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How Much Of Your NS Allowance Can You Save During National Service?

Ming Feng

NS Pay, Salary, benefits for singaporeans

While not everyone enjoys serving National Service, it is a statutory requirement for all male Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PR) to do so.

Throwing aside less well-thought-out comments on how National Serviceman’s service should not be measured in monetary value, we understand that the sacrificing of income can be a very huge sacrifice for some.

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Source: giphy

In this article, we look at how much money one can potentially save throughout his time serving National Service.

You Can Save Up To $10,000 During National Service (NS)

NS Pay, Salary, benefits for singaporeans

The National Service (NS) Journey – Ah Boys to Men

Depending on one’s Physical Employment Standards (PES) and the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) results before enlistment, one will be enlisted into either the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) or the Singapore Police force (SPF).

The NS Journey for Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)

The NS Journey for someone who got enlisted into the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) kicks off with Basic Military Training (BMT).

Factors determining BMT's duration Duration of BMT
PES A/B1
(Pass IPPT)
9 weeks
PES A/B1
(Fails IPPT)
17 weeks
PES BP
(Obese with BMI about 27.0)
19 weeks
PES B, C and E 9 weeks
  • The duration of Basic Military Training (BMT) depends on your PES status.

After BMT, one will then be assigned to either the command school to receive leadership training or to a suitable vocation where they learn specialised skills applicable to their vocation.

Assignment after BMT Training duration What happens after
Officer Cadet School
(OCS)
38 weeks Assign to unit/ schools to assume position till completing National Service.
Specialist Cadet School
(SCS)
29 weeks
Vocation Training Depends on vocation
  • For those selected to be an Officer in OCS after BMT, he will undergo a 38 weeks Officer Cadet Course to be trained as an Officer for SAF.
  • Those chosen to be a Specialist will undergo a 29 weeks training at Specialist Cadet School (SCS).
  • Those who are chosen to specialise in a certain role in a vocation will go on to receive specialised training on it.

After which, they will all be sent to a school or unit, where they continue their NS journey.

The NS Journey for Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

The NS Journey for someone who got enlisted into the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) kicks off with Basic Rescue Training (BRT).

Factors determining BRT's duration Duration of BRT
PES A/B1
(Pass IPPT)
4 weeks
PES A/B1
(Fails IPPT)
12 weeks
PES BP
(Obese with BMI about 27.0)
12 weeks
PES B2 and C and E 4 weeks
  • The duration of Basic Military Training (BRT) depends on your PES status.

After BRT, one will then be assigned to either the command school to receive leadership training or to a suitable vocation where they learn specialised skills applicable to their vocation.

Assignment after BMT Training duration What happens after
Rota Commander Course
(RCC)
28 weeks Assign to unit/ schools to assume position till completing National Service.
Specialist Cadet School
(SCS)
23 weeks
Vocation Training Depends on vocation
  • For those selected to be an Officer in RCC after BRT, he will undergo a 28 weeks Rota Commander Course to be trained as a command position within SCDF
  • Those chosen to be a Specialist will undergo a 23 weeks training at Section Commander Course (SCC).
  • Those who are chosen to specialise in a certain role in a vocation will go on to receive specialised training on it.

After which, they will all be sent to a school or unit, where they continue their NS journey.

The NS Journey for Singapore Police Force (SPF)

The NS Journey for someone who got enlisted into the Singapore Police Force (SPF) kicks off with Police Officers Basic Course (POBC).

Factors determining BRT's duration Duration of POBC
PES A/B1
(Pass IPPT)
14 weeks
PES A/B1
(Fails IPPT)
22 weeks
PES BP
(Obese with BMI about 27.0)
22 weeks
PES B2 and C 8-14 weeks
  • The duration of Police Officers Basic Course (POBC) depends on your PES status.

After POBC, one will then be assigned to either the Police National Service Officer Cadet Course (PNS OCC) to receive leadership training or to a suitable vocation where they learn specialised skills applicable to their vocation.

