About 1.54 million Singaporeans will receive letters from Ministry of Finance informing them of their eligibility for GST vouchers and other budget benefits by 1 July 2016.
For individual Singaporean aged 21 and above whose assessable income for Year of Assessment 2015 is less than $26,000 and who does not own more than one property, you will get $500 on 1 August 2016 if the annual value if home is $13,000 and below; or $250 if the annual value of home is from $13,001 to $21,000.
For Pioneer Singaporean, they will also get up to $800 top-up per year to their medisave based on the criteria below.
|Pioneer Generation Medisave Top-up
||Age in 2016
||Amount of Medisave top-up per year
|1945 — 1949
||67 — 71
|1940 — 1944
||72 — 76
|1935 – 1939
||77 — 81
|1934 or earlier
For Non-Pioneers, they will also get up to $200 top-up per year to their medisave till 2018 based on the criteria below.
|5-Year Medisave Top-up (2014 – 2018)
|Annual Value of Home as at 21 Dec 2015
||Up to $13,000
||Above $13,000 or owns more than property
|Singapore Citizens born in 1959 and earlier who are not Pioneers
|One-off additional medisave top-up for those age 65 and above in 2016 and who does not own more than one property.
||For those age 65 to 74, to get additional $250.
For those age 75 to 84, to get additional $350.
For those age 85 and above, to get additional $450.
|For those age 65 to 74, to get additional $150.
For those age 75 to 84, to get additional $250.
For those age 85 and above, to get additional $350.
For households staying in HDB flats, government will give up to $260 deduction in utilities bills in equal instalments over 4 months in July 2016, October 2016, January 2017 and April 2017. Each household will also get up to 3 months of S&CC rebate.
|Household benefits for 2016
||1 And 2-Room
|GSTV – U-Save
|S&CC rebate (months)
Reference : https://www.gstvoucher.gov.sg
NTUC Income has just launched a new insurance plan, Personal Mobility Guard, to cover accidental death or permanent disability, medical expenses and personal liabilities due to accidents while riding a bicycle or a personal mobility device.
The table of benefits are as follows:
|Personal accident (per policy year)
|Medical Expenses for injury due to an accident (Per accident)
||$2,500 (Excess : $100 per accident)
|Personal Liability (per policy year)
The yearly premium is $96, inclusive of GST. You will enjoy 30% off if you sign up before 30 June 2016.
Source : http://www.income.com.sg/insurance/home-lifestyle-insurance/personal-mobility-guard
NTUC Income has launched “#StartRetiring Consumer Promotion” from 1 April 2016 to 31 May 2016.
Customers who successfully submit their Regular Premium Life Policies including any applicable rider(s) between 1 April and 31 May 2016 (inclusive of both dates), and their policies issued not later than 31 July 2016, will be entitled to a gift as set out in the relevant tiers below.
|Minimum monthly premium
||Premium payment term of 10 years and above
||Premium payment term of 5 to 9 years
||Premium payment term of 3 to 4 years
|PHILIPS Air Purifier worth $279
|PHILIPS Slow Juicer worth $229
The qualifying policies are as follows:
- LIMITED PAY REVOSAVE (3-PAY-10)
- LIMITED PAY REVOSAVE (5-PAY-10)
- LIMITED PAY REVOSAVE
- CANCER PROTECT
- VIVOCARE 100
- FAMILY INSURANCE PLAN
- VIVOLIFE 125/180/350
- MORTGAGE PROTECTION PLAN
- LIMITED PREMIUM PROTECTION
- SENIOR PLAN
- SILVER PROTECT
Terms and Conditions can be found at http://www.income.com.sg/promotions/life-insurance/start-retiring-promotion#main
NTUC Income has launched another great term insurance plan “Silver Protect” specially for those from 50 years to 74 years old to cover the following:-
- Early stage cancers — 25% of the sum assured upon diagnosis of an early stage cancer. Sum assured will not be reduced by this payout.
- Advanced stage cancers — 100% of the sum assured upon diagnosis of an advanced stage cancer. If there was no claim made for an early stage cancer benefit, additional 25% of the sum assured will be paid. All future premium payments will be waived.
- Accidental fractures — Up to 20% of the sum assured in the event of an accidental fracture. The amount of benefit payable is dependent on the site of the fracture.
