Hurray, it’s time for SG Bonus! By now, you should’ve received some form of notification or at least heard the buzz. That’s right, the government wants to give us money for doing absolutely nothing – and it’s not even an election year!
Sure, SG Bonus is only $100 / $200 / $300, which is probably peanuts compared to the amount of taxes you pay in a year… but who cares? The best part is that it’ll arrive in cash, a.k.a. real money – not CPF or ActiveSG credits. W00t!
- Do I qualify for SG Bonus 2018?
- How much money will I get?
- When is the SG Bonus payout date?
- What is PayNow and how do I sign up?
- Why is the government being so good to us?
- I already got the GST Voucher this year. Am I still eligible?
- How can I use my SG Bonus wisely?
Do I qualify for SG Bonus 2018?
Yes, as long as you fulfill these 2 criteria….
- Singapore citizen
- Age 21 and above
… you will get SG Bonus. So for goodness’ sake, stop panicking if you haven’t heard from the government yet.
By now, many Singaporeans would have received an SMS informing them about how much they’re getting. If not, check your mailbox for the notification letter. The notification is supposed to come in October 2018.
How much SG Bonus money will I get?
If you’re eligible for SG Bonus, you’ll receive either $100, $200 or $300.
This amount depends on your annual income in 2016 (i.e. whatever you declared when filing your income tax earlier in 2017) AND how many properties you own.
|Your 2016 income||Properties owned||SG Bonus amount|
|Up to $28,000||0 or 1 property||$300|
|$28,001 to $100,000||0 or 1 property||$200|
|Above $100,000||2 or more properties||$100|
Basically, if you’re rich enough to earn more than $100K a year or own more than one house, you don’t need so much money. Give chance to other people lah, ok?
For those who are ultra blur and cannot remember how much income they declared in 2017, the government has kindly set up an SG Bonus website. Log in with your SingPass to find out how much you’re entitled to. If you remember your SingPass ID, that is.
When is the SG Bonus payout date?
SG Bonus will be paid out from 30 Nov 2018 onwards. The exact SG Bonus payout date depends on the mode of payment that you’re registered for:
|Payment mode||SG Bonus payout date|
|PayNow||30 Nov 2018|
|Credit to bank account||10 Dec 2018|
|Cheque||20 Dec 2018|
As long as you’ve received some government payout before (e.g. GST voucher), you’ll be automatically registered for one of them.
The hard copy notification letter will tell you which payment mode you’re registered for.
If you want to change your bank details or whatever, you can update your particulars on the SG Bonus website by 7 Nov 2018. (See lah, should’ve written your SingPass ID down somewhere safe.)
The absolute final deadline for your SG Bonus payout is 31 Dec 2018. If you don’t get anything by then, you’re probably an enemy of the state.
What is PayNow and how do I sign up?
If you’re not using PayNow already, the prospect of receiving your SG Bonus earlier is a pretty good incentive to get on board. But… what is it?
PayNow is the nationwide cashless funds transfer service that is universal across 9 major banks in Singapore: DBS/POSB, UOB, OCBC, Citibank, Standard Chartered, Maybank, HSBC, Bank of China and ICBC.
To be eligible to get your SG Bonus via PayNow, you need to register for PayNow with your NRIC by 7 Nov 2018.
If you have multiple bank accounts, select the one that you want to receive your payout in. Log in to that bank’s internet/mobile banking portal, and you will be able to register for PayNow through the app or website.
Doing so links your NRIC to your bank account. This also means that anyone can transfer money to you as long as they know your IC number – no bank account number required.
Read our guide for more on PayNow, PayLah and other cashless payment platforms in Singapore.
Why is the government being so good to us?
Let me quote the SG Bonus website verbatim: “The SG Bonus was announced in Budget 2018 to share the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans.”
Share the fruits leh.
The official story is that Singapore’s economy did well in the past year, and so we have a budget surplus. So, now the government is redistributing its “profits”, similar to how companies pay out a performance bonus.
Before you start posting patriotic memes about Singapore, remember that the SG Bonus was one of the few “savings” announced during Budget 2018 earlier in the year. Most of the other announcements were tax hikes.
So whatever the government giveth, the government taketh away (at some point in the future).
I already got the GST Voucher this year. Am I still eligible?
Yes you are. GST Voucher is a different thing from the SG Bonus. GST Voucher is supposed to help lower income Singaporeans with their finances, and it’s an annual recurring thing.
On the other hand, SG Bonus is a one-off thing.
Just like the batch of super cheap durians earlier this year, it happens only when there’s an oversupply of fruits. Enjoy it, but don’t count on it.
How can I use my SG Bonus wisely?
The “official” recommendation is to donate your $100 to $300 to charity through the SG Bonus portal or SG Cares app. Donating is a commendable thing, but please do your homework on your beneficiaries first.
If you think that taking care of needy Singaporeans is the government’s job, not yours, there are some smart things you can do with a couple of hundred bucks. Like:
- Depositing it in a high interest savings account
- Topping up for a SkillsFuture course
- Starting a Regular Savings Plan
- Going on a cost-effective date and do your part for the national birth rate
- Investing it in your side gig
- Going for a health screening
- Buying a cheap bicycle from Decathlon
Or blow it all at the Sephora sale and tooth-rotting bubble tea, or meaningless gadgets you don’t need, or a pampering massage (clean or otherwise)! It’s your life. Savour it before the GST and public transport fare hikes kick in.
What will you spend your SG Bonus on? Tell us in the comments!