Assignment after BMT Training duration What happens after
Police National Service Officer Cadet Course (PNS OCC) 29 weeks Assign to unit/ schools to assume position till completing National Service.
Vocation Training Depends on vocation
  • For those selected to be an Officer in Police National Service Officer Cadet Course (PNS OCC) after POBC, he will undergo a 29 weeks Rota Commander Course to be trained as a National Service Probationary Inspector and be posted to various departments or specialist units.
  • Those who are chosen to specialise in a certain role in a vocation will go on to receive specialised training on it.

After which, they will all be sent to a school or unit, where they continue their NS journey.

What Is The Monthly Allowance In National Service?

Before we go ahead with the calculation of how much one can actually save during their NS days, we take a look at the monthly rank allowance.

Monthly rank and combat allowance for NS men in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)

The monthly total allowance of an NS man in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) consists of their rank allowance and monthly combat allowance.

The rank allowance is as shown below:

Rank Rank Allowance
Enlistees
Recruit or Private
(PTE)
S$560
Lance Corporal S$580
Corporal S$630
Corporal First Class S$670
Specialists
Specialist Cadet S$650
Third Sergeant
(3SGT)
S$880
Second Sergeant S$980
First Sergeant S$1050
Officers
Officer Cadet S$840
Second Lieutenant
(2LT)
S$1080
Lieutenant S$1260

On top of rank allowance, NS men are given combat allowance every month, according to the vocation they are in. The combat allowance is as such:

Category/ Vocation Combat Pay Allowance
Commando
Naval Diver
Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defence
Explosive Ordinance Disposal
S$300
Aircrew
Armour
Guards
Infantry
Combat Medics & Officers
Specialist in Medical Response Force
Seagoing
S$150
The rest of the combatants S$100

Hence, the total amount which an NS man receives every month is the sum of his rank pay and his combat pay.

Monthly rank and risk allowance for NS men in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

The monthly total allowance of an NS man in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) consists of their rank allowance and monthly risk allowance.

The rank allowance is as shown below:

Rank Rank Allowance
Recruit or Private
(PTE)
S$560
Lance Corporal S$580
Corporal S$630
Specialist Cadet S$650
Sergeant 1 S$880
Sergeant 2 S$980
Officer Cadet S$840
Second Lieutenant
(2LT)
S$1080
Lieutenant S$1260

On top of the monthly rank allowance, selected NSFs will also be eligible to receive operational allowance ranging from S$100 to S$300. The allowance is based on the vocation and unit they are deployed in.

Hence, the total amount which an NS man receives every month is the sum of his rank pay and his risk pay.

Monthly rank and vocation allowance for NS men in the Singapore Police Force (SPF)

The monthly total allowance of an NS man in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) consists of their rank allowance and monthly vocation allowance.

The rank allowance is as shown below:

Rank Rank Allowance
Trainee S$560
Special Constable 1 or Vigilante Corps 1 S$560
Special Constable 2 or Vigilante Corps 2 S$580
Corporal S$630
Sergeant S$980
Officer Cadet S$840
Probationary Inspector S$1080
Inspector S$1260

On top of rank allowance, NS men are given vocation allowance every month, according to the vocation they are in. The vocation allowance is as such:

Category/ Vocation Combat Pay Allowance
Airport Patrol Officer
Assistant Navigation Officer
Neighbourhood Police Centre Officer
Persons-In-Custody Officer
Police Coast Guard Officer
Police Tactical Trooper
Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) Officer
TransCom Deputy Team Leader
S$150
Assistant Operations Officers
CCTV Operator
Division Security Officer
Dog Handler
Events Security Team Leader
Guard Commander
Medic
Operations Support Officer
Station Security Officer
S$100

There is also meal allowance provided for the NS men in the Singapore Police Force. The rates are:

  • S$100 for non-shift work
  • S$142 for shift work lesser than 12 hours

Hence, the total amount which an NS man receives every month is the sum of his rank pay, his meal allowance and his vocation pay.

Medical Benefits That NSFs Are Entitled To

Well, taking away all the Chao Keng cases, we look at the medical benefits which NSFs are entitled to!

Source: me.me

Here’s where an NSF can seek medical benefits during their NS life and how much they need to pay.

