Elderly to use more Medisave to pay for outpatient services

With effect from 1 April 2015, a patient who is aged 65 and above can use up to $200 a year from the Medis­ave sav­ings to pay for the fol­low­ing ser­vices:-
a) Out­pa­tient med­ical treat­ment received at des­ig­nated health­care insti­tu­tions, and gen­er­ally cov­ers med­ical ser­vices and drugs, tests and invest­ig­a­tions which are neces­sary for dia­gnosis or treat­ment of a med­ical con­di­tion and ordered by a doc­tor.
b) Screen­ing tests that are cur­rently under the Integ­rated Screen­ing Pro­gramme. This includes recom­men­ded screen­ings for selec­ted chronic dis­eases and can­cers.
c) To sup­ple­ment other out­pa­tient uses of Medis­ave.  This includes the new $300 limit for out­pa­tient scans that was imple­men­ted on 1 Janu­ary 2015, the exist­ing $400 Mediave400 limit[1], the vari­ous lim­its for can­cer treat­ment and dia­gnostics, and other out­pa­tient with­drawal lim­its. In addi­tion, the eld­erly can also use it to pay for the 15% co-payment when using Medis­ave for chronic dis­ease treatment.

Termed Flexi-Medisave, a patient can use up to $200 from his own Medis­ave or tap on his spouse’s Medis­ave, as long as the spouse is also aged 65 and above.

Flexi-Medisave can be used for out­pa­tient med­ical treat­ment at des­ig­nated health­care insti­tu­tions. These are:
a)    Spe­cial­ist Out­pa­tient Clin­ics (SOCs) at the pub­lic hos­pit­als and national spe­cialty centres;
b)    Poly­clin­ics; and
c)    Med­ical GP clin­ics par­ti­cip­at­ing in the Com­munity Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).

[1] Cur­rently, eld­erly patients can already use the Medisave400 limit for the fol­low­ing expenses:
a)    Out­pa­tient treat­ment of 15 approved chronic con­di­tions under the Chronic Dis­ease Man­age­ment Pro­gramme (CDMP);
b)    Screen­ing mam­mo­grams for women aged 50 and above; and
c)    Vac­cin­a­tions includ­ing Hep­at­itis B, pneumo­coc­cal and flu vaccinations.

 

Focus Group Discussions on enhancement to CPF

CPF Advis­ory Panel has just announced a series of Focus Group Dis­cus­sions (FGD) to be con­duc­ted from mid-November 2014 to mid-January 2015. The dis­cus­sion will be on the fol­low­ing topics:-

  1. Min­imum Sum — how to adjust bey­ond 2015 for future retirees
  2. Lump sum with­draw­als at age 65 years — how much should CPF mem­bers be able to with­draw and under what conditions
  3. CPF pay­outs — how could CPF pay­outs be adjus­ted to address cost of liv­ing increases over time
  4. Altern­at­ive invest­ments and annu­it­ies — how to provide more flex­ib­il­ity for CPF mem­bers who are pre­pared to take on more risks.

You can email to cpf_panel@mom.gov.sg to con­trib­ute your ideas on the above top­ics or to sign up for the FGD.  The first 4 FGDs sched­ule to dis­cuss the first 3 top­ics are as follows:-

  •  15 Novem­ber 2014 (Sat­urday) 9.00am to 12.30pm at *SCAPE
  • 22 Novem­ber 2014 (Sat­urday) 9.00am to 12.30pm at *SCAPE
  • 9 Decem­ber 2014 (Tues­day) 6.30pm to 9.30pm at the National Lib­rary Building
  • 10 Janu­ary 2015 (Sat­urday) 9.00am to 12.30pm (venue to be in town area)

There will be more FGD ses­sions to be announced later.

For more inform­a­tion, please visit http://www.cpfpanel.sg

Lease Buyback Scheme extended to 4-room HDB flat

On 3rd Septem­ber 2014, the Min­istry of National Devel­op­ment (MND) and the Hous­ing & Devel­op­ment Board (HDB) announced four enhance­ments to the Lease Buy­back Scheme (LBS) with effect from 1 April 2015.
Only house­hold with at least one of the owner a Singa­por­ean and all own­ers must be at least at CPF Draw-Down Age in order to par­ti­cip­ate in this LBS.

Firstly, the LBS will be exten­ded to 4-room HDB flats. On top of the pro­ceeds the own­ers receive from selling the tail-end lease of their flat to HDB, they will receive a fur­ther $10,000 cash bonus per house­hold if the total CPF top-up is $60,000 or more. If the total CPF top-up is less than $60,000, the house­hold gets a pro-rated bonus of $1 for every $6 CPF top-up.

