Singapore Teachers' Union

Protecting and Promoting, Teachers and Teaching since 1946



Quick & Easy Reference

1. What is Performance Bonus?

Performance Bonus is an additional bonus awarded in March each year for work done from January to December of the previous year. Performance Bonus is awarded to officers who have performed well and exceeded the requirements of their substantive grades i.e. they have demonstrated their ability to accomplish more than what their current job entails.

As such, officers who are assessed as meeting or unable to meet the requirements of their substantive grades will not be eligible for the performance bonus.

2. What is the CONNECT Plan?

The CONNECT Plan is specially designed to encourage continuity, experience and commitment in teaching. Implemented on 1 January 2002, the Ministry put aside a sum of money ranging from $2 000 to $4 800 each year for every eligible officer.

To be eligible for the deposit for a particular year, the officer’s performance for that year must meet the requirements of his substantive grade. Payouts will be given out at defined points every 3 to 5 years of the officer’s career.

3. When will the CONNECT Plan payouts be made?

Payouts under the CONNECT Plan will be made in the month of November at the defined points every 3 to 5 years of the officer’s career. The qualifying period for a full annual deposit under the CONNECT Plan is defined as 1 Jan to 15 Nov each year. To be eligible for CONNECT Plan payout, officers must be in service on 31 December in that year.

4. Are the deposits and payouts in the CONNECT Plan guaranteed?

No, MOE will review the amount of deposits and payouts regularly. The actual quantum to be set aside each year and to be paid out would be dependent on various factors, including the state of the economy.

5. I am a NIE Trainee, am I eligible for the CONNECT Plan?

No, you are not eligible for the CONNECT Plan. The following groups of Education Officers are not eligible for the CONNECT Plan:

a) Untrained Education Officers and NIE Trainees
b) Officers on contract terms
c) Relief Teachers and Temporary Officers
d) Officers re-employed after retirement
e) Employees of Independent Schools

1. What is the career structure and advancement in Education Service?

To ensure that the Education Service has a strong team comprising good teachers, capable leaders and dedicated specialists, the career structure has been designed to comprise 3 career Tracks, namely:

  • Teaching Track
  • Leadership Track
  • Senior Specialist Track


2. I am at present a Head of Department on the Leadership Track; can I move across to an equivalent level on the Teaching Track?

Yes. The career structure is flexible and allows officers to move across different tracks, so long as they meet the criteria and requirements of the job on the track they wish to enter.

3. When are promotions in MOE held?

The promotion exercises are held on 1 April every year. To be promoted, an officer must have demonstrated consistently good performance and assessed to have potential to move to a higher level of responsibility.

The officer’s assessed potential will determine his rate of promotion, but whether he/she is actually promoted will depend on his/her performance.

4. What are some of the criteria for promotion?

In general, promotions are based on the following criteria:

  • Potential
  • Performance
  • Knowledge and Experience
  • Availability of vacancies at the higher level

1. What is my medical leave eligibility?

A teacher is eligible for 30 days of ‘ordinary’ full-pay sick leave in a calendar year, and an additional 30 days if he/she is hospitalised in a government or private hospital in Singapore

2. What if I have utilised my entire full-pay sick leave but am still medically unfit for work?

You may then be given full-pay ‘extended sick leave’, depending on the number of years of service you have put in; followed by 15 days of special sick leave.

3. I am a teacher in school, how many days of Urgent Private Affairs (UPA) Leave do I have?

A teacher is eligible for full-pay leave up to 10 working days in a calendar year to attend Urgent Private Affairs, or up to 12 days if examination leave is included. Principals have full autonomy to decide on the validity of reasons submitted by the teacher.

Some common reasons for UPA leave applications are: Marriage, selection of HDB flat, convocation, wife’s delivery and serious illness of family members.

4. I am a teacher attached to a school, do I need to apply for leave when I go for my overseas vacation during the school holidays period?

Yes, you need to apply for ‘Leave of Absence’. In lieu of annual vacation leave, a teacher is eligible for school holidays. However, this is not an entitlement as he/she may be called upon for duty at anytime during the school holidays. If a teacher needs to leave the country to go beyond the Johore Bahru town limits during the school holidays, he/she need to apply to the Principal for permission to leave the country.

5. I joined the service in 1995 and was put on the Medisave-cum-Subsided Outpatient (MSO) Scheme. What are some of the features of the scheme?

A teacher appointed to the Service on or after I January 1994 is eligible for medical benefits provided under the Medisave-cum-Subsidised Outpatient (MSO) Scheme. The features of the scheme are as follows:

a) Additional Medisave Contribution
The Government will pay an additional Medisave contribution of 1% based on the officer’s total gross monthly salary subject to a salary ceiling of $7,000 per month. Medisave contribution of 1% will also be paid on additional wages earned from mid-year and end-of-year bonuses, subject to a maximum of $350. The additional Medisave contribution may be used to pay hospitalisation expenses or buy approved medical insurance, e.g. Medishield Plus, Incomeshield.

b) Subsidised Outpatient Expenses
The Government will subsidise outpatient expenses at Government Outpatient Dispensaries, Specialist Outpatient Clinics and Polyclinics. The officer co-pays at the following rates:

  • For the officer’s own bill = 15 %
  • For the officer’s eligible dependent = 40 %

If the officer chooses to visit a private outpatient clinic, the above co-payment rates will also apply, subject to a maximum subsidy of $10 per visit. The outpatient subsidy for the officer and his eligible dependants is subject to a maximum of $350 per annum. Non-subsidised items, such as consultation fee for the first visit at a Specialist Outpatient Clinic without referral and health screening will be fully borne by the officer.

