An Employee Your employment and income will be automatically verified using your CPF contribution records. Under the CPF Act, employers are required to make CPF contributions on behalf of their employees if they earn more than $50 monthly. You need not make any application or declare your income to qualify for WBS.
     
     
    If you are:  
    A Self-employed person If you have submitted an Income Tax Return, you will be assessed based on your declaration of net trade income to IRAS. You need not make a separate application to qualify for WBS.
    If you do not have CPF contributions and have not received an Income Tax Return by 1 March for last year's income, you can apply for WBS using the WBS income declaration forms available at selected Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) from 1 February 2007 to 1 April 2007, and all 5 CPF Service Centres.

    To receive your Workfare Bonus on 1 May of 2006 or 2007, Income Tax Returns or the WBS income declaration forms must be submitted by the following dates:
    Income earned in year
    Declare income by
    2005
    1 April 2006
    2006
    1 April 2007
      Income declarations submitted after the above dates will result in delayed payment of your bonus.
     
      Closing date for Workfare Bonus income declarations
    The last day for income declarations to be made for work done in 2006, in order to qualify for the second portion of the Workfare Bonus, will be 30 June 2007. Declarations made after that date will not be accepted.
     
    41. How much bonus will I get?
      The Workfare Bonus will be paid twice, on 1st May 2006 and 1st May 2007, based on your average monthly income. Those who worked for at least 6 months in 2005 received the first bonus on 1 May 2006. Similarly, those who work for 6 or more months in 2006 are eligible for a second bonus to be paid on 1 May 2007. The amount of Workfare Bonus is based on your average monthly income for the period you had worked in the year.
     
     
    Average Monthly Income Bonus to be paid
    $400 and below 1.5 months salary or $75, whichever is higher
    Above $400 to $900 $600
    Above $900 to $1,200 $400
    Above $1,200 to $1,500 $200
     
      If you work at least 6 months in both 2005 and 2006, you can receive the Workfare Bonus twice. For instance, you can get up to $1200 in total if your average monthly income is above $400 to $900 and you were employed or self-employed for at least 6 months in calendar years 2005 and 2006.
     
    42. How will I be paid the Workfare Bonus?
      10% of your bonus will be credited into your CPF Medisave Account. The balance will be paid to you either by bank credit or cheque, in accordance with how you had selected in 2006 to receive your Progress Package monies.
     
    43. My father (or immediate family member*) is bedridden/physically immobile or of unsound mind, and does not have a bank account. How can I help my father encash his Progress Package cheque?
      Please proceed to the bank issuing the cheque (DBS or UOB), with the following documents:

    (a) Signed Letter of Authorisation from beneficiary (unless otherwise exempted by doctor’s memo or medical report);

    (b) Documentary evidence stating your father’s medical condition e.g. doctor’s memo or medical report or court order. The date of the documents should not be more than 1 year before the cheque encashment. (Note: a doctor’s memo or medical report can be dated more than 1 year before the encashment date, if it specifically states that the patient’s condition is permanent.);

    (c) Both your original NRICs;

    (d) Documentary evidence of your relationship e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate; and

    (e) Your father’s Progress Package cheque.

    An administrative fee of $4 is payable at the bank for exchanging Progress Package cheques for cash. The fee will be waived for those who are aged 62 and above.

    However, if you are unable to fulfill any of the above conditions, please contact our Progress Package hotline at 1800-2222888 for further assistance.

    * Immediate family member refers to a parent, child, sibling or spouse.
     
    44. My friend is bedridden/physically immobile or of unsound mind, and does not have a bank account. How can I help my friend encash his Progress Package cheque?
      As you are not an immediate family member of the beneficiary, please go to any CPF Service Centre with the following documents:

    (a) Signed Letter of Authorisation from beneficiary (unless otherwise exempted by doctor’s memo or medical report);

    (b) Documentary evidence stating your friend's medical condition e.g. doctor's memo or medical report or court order. The date of the documents should not be more than 1 year before the cheque encashment. (Note: a doctor's memo or medical report can be dated more than 1 year before the encashment date, if it specifically states that the patient's condition is permanent.);

    (c) Both your original NRICs; and

    (d) Your friend's Progress Package cheque.

    At the CPF Service Centre, you would have to sign a Letter of Indemnity. CPF Board will then issue you with an instruction letter to the bank. Please bring the CPF Board's instruction letter to the bank together with your NRIC to encash the Progress Package cheque on your friend's behalf.

    An administrative fee of $4 is payable at the bank for exchanging Progress Package cheques for cash. The fee will be waived for those who are aged 62 and above.

    However, if you are unable to fulfill any of the above conditions, please contact our Progress Package hotline at 1800-2222888 for further assistance.
     
    45. Why must 10% of the bonus be credited into my Medisave Account?
      10% will be credited into your Medisave Accounts to help low wage workers build up their savings to take care of their long term healthcare needs.
     
    46. Will the Workfare Bonus be included in my total income to be declared to IRAS for the next financial year?
      No, the Workfare Bonus is not taxable.
     
    47. Can I withdraw my bonus partially or must I do so in full?
      10% of your bonus will be credited into your CPF Medisave Account. The remaining 90% of the bonus can be withdrawn in full.
     
    48. How and when will I receive the payment of the bonus?
      If you had declared your income by 1 Apr 2007 (for self-employed or those submitting income form declarations), you would receive your payment on 1 May 2007. Individuals who make declarations after this date will be paid later, based on CPF Board's usual service standards. 10% of your bonus will be credited into your CPF Medisave Account. The balance will be paid to you either by bank credit or cheque, in accordance with how you had selected to receive your Progress Package monies in 2006.
     
    49. Is there a deadline to encash the cheque that I receive?
      All cheques have to be encashed by 30 November 2007. Those holding on to expired cheques have until 1 November 2007 to request for a replacement cheque. No new cheques will be issued after 1 November 2007.
     
    50. What will happen if I fail to encash my cheque by 30 November 2007?
      If you fail to encash your cheque by 30 November 2007, your WBS cheque amount will be credited directly into your CPF Ordinary Account. They will then be subjected to CPF withdrawal rules.
     
    51. What if I fail to submit my income tax declarations by 1 April 2007?
      Your payment will be delayed till after 1 May 07. The final date for income declarations, to qualify for WBS 2007, is 30 June 07.
     
    52. What happens to the Progress Package if the beneficiary passes away after signing up?
      The Progress Package monies will be transferred to the deceased's CPF account for distribution, together with other CPF monies. Click here for more information on CPF nomination.
     

     Last Updated on: Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 5:48 PM
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