Secondly, the income ceil­ing for par­ti­cip­at­ing in the LBS will be raised from $3,000 to $10,000 per month. The income ceil­ing for the Sil­ver Hous­ing Bonus (SHB) scheme will be raised from $3,000 to $10,000 correspondingly.

Thirdly, each owner of a house­hold will only be required to top up his/her CPF RA to half the age-adjusted pre­vail­ing CPF Min­imum Sum (MS), instead of the full age-adjusted pre­vail­ing MS cur­rently. There­fore, they will be able to retain more cash upfront from par­ti­cip­at­ing in the LBS. How­ever, for any cash pro­ceeds above $100,000, the own­ers will still be required to top up the excess amount into their respect­ive CPF RAs. How­ever, if you are a sole-owner of the HDB flat, this rule does not apply to you and you will still be required to top up your CPF RA to the full age-adjusted pre­vail­ing CPF MS.

Fourthly, eld­erly house­holds will have the flex­ib­il­ity to choose the length of lease to retain, based on their age and pref­er­ences, instead of hav­ing one stand­ard 30-year lease for all. Those aged 70 to 74 will have the option of a 25-year lease, those aged 75 to 79 will have the option of a 20-year lease, and those aged 80 or older will have the option of a 15-year lease. On the other hand, those who prefer longer leases can choose to retain more than the min­imum required for their age, in 5-year incre­ments, up to a max­imum of 35 years. Any uncon­sumed lease will be refun­ded to the owner’s estate. A house­hold must have lived for at least 5 years and have at least 20 years of lease to sell to HDB to be eli­gible for the LBS.

New Asian Income Fund from NTUC Income

NTUC Income has just launched a new fund, Asian Income Fund, that intends to dis­trib­ute monthly dividend pay­out of 5–6% per annum.  It cap­tures the strong growth poten­tial of Asia through both equit­ies and bonds. Investors gain from an act­ive asset alloc­a­tion strategy which aims to max­im­ize yield and total return in dif­fer­ent mar­ket envir­on­ments (Recov­ery, Expan­sion, Slow­down and Recession).

More import­antly, NTUC Income will guar­an­tee 105% of the invest­ment amount or cash value, whichever is higher, in the event of untimely death or Total Per­man­ent Dis­ab­il­ity (TPD) before age 65, After age 65, it is 100% of the invest­ment amount or cash value, whichever is higher, in the event of untimely death.  This is on top of the monthly with­drawal of the dividends over the years.

The Cur­rent Pro­mo­tion offers a 10% bonus on the net amount of the new dis­tri­bu­tion declared for Asian Income Fund and will be given each month, up to 30 Octo­ber 2014. This bonus is only pay­able once for each dis­tri­bu­tion arising from net new invest­ments and top-ups. It is not applic­able to monthly dis­tri­bu­tion arising from switches into this fund. The bonus will be accu­mu­lated and pay­able together with the accu­mu­lated dis­tri­bu­tion 45 days after 30 Octo­ber 2014.

The Asian Income Fund is pay­able on a monthly basis with effect from Novem­ber 2014. There­after, NTUC Income intends to pay the dis­tri­bu­tion within 45 days from the declar­a­tion date, which is the 2nd last work­ing day of the month.

For example, if Mr Lee made a new invest­ment of $100,000 into Asian Income Fund on 20 May 2014 and received a monthly dis­tri­bu­tion of $480 for the month of May 2014 to Octo­ber 2014 as follows:

  May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Total
Monthly Dis­tri­bu­tion $480 $480 $480 $480 $480 $480 $2,880

The bonus pay­able based on the above example is $288.

Sub­scrip­tion Method: Cash/SRS

Asian Income Fund Factsheet is here at http://www.income.com.sg/fund/pdf/2014/AsianIncome(Apr).pdf

New Launch of SP SAIL

NTUC Income has just re-launched a new lim­ited tranche of Single Premium Savings/Endowment Plan, SP SAIL, with imme­di­ate effect. NTUC Income will stop accept­ing applic­a­tions once the alloc­a­tion is reached.

This is a guar­an­teed accept­ance sav­ings plan, which provides pro­tec­tion against Death and Total Per­man­ent Dis­ab­il­ity (TPD)

  • 105% of the single premium for stand­ard life or
  • 101% of the single premium for non-standard* life, plus 100% of the accu­mu­lated bonus.

