National Service (NS) pay has always been a common gripe amongst NS men, among the many other complaints they inevitably have.
Fair, considering NS does take up two years of your life. For that, NS men should be compensated fairly. Earlier this year, however, Minister Heng Chee How said there was no need for an increase in NS allowance, since, according to him, NSFs are exempted from a bulk of living costs.
Despite his dismal remarks, there’s good news for NSFs—national service allowance is set to be increased by $125 to $200 from 1 July.
Allowance Will Be Increased Based On Rank
In a press release by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in the morning of 29 May, it was announced that NS allowances will finally be revised.
According to their statement, NSFs in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will have their allowances increased by an amount of $125 to $200, depending on their rank and vocation.
Here’s a table provided by MINDEF breaking down the increase for different ranks:
After the increase, recruits will have their allowance increased from $630 to $755, which is a percentage increase of 19.8%. Other NSFs can anticipate pay increases of between 10.9% to 21.7%.
The adjustment is made in light of the rising cost of living.
“The NS allowance, which supports full-time national servicemen (NSFs) in their basic personal upkeep, is reviewed and adjusted periodically to ensure that it remains adequate,” MINDEF wrote.
Last Increase In March 2020
The last time NSFs saw a salary increase was in March 2020. Then, allowances were increased by $70 to $120, a lower increase than this time around.
The 2020 increase was announced in Parliament on 2 March, and supposedly, it would help recognise the contributions of NSFs.
Back then, they also implemented extra perks for NSFs that would surely make the older generation tremble in jealousy—these perks included gym memberships and subsidies on employment courses.
Heng Chee How Said No Increase In February
In February, though, Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How actually said an increase in NSF pay wasn’t necessary.
This was in response to a question by Workers’ Party MP Gerald Giam, who asked if MINDEF had considered raising allowances to account for Singapore’s increasing cost of living.
However, Mr Heng disagreed with this sentiment, highlighting that NSFs were apparently exempt from the bulk of living costs, since most of them stay in camp, where food, clothing, housing and medical care are provided.
He also pointed out that the NS allowance was reviewed regularly, along with overall price levels in the country, and three changes have already been made to the allowance in the past decade.
Despite this, it looks like even though February wasn’t the right time for an increase, July is—so it’s better to just count your blessings and be grateful that NS allowance will finally be increased.
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