An officer who has not used up his full eligibility of $350 in any one year will have the unused balance transferred into his Medisave account by end March of the following year. The transfer of the unused subsidy balance to an officer’s Medisave account will be effected only if he remains in service on 31 December of the preceding year.

6. Can I submit claims for dental treatments?

An officer who receives dental treatment can claim up to 50% of the charges, subject to a maximum of $ 70 a year. This amount does not include the cost for any precious metal used in the treatment. Officer’s dependants are not eligible for dental subsidies.

1. I have been given an 'E' grading during the annual performance appraisal, what are the consequences?

When an officer receives an ‘E’ performance grading, the officer will be put on a Performance Review Process (PRP) which lasts for 9 months. The PRP comprises of 2 phases: Phase 1 is for 6 months and Phase 2 for 3 months. If the officer’s performance improves at the end of Phase 1 or 2, the officer will be taken off the PRP. If the officer does not improve after Phase 2, MOE will take action to terminate his/her service.

2. I notice that every year I have to make a declaration that I am not financially embarrassed; what is deemed to be financial embarrassment?

An officer is deemed to be financially embarrassed if:

  • He is an undischarged bankrupt; or
  • He has signed a promissory note or an acknowledgement of indebtedness; or
  • He has unsecured debts and liabilities which exceed 3 months of his total emoluments; or
  • He is reported to be a judgement debtor.

3. I have been given an expensive gift by the parents of a student on Teachers' day; what is the appropriate action on my part as a teacher?

The Civil Service rules stipulates that an officer cannot receive any presents or token of value from his/her subordinates, the public, students or parents (other than ordinary gifts of personal friends), whether in the form of money, goods, free passage or other personal benefits.

A teacher may, however, receive inexpensive token gifts such as flowers and homemade cards on Teachers’ Day.

Should an expensive gift be presented, the officer must decline the gift. If this is not possible, then the officer is required to forward the gift to Personnel Division for valuation by the Accountant-General Department (AGD). Upon valuation and approval, he may keep the gift after he/she has paid the assessed value of the gift.

1. I joined the Education Service in the year 2000, what is my retirement age?

The compulsory retirement age was raised from 60 to 62 years on 1 January 1999. For officers appointed on or after 1 January 1999, the compulsory retirement age is 62 years.

2. I am a pensionable education officer who will be 58 years old this year, can I apply for optional retirement?

Yes, pensionable officers can apply to retire between the optional retirement ages of 55 and 59 years. Each application will be processed and approved on a case-by-case basis, subject to the exigencies of service.

In general, optional retirement between the ages of 55 and 59 years is granted mainly on medical grounds.

3. I am a pensionable education officer, what are my pension options?

An officer on the Pensions Scheme can choose to receive one of the following:

a) A full pension per month
b) A reduced pension per month plus a gratuity
c) A fully-commuted gratuity (i.e. lump sum without any pension)

The amount of pension benefits payable will depend on the teacher’s length of pensionable service and the average annual value of pensionable salary over last 3 years prior to retirement.

4. If I want to resign, what is the notice period I have to give?

An officer who intends to resign from service has to tender his notice of resignation in writing within the notice period:

a) Superscale Officers = 2 months notice period
b) Division 1 to 2 Officers = 1 month notice period
c) Contract Officers = as stated in contract

5. If I resign from the Service without completely discharging my outstanding bond, what is my liability?

The amount of liquidated damages payable shall be proportionately reduced based on the actual number of bonded months.

7. I am required to give one month's notice of resignation. I intend to resign on 1 Jan 2010 but am unable to serve the full month's notice in Dec 2009. If I give notice on 15 Dec 2009 to resign on 1 Jan 2010, will I still be eligible for the year-end payments?

Since your last day of service falls on 31 Dec 2009, you will be eligible for the year-end payments. However, as you are giving 2 weeks’ short notice, you will be required to pay the Government salary in lieu of the short notice from 1 Dec to 14 Dec 2009.

6. I am a GEO officer, teaching in a school. I intend to resign at the end of this year but I do not wish to lose the year-end payments. How much notice must I give and when must I tender my resignation?

You are required under the IM rules to give at least one month’s notice for your resignation. You should tender your written notice of resignation to your Principal on or before 1 Dec 2009 for your resignation to be effected on 1 Jan 2010. Your last day of service will be 31 Dec 2009 Under a new provision applicable to Education Officers serving in schools only, you will still get your year-end payments.

The above information is correct at the time of posting.

If you would like to discuss your personal case or situation, please call us at 62993936 to make an appointment.

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