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Parliamentary Replies

Amount of Annual Medisave Top-Ups Under the Pioneer Generation Package

08 Sep 2014
Date: 8 September 2014
Parliamentary Question by Mr Christopher de Souza:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) if he can clarify whether those who are eligible for the annual Medisave top-ups as part of the Pioneer Generation Package will be given an increase in the annual Medisave top-ups when they move into the next age bracket; and (b) if there will not be an increase, what is the rationale for restricting the amount of annual Medisave top-ups given to these pioneers based on their year of birth rather than their age.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:
As part of the Pioneer Generation Package, pioneers will receive annual Medisave top-ups of $200 to $800[1] for life. The top-up amount for each pioneer is based on his or her year of birth, with a higher amount for earlier cohorts of pioneers.

The Pioneer Generation Medisave top-ups are structured this way, so as to provide extra benefit to earlier cohorts of Pioneers. The older Pioneers did not benefit as much from major enhancements in CPF and healthcare policies, such as Medisave (implemented in 1984), MediShield (1990) and the extra interest paid on lower CPF balances (2008). Hence, older Pioneers typically have less Medisave savings compared to younger cohorts. Secondly, while younger Pioneers receive lower Pioneer Generation Medisave top-ups, they are also likely to receive the top-ups over a longer period of time.

While the Medisave top-ups under the Pioneer Generation Package are based on the year of birth, the MediShield Life premium subsidy rate will increase as one gets older. This is because Medishield Life premiums for the population increase with age. The special subsidies for our Pioneers will ensure that the MediShield Life premiums continue to be affordable for pioneers as they age. The Pioneer Generation Package also provides the same level of outpatient subsidies to all pioneers regardless of age.

As Members are aware, the Pioneer Generation Package is given on top of the help that the Government provides for elderly Singaporeans through various other schemes. For instance, eligible elderly Singaporeans can benefit from GST Voucher - Medisave top-ups of $150 to $450 annually, with older Singaporeans receiving more. The Government also provides subsidies of up to 80% for Intermediate and Long-Term care (ILTC) services, and has expanded the use of the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund to provide greater support for low- to middle-income elderly receiving home nursing care services. Elderly Singaporeans who are unable to pay for healthcare can rely on additional assistance through Medifund Silver.



[1] Cohorts born (i) 1934 and earlier will receive $800; (ii) between 1935 and 1939 will receive $600; (iii) between 1940 and 1944 will receive $400; and (iv) between 1945 and 1949 will receive $200.