Photo credit: Basic Military Training Centre/Facebook

What full-time national servicemen think of the increased allowance

While NSFs still feel that the allowance they get isn’t nearly enough, they recognise that every penny counts.

Nigel Chin

Published: 4 March 2020, 6:08 PM

It was announced on Monday (March 2) that the allowance of all full-time and operationally ready national servicemen (NSF and NSmen) across all ranks will be increased by $70 to $120 in Parliament.

This was the first time the allowance increased since December 2015.

The latest increase will see a recruit in the SAF receive $630 each month, up from the $560 they had previously. The allowance supports national servicemen in their “basic personal upkeep”, according to a Channel NewsAsia report, which added that Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said the raise also “acknowledged the contributions” of those serving the nation.

Youth.SG speaks to three NSFs to find out their thoughts about the increase in allowance.

Increase isn’t a lot, but every penny counts

“I’m going to be operationally ready soon, so I wouldn’t really benefit much from it. Honestly, I do feel that the increase isn’t a lot, but every penny counts still. I’m already saving up money for my future studies in University so it would certainly contribute to it, although I hope the increase could have come sooner instead.

“That said, I do feel like the increase in allowance shows that the efforts of the national servicemen are being seen and recognised, so that’s good.” – Michael, 22.

More flexibility to plan my finances

“I’ve just started serving national service not too long so this piece of news is definitely much welcomed as it makes a huge impact for me the next two years. The increase in allowance definitely gives me certain flexibility in terms of planning my finances.

“For one, the increase means I can either save more for my university fees, or I can afford to splurge a little, like getting the new computer that I’ve wanted.” – Gene Ong, 21.

Extra meal allowances

“I feel happy with the increase because the allowances given to us in NS, honestly, isn’t enough. It may be a small increase, but money is money and having an increase in allowance does make us NSFs happier and more motivated to do our duties better.

“That said, it means a lot to me that the government has realised the efforts we put in, especially those that are serving in the front line right now.

“For me, I’ve been putting aside my allowances to save up for the future, especially if I can’t find a job after NS. But with this increase, it gives me the opportunity to spend more on food with my girlfriend on weekends, instead of having to find ways to scrimp and save up.” – Keanu Tecson, 22


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