Extra $2,000 for NSmen

From better deployment of new recruits with existing injuries to automating make-up pay for operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) serving their reservist, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Thursday unveiled several new initiatives to improve the NS experience.

These were progressively announced during a 1½ hour debate in Parliament on Mindef's budget by the two senior ministers of state for defence, Mr Heng Chee How and Mr Zaqy Mohamad. Key initiatives: Reservist make-up pay to be automated, $1,600 base pay for all Previously, the onus was on individual NSmen or their employers to submit documents to make claims for their lost civilian income during reservist activities.

From the second half of 2022, Mindef will begin drawing data from the Income Revenue Authority of Singapore and the Central Provident Fund board to automatically compute make-up pay amounts.

Those with income data not captured in the systems will automatically receive $1,600 for a month of reservist activities, regardless of rank.

More than 100,000 NSmen and 25,000 employers are set to benefit from this change. Recruits with sports injuries to be better deployed Rather than immediately deeming them as non-combat-fit, Singapore Armed Forces physiotherapists will from this year incorporate further tests during these recruits' pre-enlistment medical screening.

Doctors will then decide whether they can be deployed to a wider range of roles based on their abilities. $2,000 more for completing NS milestones From April, NSmen will get $2,000 more in cash credits for completing their three NS milestones - $1,000 after finishing full-time NS, $500 at the mid-point of the reservist cycles and another $500 upon entering the Mindef reserve after all reservist cycles are completed. More opportunities to study while serving NS New recruits from April next year who want to study computer science, computer engineering or data science and artificial intelligence can apply for a Work-Learn scheme where they can study for their undergraduate degree while serving their full-time NS. Insurance coverage doubled From next year, life and personal accident insurance coverage for all Mindef and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) servicemen will increase from $150,000 to $300,000 per person.

The Straits Times

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