Finance & Compliance

NSMEN Make-Up Pay: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers in Singapore

Katie Ash

Nov 19, 2023
As an employer in Singapore, it's crucial to understand your obligations when it comes to national service compensation for your employees. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of NSMEN make-up pay, ensuring you remain compliant with the relevant laws and regulations.

What is NSMEN Make-Up Pay?

National Service (NS) in Singapore is a policy which makes service in the Army or uniformed services compulsory for all male Singaporean citizens and second-generation permanent residents. The period of active service is approximately 2 years full-time, after which they will remain an Operationally Ready National Serviceman (ORNS) and transition into a 10-year training cycle. During this time, they may be called up to participate in up to 40 days of ORNS activities annually.

NSMEN make-up pay, also known as national service make-up pay or NS pay, is a legal requirement for employers in Singapore. It involves compensating employees who are required to fulfill their national service duties, such as Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) or In-Camp Training (ICT).

Service Pay (SP)

Service Pay is an allowance paid to full-time NS, and dependent on their rank and vocation. When participating in ORSM activities, the pay will be pro-rated based on the duration of participation. 

Make-Up Pay (MUP)

Make-Up Pay is the difference between civilian income loss and Service Pay, for the duration of a serviceman’s ORNS activity. If the civilian income loss is lower than the service pay for each ORNS, no make-up pay will be payable. 

Why is NSMEN Make-Up Pay Important?

Providing NSMEN make-up pay is not just a legal obligation; it's also a matter of supporting your employees and recognizing their commitment to national service. By compensating them fairly, you foster a positive work environment and demonstrate your appreciation for their service to the country.

(Soruce: Specna Arms)

Calculation of NSMEN Make-Up Pay

Before start calculating, we need to know that the basic formula of MUP is: Make-Up Pay = Civilian Income Loss – Service Pay.

For example, if an employed NSman who is earning $6,000 a month and has a 5-day work week. And if he goes a High-Key ICT during 1 to 15 Nov 2023 with $1,000 monthly SP, then:

  • Calendar days for NS Activity: 15 days
  • Working days for NS Activity: 11 days (inclusive of 1 day of Public Holiday)
  • Total working days in Nov 2023: 22 days (inclusive of 1 day of Public Holiday)
  • Days of worked: 22 days - 11 days= 11 days

The calculation will be:

  • Civilian Income Loss: $6,000 × (11 working days for NS Activity ÷ 22 total working days) = $3,000
  • SP (Service Pay): $1,000 × (15 calendar days for NS activity ÷ 30 days in the month) = $500
  • MUP (Make-Up Pay): $3,000 + $500 = $2,500

Please note that the base NS Pay that NSmen can claim for ICT is $1,600 since 12 September 2022. Click here for the further Sample Calculations section for NSmen Make-Up Pay from

NS Make-up Pay Claims

A make-up pay claim should be done at least 14 days before ORNS activity begins and the deadline is limited within 3 months from the payment of your employee's NSmen service pay. Any late submission after 3 months will not be accepted. However, if the supporting document is needed and it was not available at the point of submission, they can submit it later. 

There are 2 ways of claiming for NS make-up pay:

Registered with DIRECT scheme

In the DIRECT scheme, employers will continue to pay the employee salary in full while submitting the NS make-up claim for their employee. Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) will reimburse the employer directly. In this way, no adjustment of salary is required. 

  • Employer submits a Make-Up pay claim with MINDEF through corp pass at least 14 days before your employee’s ORNS activity date. The make-up pay claim form is required. Required documents for submission.
  • Employer continues to pay the employee his full salary.
  • MINDEF will credit both the Service Pay and/or Make-Up pay to the employer.

If you fail to meet the 14 day deadline, still proceed with submission. Late submission is allowed according to the NS Call Centre, however, the Make-Up pay claim will be regarded as “Not Registered with the DIRECT scheme”.

Not registered with the DIRECT scheme

Under the Not-DIRECT scheme, the employer or employee will submit a NS make-up claim for the employee and deduct from their salary. MINDEF will reimburse the employee directly. In this way, salary adjustment is required. 

  • Employer submits a Make-Up pay claim with MINDEF through corp pass at least 14 days before your employee’s ORNS activity date. The make-up pay claim form is required.
  • MINDEF will credit both Service Pay and/or Make-Up pay to the employee.

Swingvy payroll software supports the management and deductions of NS Pay. Find out more about the payroll platform and speak to our team for more information.

Simplify HR management and payroll processing with Swingvy.

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