SINGAPORE, Sept 13 — The Public Service Division (PSD) yesterday said that it will increase the salaries of administrative service officers as well as judicial and selected statutory appointment holders by between 5 and 12 per cent from October.

The salary ranges for them will also be adjusted.

In a news release, PSD said that these salaries were last adjusted almost 15 years ago in 2007-2008.

“Since then, gaps with market benchmarks have increased significantly. These adjustments will enable the public service to continue to attract and retain its fair share of talent for key leadership roles,” PSD said.

The salary adjustment will affect about 300 administrative officers as well as 30 judicial and statutory appointment holders, PSD said.

They include the chief justice, judges of the Court of Appeal, Appellate Division and the High Court, as well as judicial commissioners.

Aside from those, the attorney-general, deputy attorneys-general, the Public Service Commission chairman and the auditor-general will also benefit from the pay raise.

PSD said that it will continue to strengthen the development efforts across all schemes of service beyond just providing competitive salaries.

“Administrative officers can continue to look forward to job rotations, attachments in the private and people sectors, as well as leadership milestone programmes... The Public Service will continue to periodically review salaries of public officers and adjust them when necessary to broadly keep pace with, but not lead, the market,” it added.

Economist Song Seng Wun from CIMB bank told TODAY that the salary adjustment is timely given that the last review was some 15 years ago.

“Whether you are in the public service or in private sector, everyone should be paid according to their skill sets, and be rewarded accordingly with (a salary) that is consistent with the market value in that particular point in time,” Song said.

When asked whether the private sector will take the cue from PSD’s wage increment for workers, Song said that it had always been the private sector that “leads because they are market-determined”.

“It’s always the case of public sector playing catch-up to whatever is happening in the private sector. This is why you see the private sector ‘pinching’ workers from the public sector. They always look at the public sector to find talent.

“For those (workers) who want to stay in public service, their salary should reflect what they can easily get in the private sector,” Song added.

Senior economist Irvin Seah from DBS bank agreed, telling TODAY that the labour market is tight and that there is stiff competition for talent.

“The public sector can only source from an indigenous talent pool. So, they have to put in the extra effort to retain their talents,” Seah said.

Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at OCBC Bank, said that the public sector is not immune to the effects of elevated inflation which is “translating into higher wage pressures”.

“To attract and retain top talents in the key leadership roles, PSD would also have to take into account the private sector competition in terms of compensation and try to also match aspirations of their key staff.

“The private sector is already facing a tight labour market and for selected growth industries and critical roles, wages have been playing catch up after stagnating during the pandemic,” said Ling.

Earlier in June, PSD announced that some 23,000 officers in the civil service will get a pay raise of between 5 and 14 per cent from Aug 1.

The increase came some months after Chan Chun Sing, Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, revealed that the public service has seen an increase in its resignation rate across the board.

The turnover for its management executive scheme, the largest generic scheme in the civil service, reached a 10-year peak of 9.9 per cent last year. — TODAY