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271,000 employees to receive $343 million in Workfare for work done in 2008

The Government will be making the next Workfare Income Supplement (”Workfare”) payment to employees in March. 271,000 employees will receive a total of $294 million for work done in 2008. As part of the Resilience Package announced at Budget 2009, they will also receive a further $49 million in the first of three one-off Workfare Special Payments in cash.  Both payments will be made on 1 March 2009, one month earlier than the regular Workfare payment date, so that workers can receive their monies earlier.


2.  Self-employed persons (SEPs) and informal workers will receive the Workfare payment and Special Payment for work done in 2008 on 1 May 2009. Those who worked in 2008, but who have yet to register or make their Medisave contributions, must do so by 31 March 2009 to receive both payments in May 2009. (Please see Annex A for details.) If they declare their income and make their Medisave contributions for work done in 2008 after 31 March 2009, they will receive both payments after May 2009.

3.  We encourage all SEPs and informal workers aged 35 and above in 2008 and earning less than $1,500 per month  to register with CPF Board and pay their Medisave  in order to receive Workfare and the cash Special Payment. Their contribution rates have been reduced to as low as 2.5% and payments can be made in instalments and at many locations islandwide. Workers above 45 years old who earn $1,000 a month, need only contribute $339 a year to their Medisave to get Workfare and the Special Payment, or equivalent to less than $1 a day.

Payment for Workfare
4.  Eligible employees will receive their Workfare payment in both CPF and cash. SEPs and informal workers will receive their Workfare payment in their Medisave account.

Payment for Workfare Special Payment
5.  Eligible workers can receive up to $400 in Special Payment to be paid fully in cash for work done in 2008. Up to $800 in Special Payment will be paid for work done in 2009. In total, they stand to receive up to $1,200.

Mode of payment
6.  Cash will be credited directly into the bank account that recipients have indicated under the GST Credits scheme.  A cheque will be issued and mailed to the recipient if no bank account is specified.

Payment Dates for Workfare and Workfare Special Payment

Workfare for

Assessment Period

Payment Date

Jan - Dec 2008
Mar 2009 (Employees)

May 2009 (SEPs)



Jan - Jun 2009 
Oct 2009 (Employees, SEPs)

Jan - Dec 2009

Mar 2010 (Employees)

May 2010 (SEPs) 


Contact Information
7.  Information on Workfare and the Special Payment can be found at Queries can also be addressed to CPF Board via email at or you can call the CPF hotline at 1800-2222-888 (Mon-Fri: 8am – 6pm)



Step 1: Register with the CPF Board
Register with the CPF Board at any Singapore Post branch or any of the 5 CPF Service Centres. Applicants will need to produce their NRIC and fill in a simple form (Applicants who are already registered with the CPF Board as self-employed workers need not register again).

Step 2: Declare income with IRAS or CPF Board
SEPs and informal workers would have received an Income Tax Return from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) or a letter from CPF Board in February 2009 requesting that they declare their Year 2008 income. They can obtain assistance on declaring their income at any Singapore Post branch or CPF Board Service Centre. 

Step 3: Contribute to Medisave
SEPs and informal workers have to contribute to Medisave in order to qualify for Workfare. Contributions can be made through the following channels:
i. NETs/Cashcard/Cash at any Singapore Post branch with payment form (SE3);
ii. NETs/Cashcard at AXS machines;
iii. Cheque made payable to CPF Board at any of the 5 CPF Board Service Centres; and
iv. E-payment at, using a DBS/UOB/Citibank Internet Banking account. 



To qualify for Workfare, you must be:
• A Singapore citizen;
• 35 years old and above as at 31 Dec of the work year;
• Worked at least three months in any six-month period in the year for half the payout, or at least six months in the calendar year for the full payout;
• Earn an average monthly income of less than $1,500; and
• Stay in a property with Annual Value of not more than $10,000, as assessed at 31 Dec 2007.