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Flexible benefits guide for employers in Singapore

Are you a business owner looking to attract and retain employees with the most competitive benefits? If so, it might be time for you to consider launching a flexible benefits scheme. Not only does it provide your employees with more choice over their rewards and compensation, but it also shows that you value their contributions to the company. 

Read on to find out how to implement a flexible benefits scheme in Singapore, as well as what the possible tax and CPF implications you can take note of while rolling out these benefits!

What are flexible benefits?

Flexible benefits (or flexi benefits) are an increasingly popular way for businesses to offer employees additional incentives. It essentially allows employees to tailor their own benefit offerings to fit the needs of their life outside of work, giving them more control over what they are rewarded with.

Some examples of flexible benefits include:

  • Health benefits such as medical, dental and optical allowance
  • Wellness or fitness benefits such as gym memberships
  • Paid or subsidised courses for professional development
  • Expense coverage for remote work
  • Flexible working arrangement
  • Paid time off for volunteering
  • Transportation benefits

What are some benefits of implementing a flexible benefits scheme?

Enhanced employee engagement and satisfaction

Offering flexible benefits is a great way to show that you care about your staff enough to give them the ability to customise which benefits mean the most to them. When employees feel valued by their company, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive at work. 

The potential to attract and retain a higher quality workforce

Many employees value the ability to tailor their compensation package to suit their own preferences and needs—whether this be by choosing from a range of different health insurance plans or opting for more time off instead of an increased salary.

How do you implement a flexible benefits scheme?

There are several key steps you need to take when implementing a flexible benefits scheme in a company. These include:

Gathering information about the needs and wishes of your employees

This can be done by surveying them directly or through employee focus groups, or by reviewing data from existing company surveys or studies on trends in employee benefit preferences. Based on the information you have collected about employee needs and desires, start to brainstorm the different types of flexible benefits.

Visit our guide on “Best employee benefits ideas in Singapore” to get some inspirations!

Evaluating and selecting the flexible benefits that you would like to offer

This may involve looking at financial considerations about what benefits you can afford and how much tax savings your employees will get from different options. It may also involve consultations with your legal team or other experts on employee benefits law to ensure that the options you offer are fair and compliant.

Tip: With Payboy Benefits, you will be able to implement some health and wellness benefits without having to start from scratch!

Creating a communications plan to inform your employees about the new benefit offerings

Communicating the flexible benefits plan to your employees in a clear, easy-to-understand way will help ensure that everyone is on the same page about how the scheme works and what their options are under it.

This may involve implementing a software that can automatically enrol employees in the flexible benefits programme, sending out emails or newsletters, posting information on company intranet sites, or holding sessions to provide more detailed information about the programme.

Monitoring and evaluating your flexible benefits scheme over time

To ensure that your flexible benefits scheme continues to meet the needs and desires of your employees, review feedback from surveys or focus groups, monitor employee usage of the new benefits offerings, and seek input from employees on how they think the programme can be improved. Make adjustments when necessary! 

Implementing a flexible benefits plan in a company is a complex process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following these key steps, you can ensure that your organisation gets the most out of the flexible benefits scheme for your employees.

Are flexible benefits taxable?

All employees’ gains and profits from their jobs are taxable, unless they are specifically exempt from income tax or are covered by an existing administrative concession. The offers under the flexible benefits scheme does not change the tax treatment of the benefits.

Some examples of benefits-in-kind that are not taxable include:

  • Reimbursements for medical and dental treatment
  • Insurance premium of group medical insurance
  • Childcare subsidy provided by employers to employees who send their children to licensed childcare centres
  • Gifts or awards not exceeding $200

For the full list, head over to IRAS’ list of benefits-in-kind granted administrative concession or exempt from income tax!

Are CPF contributions payable on flexible benefits?

In general, CPF contributions are required on all employee benefits as the cash payments payable to your employees receive increase their wages. Some examples include:

  • Reimbursements of childcare expenses
  • Eldercare expenses
  • Gym subscription fee
  • Holiday expenses
  • Personal insurance premium
  • Personal mobile phone subscription fee
  • Encashment of flexible benefits 

Do note that CPF contributions are not payable for the following benefits as they do not fall under the definition of “wages” in the CPF Act:

  • Reimbursement of medical and dental benefits
  • Reimbursement incurred for business purposes

For the full list, head over to CPF’s list of employee/flexible benefits to check if your flexible benefit is CPF payable!

Simplify benefits reimbursement with Payboy’s Claim Management Module

Rolling out a flexible benefits scheme can increase the administrative burden on your employees if there is no software in place to facilitate the process. You can check out our claims management module to streamline the reimbursement process as efficient and easy as possible for both you and your employees:

  • Paper-free submission: Employees can easily snap and submit their receipts with our mobile app.
  • Customisable claim policy: Different claim policies for different roles or benefits? Set claim categories and claim limits based on roles and benefits once and we’ll keep track for you.
  • Approvals with confidence: Claim approvals come with an audit trail, so you'll always know what was approved by whom.
  • Easy integration with your accounting software: Sync claims directly with Xero, Quickbooks and Financio. Your finance team will love you!

Are there any SME grants available if I’m interested in using Payboy HR & Payroll software?

Yes, Payboy is eligible under the PSG Grant! You can find our answers to your questions
regarding the PSG grant here.

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