130,000 Yet to Qualify For ERS24 Dec 2004
About 130,000 Singaporeans have yet to qualify for their ERS in 2005 because they have not put $50 into their CPF Account this year. Some 2.05 million Singaporeans will receive their third lot of Economic Restructuring Shares (ERS) on 1 January 2005. Another 70,000 will get their ERS on 1 February 2005. The Government urges the 130,000 Singaporeans to take action to qualify before the closing date of 31 December 2004.
2 The ERS is part of an offset package to help cover the increase in GST from 3% to 5%. It comes in three lots. Eligible Singaporeans received their first and second lots in early 2003 and 2004, amounting to $870m and $814m, respectively. Thus far, Singaporeans have exchanged $596m and $585m worth of ERS for cash for the first and second lot respectively.
Keeping ERS for Bonus Shares
3 The CPF Board will be sending out mail packages to inform the 2.05 million Singaporeans of their allotment. About 90% will receive an allotment of $400. There is no deadline for exchanging the ERS for cash. The Government will give Singaporeans bonus shares on 1 March every year up to 2008 based on their ERS balance as at 31 December the year before, at 3% plus real GDP growth rate. Thus if the economy grows by 8% this year, the bonus shares will amount to 11%.
Exchanging ERS for Cash
4 Singaporeans who wish to exchange ERS for cash can do so using ATMs (DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB groups) or the ERS website (www.ers.org.sg). They can also use application forms at Singapore Post branches. There is no need to visit the CPF offices.
Do Not Miss Out on ERS
5. Singaporeans who have not qualified for ERS should contribute $50 by 31 December 2004. They can do so in the following ways:
- Internet Direct Debit - at the ERS website if they have DBS/POSB or UOB Internet banking accounts
- Cheque - made payable to `CPF Board', and sent to CPF Board, Robinson Road, P.O. Box 197, Singapore 900347
- NETS - at Singapore Post offices or Self-Automated Machines (SAM)
- Cash - at Singapore Post offices
6. No one should miss out on the ERS. Singaporeans should remind their family members, relatives and friends to contribute. Those who need financial help can approach their Citizens' Consultative Committees (CCCs) in the Community Centres and Clubs. For more information on the ERS, please visit the ERS website (www.ers.org.sg) or call the ERS Hotline at 1800-5-377-377 (1800-5-ERS-ERS).
MINISTRY OF FINANCE