Where To Seek Medical Attention How Much Does It Cost?
Medical Centres in camps Free of charge
Polyclinics Full subsidy
Public hospitals Full subsidy

Unless hospitalised, cost will be at a subsidised cost, depending on your medical benefits scheme
Private hospitals and private clinics Maximum reimbursement of $20 per visit.

(Subject to a limit of $350 per calendar year)

If an NSF is hospitalised, the class of ward they are eligible for is as per below:

Rank All other restructured hospitals National University Hospital
(NUH)
Recruit to Lance Corporal Class C Class C
Corporal to First Sergeant Class B2 6-bed
Officer Cadet to Lieutenant Class B1 and B2+ 4-bed

Should one wish to upgrade their ward, only the amount equivalent to the ward which one is eligible for will be subsidised. 80% of the ward charges for you (50% for your dependant), based on the rates at your correct ward eligibility.

Dental Benefits That NSFs Are Entitled To

On top of the medical benefits, an NSF will be able to receive dental treatment free of charge at SAF dental clinics. Should he be referred to a hospital for follow-up treatment, he will be subsidised accordingly.

Under the SAF Dental Subsidy Scheme, an NSF is entitled to 85% reimbursement of expenses from dental treatment. This is provided that the dental treatment is done at a restructured hospital, polyclinic or private dental clinic.

There is, however, a $120 subsidy cap for each calendar year.

How much money can one save during his NS days? – A typical Example

Before we go on with the calculation of the money that one can save, here are some assumptions:

  • Assuming an NS man follows the 50/30/20 rule when allocating his NS allowance.
    Seedly 50 30 20 Rule Budget Allocation
  • As the NS man might have little knowledge about investing, he ends up saving 50% of his allowance, a total of wealth and savings combined.
  • We break down monthly allowance into weekly instead, for easier calculation.

With that in mind, we went on to set a few scenarios and calculate how much can an NS man save during his NS days.

How much can an NS man in the SAF save over his NS days?

Assuming:

  • PES A/B1 NS man, hence serving 1 year 10 months
  • Serves his national service in the Singapore Armed Forces
  Early part of NS
(BMT)
After BMT Unit/ School Total Allowance
Training Duration Allowance Training Duration Allowance Duration till ORD Allowance
If he went to OCS 9 weeks of training S$1,260 38 weeks of training S$7,980 37 weeks: Rank 2LT
8 weeks: Rank LTA
S$13,635
(with S$100 combat pay)

S$14,197.50
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$15,885
(with S$300 combat pay)
S$22,875
(With S$100 combat pay)

S$23,437.50
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$25,125
(with S$300 combat pay)
If he goes to SCS 29 weeks of training S$4,712.50 54 weeks: 3SGT S$13,150
( with S$100 combat pay)

S$13,905
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$15,930
( with S$300 combat pay)
S$19,122.50
( with S$100 combat pay)

S$19,877.50
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$21,902.50
( with S$300 combat pay)
If he continue in his vocation 83 weeks: LCP S$14,110
(with S$100 combat pay)

S$15,147.50
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$18,260
(with S$300 combat pay)
S$15,370
(with S$100 combat pay)

S$16,407.50
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$19,520
(with S$300 combat pay)
75 weeks: LCP
8 weeks: CPL
S$14,210
(with S$100 combat pay)

S$15,247.50
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$18,360
(with S$300 combat pay)
S$15,470
(with S$100 combat pay)

S$16,507.50
(with S$150 combat pay)

S$19,620
(with S$300 combat pay)

Depending on his combat allowance, if one:

  • Went to OCS and became an officer, his total NS allowance ranges from S$22,875 – S$25,125
  • Went to SCS and became a sergeant, his total NS allowance ranges from S$19,122.50 – S$21,902.50
  • Went to a unit, his total NS allowance ranges from S$15,470 – S$19,620

This means that should he save 50% of his NS allowance, he would have saved:

  • S$11,437.50 – S$12,562.50 if he goes to OCS
  • S$9,561.25 – S$10,951.25 if he goes to SCS
  • S$7,870 – S$9,810 if he goes straight to a unit.

Looking to invest during your NS days?

If you would like to hear what your peers have experienced and done in their situation, we have an open community for you to hear from different perspectives. To better help you with your journey, do read up on the personal finance guide for NSF.

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