- Hospice care in the event of terminal cancer — Up to 15% of the sum assured for hospice and palliative care in the event of terminal cancer.
- Accidental death — 100% of the sum assured in the event of accidental death. If due to a restricted activity, 30% of the sum assured will be paid instead.
- Non-accidental death — $5,000 in the event of death not due to an accident. If it happens within one year from the cover start date, 100% of the total premiums paid will be refunded instead.
The sum assured offered are $50,000, $80,000 for $100,000 and renewal is guaranteed every 10 years till age 84. NTUC Income may provide cover even if you have existing non-cancer related medical conditions.
NTUC Income has just launched a new Cancer Premium Waiver (GIO) (WPV10), which is a non-participating, regular premium rider that waives future premiums on the policy for the remaining term of the rider upon diagnosis of the insured with any one of the major cancers after one year from the cover start date and during the term of the rider.
In addition, application for this rider is hassle-free and acceptance is guaranteed. There is no need for any medical check-up*.
This rider is available to specified GIO plans and can be attached to both first and third-party policies at policy inception.
The list of GIO plans Cancer Premium Waiver (GIO) rider is attachable to:
1. Limited Pay RevoSave (ANRP)
2. Limited Pay RevoSave 3-Pay-10 (ANRV)
3. Limited Pay RevoSave 5-Pay-10 (ANRE)
4. FlexRetire (FRR)
5. RevoSecure (RVGG)
6. VivoCash (VCGL)
* If Insured had consulted a doctor for, suffered symptoms of, was investigated for, was diagnosed with, or received medical treatment for any caner, including carcinoma-in-situ, before the cover start date, no benefit will be paid under the Cancer Waiver Rider, and the rider will be terminated.
From now till 31 December 2016, the first 3,300 new application of Regular Premium Life Policies including any applicable rider(s) with a minimum annual premium of S2,000, you will get $1,000 cashback in the form of a cheque which will be mailed to you within 45 days, one year after the Qualifying Policy is issued.
You are eligible to apply if you are a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident who has graduated from any of the Junior Colleges or Centralised Institute Course, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education, Polytechnics or local or overseas Universities in 2012 or later. You must submit evidence of having graduated from such institutions or programmes.
Note that regardless of the number of applications for each graduate, only one policy will qualify for the reward under this Promotion. In addition, policyholders who have participated and successfully qualified for the “Kick Start Your Future With Us”
Currently, an SRS member can withdraw up to $40,000 per year from his SRS account tax-free on or after reaching the prescribed retirement age, assuming that he has no other taxable income. Over the maximum withdrawal period of 10 years, he can withdraw up to $400,000 tax-free.
However, if an SRS member passes away before completing his SRS withdrawals or made a full withdrawal on the grounds of terminal illness, he would not be able to enjoy the full benefit from spreading out his SRS withdrawals over a 10-year period. Hence, from year of assessment 2016, a tax exemption of up to $400,000 would be granted for SRS funds deemed withdrawn upon an SRS member’s demise or a withdrawn in full on the grounds of terminal illness.
Next, from July 2015, SRS members will be able to apply to their SRS operators to withdraw an SRS investment by transferring the investment out of their SRS accounts (e.g. into their personal Central Depository (CDP) account), without having to liquidate their SRS investments. This is only applicable for the following types of withdrawals, which qualify for the 50% tax concession:
- withdrawal on or after the statutory retirement age prevailing at the time of an SRS member’s first contribution (currently age 62);
- withdrawal on medical grounds;
- withdrawal in full by a foreigner who has maintained his SRS account for at least 10 years from the date of his first contribution; and
- actual withdrawal made by an SRS member or his legal personal representative (if he is deceased) from his SRS account, after the SRS investment that is to be withdrawn had earlier been deemed withdrawn upon death or after the expiry of the 10-year withdrawal period.
All other withdrawals from an SRS account, including premature withdrawals, must be made in cash.
Inflation in Singapore fell 0.6% year-on-year in December, compared to –0.8% in November. Core inflation, which excludes the cost of accommodation and private road transport, rose to 0.3% from 0.2% in November.
Private road transport cost fell by 1.1% in December, compared to the 1.7% decline in November. Accommodation cost dropped by 3% in December, same as the decline in November. However, overall services inflation increased to 0.9% in December, up from 0.7% in November, due to a faster pace of increase in holiday travel expenses and a smaller decline in telecommunication services fees. Meanwhile, food inflation was down to 1.5% last month from 1.6% in November, due to the moderation of increase in prices of prepared meals such as hawker food.
