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How Much of His NS Allowance Can One Save During His National Service Days?

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


TL;DR – One can save close to S$10,000 in NS.

Read also: Working Adult: Investment Products That Requires Less Than S$1,000 To Invest


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 durationDuration 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 E9 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 BMTTraining durationWhat happens after
Officer Cadet School
(OCS)
38 weeksAssign to unit/ schools to assume position till completing National Service.
Specialist Cadet School
(SCS)
29 weeks
Vocation TrainingDepends 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 durationDuration 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 E4 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 BMTTraining durationWhat happens after
Rota Commander Course
(RCC)
28 weeksAssign to unit/ schools to assume position till completing National Service.
Specialist Cadet School
(SCS)
23 weeks
Vocation TrainingDepends 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 durationDuration 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 C8-14 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 BMTTraining durationWhat happens after
Police National Service Officer Cadet Course (PNS OCC)29 weeksAssign to unit/ schools to assume position till completing National Service.
Vocation TrainingDepends 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:

RankRank Allowance
Enlistees
Recruit or Private
(PTE)
S$560
Lance CorporalS$580
CorporalS$630
Corporal First ClassS$670
Specialists
Specialist CadetS$650
Third Sergeant
(3SGT)
S$880
Second SergeantS$980
First SergeantS$1050
Officers
Officer CadetS$840
Second Lieutenant
(2LT)
S$1080
LieutenantS$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/ VocationCombat 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 combatantsS$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:

RankRank Allowance
Recruit or Private
(PTE)
S$560
Lance CorporalS$580
CorporalS$630
Specialist CadetS$650
Sergeant 1S$880
Sergeant 2S$980
Officer CadetS$840
Second Lieutenant
(2LT)
S$1080
LieutenantS$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:

RankRank Allowance
TraineeS$560
Special Constable 1 or Vigilante Corps 1S$560
Special Constable 2 or Vigilante Corps 2S$580
CorporalS$630
SergeantS$980
Officer CadetS$840
Probationary InspectorS$1080
InspectorS$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/ VocationCombat 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.


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.
    How To Allocate Your Monthly Salary
  • 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 BMTUnit/ SchoolTotal Allowance
Training DurationAllowanceTraining DurationAllowanceDuration till ORDAllowance
If he went to OCS9 weeks of trainingS$1,26038 weeks of trainingS$7,98037 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 SCS29 weeks of trainingS$4,712.5054 weeks: 3SGTS$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 vocation83 weeks: LCPS$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. Check out our blog for more unbiased opinions on your personal finance journey.

 

Check out our blog for more unbiased opinions on your personal finance journey.

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