Saturday, 6 October 2018

NSmen to get IPPT cash awards instantly via PayNow from 2019

By Lim Min Zhang, The Straits Times, 5 Oct 2018

From early next year, operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) who do well in their annual fitness test at Maju Camp will not face the usual wait of around two weeks to receive their cash incentive awards.

Instead, upon completion of their Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), the money will be credited to their bank account immediately via PayNow, an instant fund transfer service linked to people's mobile phone or NRIC numbers.

The scheme will be piloted at Maju Fitness Conditioning Centre (FCC) at Maju Camp in Clementi early next year before launching in Bedok, Khatib and Kranji FCCs by the middle of the year. Maju FCC has the highest number of NSmen IPPT participants among the four FCCs.

The launch dates will be released on the NS Portal website.

NSmen who achieve a gold award for their IPPT receive $500, with $300 for a silver award, and $200 for a pass with incentive.

The initiative was announced by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday during the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts (Pride) Symposium 2018 at Nanyang Polytechnic in Ang Mo Kio.

Dr Ng said the initiative was an example of ideas that can make "a huge difference" to the daily functioning of the SAF.

"So as you run your 2.4km run (one of the components of IPPT) and cross the finishing line, you can hear the 'chink' (sound of money)," he said, to applause from the audience.

"I exaggerate somewhat, but basically you get it on the same day as your IPPT. And I think NSmen will appreciate this small idea (that) will have (a) big impact."

Currently, NSmen have to wait around two weeks to receive the awards in their bank accounts through Giro.

To receive money via PayNow, an NSman has to register for PayNow with his preferred bank and link his PayNow account to his NRIC number before taking his test. Those who do not register will continue to receive their awards through Giro. PayNow is available at nine banks, including DBS Bank, OCBC, UOB, Maybank and Standard Chartered.

Gym owner and NSman Ng Wei Li, 27, said he is glad that the SAF is taking steps to improve its efficiency. "It's unlikely that more NSmen will be motivated to do well to get the incentives, but it's definitely a value-add for those who bother to train for their IPPT."

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