For the whole of 2015, inflation fell by –0.5%, down from 1% in 2014. This is the first decline since 2002. Core inflation eased to 0.5% in 2015, compared to the 1.9% in 2014.
Core Inflation is expected to be between 0.5% and 1.5% in 2016 while overall inflation is projected to average between –0.5% and 0.5% in 2016, according to MAS and MTI.
CPF contribution ceiling will be increased from $5000 to $6000 with effect from 1 Jan 2016. This will help to boost another $170 from employer and $200 from employee for those earning more than $6000 monthly salary and below 55 years old. Though the take-home pay for these employees will reduce by $200, the savings for retirement will be boosted by these extra savings.
CPF CONTRIBUTION RATE
The CPF contribution rate for employee 50 years and above will be increased from 1 January 2016.
- Above 50 to 55, employer CPF rate will be increased from 16% to 17%, while employee CPF rate will be increased from 19% to 20%;
- Above 55 to 60, employer CPF rate will be increased from 12% to 13%, with no change to the current employee CPF rate of 13%;
- Above 60 to 65, employer CPF rate will be increased from 8.5% to 9%, with no change to the current employee CPF rate of 7.5%.
In addition, for CPF members aged 55 and above from 1 January 2016, the first $30,000 from the CPF accounts will earn extra 1% per annum, on top of the current 1% extra interest on the first $60,000 of their total CPF savings. That is,
Total CPF balance
|If in Special/Retirement/Medisave Accounts
||If in Ordinary Account
|Remaining balance above $60,000
This translates to extra $300 savings per year for the next 10 years before CPF Life payout starts at 65. Assuming the yearly $300 interest earned goes into the Retirement Account which earns 4% interest, this translates to $3,745 after 10 years. With higher amount in CPF Retirement Account, CPF members can expect higher payout from their CPF Life.
SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT SCHEME
The caps on contribution to the voluntary retirement savings scheme, Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) will be increased from 1 January 2016. For Singaporean and Permanent Resident, the cap will be increased from $12,750 to $15,300. The cap for foreigner will be increased from $29,750 to $35,700. This will help to increase the personal income tax savings, as the amount put into SRS will enjoy tax relief. Moreover, retirement cashflow will be improved when SRS money is allowed to be withdrawn without penalty from age 62 onwards.
Nation-wide hospitalization plan, MediShield Life, will be implemented on 1 November 2015. Ministry of Health has already identified 25,000 Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents with serious pre-existing illnesses who will have to pay extra 30% extra premium for the next 10 years to cover the pre-existing illnesses. After which, they would pay the same premiums as their peers. If you belong to this group, you will receive a letter with details about your new MediShield Life coverage, premiums and subsidies, including the Additional Premiums. The various subsidies for MediShield Life premiums will also apply to Additional Premiums.
If you currently not insured with Medishield, you will also receive the letter soon to inform you on the premiums and subsidies. For others, you will only receive the letter one month before your plan is due for annual renewal from either the CPF Board (cover under MediShield) or your private insurer (cover under Integrated Shield Plan) with details about your premiums and subsidies for the MediShield Life component of your Integrated Shield Plan.
The broad categories of serious pre-existing illnesses are:
||Indicative examples (not exhaustive)
||Lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer
||Parkinson’s disease, Muscular dystrophy, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
|Heart or other circulatory system diseases
||Heart attack, Coronary artery disease, Chronic ischaemic heart disease
||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
||Alcoholic liver disease , Chronic hepatitis, Fibrosis or cirrhosis of liver
|Autoimmune/ Immune System diseases
||Systemic lupus erythematosus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/ AIDS)
||Congenital heart disease, Congenital renal disease, Biliary atresia
|Chronic condition with serious complications
||Hypertensive heart disease, Hypertensive kidney disease, Diabetes with kidney complications, Diabetes with eye complications
Those whose pre-existing conditions are less serious or are well-controlled, such as well-controlled diabetes, or hypertension with no complications, osteoarthritis, pre-cancers, fibroids or cysts or those who were hospitalized due to a one-off event, such as an accident or dengue are not subjected to the 30% additional premium.