Thursday, November 24, 2011

Recession Proof Jobs

In July this year, civil servants were paid a mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of half-a-month's salary (0.5-month) plus a S$250 quantum. Sources said the government is considering an additional 0.75-month bonus plus a dollar quantum for the year end bonanza.

On Monday it was reported Singapore faces a sharply lower economic growth of 1.0-3.0 percent in 2012 amid an export slowdown, and more bad news about the debt woes in Europe's that could trigger a global crisis.

The projection is worse than the previous estimate of 2.5-3.5 percent and well down from the 5 percent predicted for 2011 earlier as demand in Europe and the United States was drying up. Even China manufacturers are not immune to the imminent meltdown, as they suffered the weakest month of activity in 32 months.

Growth, the lack of, is not the only ill wind around town. "This does not factor in downside risks to growth, such as a worsening debt situation or a full-blown financial crisis in the advanced economies," the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement. "Should these risks materialise, growth in the Singapore economy in 2012 could come in lower than expected."

So what if the world falls into the abyss of recession? The Singapore civil servants still get to collect. Tell that to the AMD staff who were laid off with Christmas just round the corner. Industry experts say the American chip maker was simply taking austerity measures in the face of the countdown to Armageddon. For them, bonus would mean surviving the forthcoming downturn to stay in business.

Analysts from Nomura financial services group are hoping the government may step in with a stimulus package when the next budget is unveiled in February 2012. Doesn't matter. Whether the stimulus package works or not, they'll still be rewarding themselves for a job well done. One thing's for certain, the salary review Gerard Ee is (still) working on won't be implemented until after the Christmas presents are opened.


  1. Whilst we understand the need to incentivise civil servants but giving generous bonuses (in relation to GDP growth)when ministers are warning of sharp downturn does not seem to be correct.

  2. Civil servants will say Screw U Daftees; thanks to us that's why S'pore got 5% GDP growth in 2011. We deserve our iron-clad bonuses this Xmas.

    My civil servant relatives are already complaining loudly how come the bonus so low, only 0.75mth of real bonus. KPKB damn loud. And all of them planning to skive during Dec liao -- big bosses all on posh overseas holidays. And take leave in early-Jan when big bosses come back in order to prolong the holiday skiving into CNY.

    Civil service total bonus for 2011:-
    0.5mth + $250 (paid in July)
    13th month + 0.75mth + $250 (paid in Dec)

    Total bonus = 2.25mths + $500.

    Note that this is for rank & file and lower executives. Higher level civil servants will have even more bonus based on GDP, performance, incentive programmes etc.

  3. How these civil servants' bonus is linked to the employment or income status of the man in the street?

  4. You mean that Marine Parade GRC MP is getting
    2.25 x $15,000 + $500 =$34,250?
    Wah, that's a lot of Kate Spade bags - for nodding off to sleep in parliament!

  5. U guys shld check out how much 'bonuses and extra allowances' those in defense sector are getting. I heard its in the range of 3-6 mths, during 2008 recession.

  6. 2011 is actually one of the lowest bonus for civil service. Many of the old birds are complaining. They are used to getting at least 3-4 months. Now they buay song. I think the old birds are planning to keng their way until retirement, and push most of the work to the younger workers, even though old birds' salaries are 2X more.

    Civil service is one of the few places where you can use up all your 30 days medical leave, and go for weekly physiotherapy sessions without getting fired. Somemore the old birds are subsidised 85% of the medical bills in A-class service. Shiok.

  7. So let me get this right.

    Those same people who are behind the "failures" of HDB housing, LTA transport, URA planning, SPF policing etc are getting bonuses despite crappy work and unsatisfactory results, amidst a high "Unhappy Index" among Singaporeans, many of whom will be telling themselves that keeping their jobs will be the next raise in the tightening economy announced by DPM?

    Wow...I am definitely in the wrong line...And they complain that singaporeans like to complain..huh?

  8. The only issue is that the Sinkies are daft and stupid to remain silent for years. This is what is happening.

    The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people. – Napoleon Bonaparte

    Napoleon would not be surprised his famous saying would also apply to the tiny rock here.

  9. Thanks for the post.
    It was really helpful to solve my confusion.

    Occupational Medicine

  10. Do well in your job and you will never have to be afraid of losing it.