Singapore is the country with the highest-paid government leader in the world, Lee Hsien Loong. The Prime Minister of Singapore is the highest-paid government servant in the world. He receives a salary of approximately US$1.6 million.
The US$1.6 million remuneration for the prime minister was arrived at by the Salary Review Committee of 2011. Lee Hsien Loong selected the committee to assess and adjust the salaries of the political appointment holders, members of parliament, the president, and the prime minister after every five years.
He aimed at achieving a salary that would encourage the government leaders to be more productive while avoiding corruption.
Before the review, the salaries for the ministers were based on their grades (MR4, MR3, MR2 or MR1), in the government, with MR4 being the lowest grade.
The annual remuneration for each minister comprised the fixed and variable components.
The fixed components included
-A 12 months salary
-A non-pensionable allowance equivalent to one month's salary
-A special allowance equal to one month's salary
-A public leadership allowance, equivalent to two months' salary
The variable components included
-Performance bonus -Gross Domestic Product (GDP) bonus -Variable Component of up to one and half month's salary based on singapore economic performance
The GDP bonus was based on the GDP growth while the prime minister determined the performance bonus for each minister. It could go up to 14 months' salary.
With the above components, the grand annual salary paid to the MR4 minister was $1,583,900, while an MR1 minister received $2,368,500. On the other hand, the annual salary for the prime minister was assumed to be a fixed ratio of the MR4 pay, and it stood at $3,072,200 in 2010.
The 2011 salary review report suggested that the MR4 minister's salary be benchmarked with the median income of the top 1000 wage-earning Singaporeans.
The other recommendations of the salary review report included:
-Abolition of the special allowance and the public service leadership allowance
-Capping the performance bonuses to six months' salary equivalent
-Introducing a national bonus to replace the GDP bonus (national bonus was to be based on the growth rate in the real median income, the real GDP growth rate, unemployment rate and the incomes of the lowest 20th percentile earners)
The above propositions were meant to slash the MR4 minister's 2010 annual salary by approximately 31%, leaving him close to $1.1million per annum.
The committee further suggested that the prime minister earn a fixed yearly salary twice as much as the MR4 minister. With the new wage, the prime minister was going to earn 28% less than his 2010 salary, translating to approximately US$ 1.6 million.
The committee report was later approved in parliament and by the prime minister’s office, and it was fully implemented in Singapore. Though the salary review is carried out every five years, the prime minister's annual salary has remained untouched since 2011.
Today, Singapore tops the countries with the highest paid government leaders in the world. The high salary is not only reflected in Lee Hsien Loong but also in its other government leaders. According to sources, the high remuneration incentivises recruitment of talented government leaders to boost their productivity and reduce corruption.