The min­imum entry age is 25 Last Birth Date (LBD) and max­imum entry age is 60 LBD. The accu­mu­la­tion period is 10, 15, 20,25, 30 years or up to 55, 60, 62, 65 LBD. You can use cash or SRS money to save with SAIL. The min­imum amount for SAIL is $10,000.

 

What is SP SAIL plan?

SP SAIL is a single premium par­ti­cip­at­ing endow­ment or retire­ment plan with a min­imum accu­mu­la­tion period of 10 years. At the end of the accu­mu­la­tion period, you can choose to

  • with­draw the full matur­ity value, or
  • with­draw par­tial matur­ity amount and rede­posit the remain­ing cash with Income. The min­imum deposit amount is $10,000. You will then with­draw your sav­ings in 20 annual installments.
  • Save the full matur­ity amount with NTUC Income to with­draw your sav­ings over the next 20 annual install­ments. Some addi­tional con­ver­sion bonus will be given for this option.

Monthly pay­out is avail­able if the actual con­ver­sion value is $50,000 and above. The second or third option serves as a very good retire­ment plan that will com­ple­ment other annu­ity plan or CPF LIFE scheme man­dated by CPF Board, which provides streams of income pay­ment dur­ing the retire­ment years.

—————-

*Non-standard life refers to an insured suf­fer­ing from any of the fol­low­ing med­ical con­di­tions, at the time of applic­a­tion, within three months from cover start date:

  • Can­cer
  • Heart and/or Heart Valve Conditions
  • Chronic Kid­ney Disease
  • Stroke
  • Liver Cir­rhosis and/or End Stage Liver Failure
  • Sys­temic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Ter­minal Illness
  • Sev­er­ance or total loss of use of one or both limbs OR total loss of use of one or both eyes

Latest Regular Premium Plans Promotion from NTUC Income

NTUC Income has just launched the Reg­u­lar Premium Policies Pro­mo­tion from 8th Jan 2014 to 28th Feb­ru­ary 2014. You will receive up to $500^ Cap­it­aMall shop­ping vouch­ers when you apply dur­ing the pro­mo­tion period.

Min­imum   Monthly Premium

Vouch­ers   Amount

Premium   pay­ment term of 5 to 9 years

Premium   pay­ment term of 10  years and more

$300

-

$100

$500

$100

$200

$1000

$250

$500

^ For policies with premium pay­ment term of 5 to 9 years, voucher amount is capped at $250 per policy.

For policies with premium pay­ment term of 10 years and above, voucher amount is capped at $500 per policy.

The qual­i­fy­ing plans are as follows:-

1. Dream­Saver

2. Endow­ment Plan

3. Fam­ily Insur­ance Plan

4. Har­vest (GIO)

5. i-Term/e-Term

6. Mort­gage Plan

7. Protection/ Lim­ited Pay Protection

8. RevoSave/ Lim­ited Pay RevoSave/ Lim­ited Pay RevoSave (5-Pay-10)

9. SAIL (Reg­u­lar Premium)

10. Senior Plan

11. Vivo­C­are

12. VivoC­hild

13. Vivo­Life

14. VivoLink

15. VivoSave

Terms and Con­di­tions apply. Click here for more information.

Reduce Income Tax with Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)

Sup­ple­ment­ary Retire­ment Scheme (SRS) is a vol­un­tary sav­ing scheme intro­duced by the gov­ern­ment to encour­age Singa­por­eans to save more for their old age. Singa­por­eans and for­eign work­ers can open an SRS account at any branches of the 3 SRS Oper­at­ors — DBS, OCBC and UOB. Par­ti­cipants can then con­trib­ute up to $12,750 (for Singa­por­ean and Per­man­ent Res­id­ents, or $29,750 for for­eign work­ers) to SRS at their own dis­cre­tion yearly.

 

Bene­fits

One imme­di­ate bene­fit for par­ti­cip­at­ing in SRS is that you can claim tax relief for con­tri­bu­tions made to SRS. Each dol­lar of SRS con­tri­bu­tion will reduce your income chargeable to tax by a dol­lar. This works out to be a total sav­ings of up to $2,550, depend­ing on your Income Tax Bracket and the SRS con­tri­bu­tion. You will need to con­trib­ute to the SRS account before 31 Dec of each year in order to enjoy the tax relief in the next year of assess­ment of income tax.

Before end of this year, you can reduce your income tax by con­trib­ut­ing to your Sup­ple­ment­ary Retire­ment Scheme (SRS). And read on NTUC income products that will help to grow your SRS money that beat the silent thief, i.e. inflation.

Let’s look at the two examples below. Con­tinue read­ing