1. What are the Special Employment Credit (SEC) and Additional Special Employment Credit (ASEC)?
The SEC was first introduced as a 2011 Budget initiative to raise the employment rate of older low-wage Singaporeans. In 2016, it was extended for 3 years (viz. 2017 to 2019) to provide wage offsets to employers hiring Singaporean workers aged 55 and above, and earning up to $4,000.
To encourage employers to voluntarily re-employ Singaporeans above the re-employment age, it was announced at Budget 2015 that an additional wage offset up to 3 (ASEC) would be introduced in 2015.
The re-employment age was raised from 65 to 67 from 1 July 2017. The new re-employment age of 67 applies to those who turn 65 on or after 1 July 2017; in other words, those born on or after 1 July 1952.
The additional wage offset of 3% was extended from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2019 to encourage employers to voluntarily re-employ employees who are not covered by the new re-employment age.
As announced at Budget 2019, the SEC and ASEC will be extended for one more year until end-2020.
2. Will the SEC be extended beyond 2020?
As announced at Budget 2019, the Government will be reviewing the relevance and structure of SEC to consider how best to support employers in hiring older workers going forward.
This will be done in tandem with the recommendations of the Tripartite Work Group on Older Workers. The Tripartite Work Group has been tasked to review the retirement and re-employment age, and CPF contribution rates for older workers.
3. What is the estimated coverage of the extended SEC and ASEC?
The extended SEC is estimated to cover about 404,000 workers, or about three in four older Singaporean workers.
4. Will SEC continue to apply to employers hiring Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)?
The SEC for PWDs will also be extended for one more year, until end-2020.
The extended SEC will continue to provide a wage offsets of up to 16% of the PWD's monthly wage, regardless of age, for employers hiring PWDs. The monthly SEC will be capped at $240. The wage offset for the extended ASEC will continue to be set at up to 22%, capped at $330.