"Between now and 2030, the number of elderly
aged 65 years or older will increase dramatically, from 300,000 to
900,000. 1 in 5 Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above by 2030.
"We will need to provide a wide range of
housing options to meet the different financial needs and lifestyle
preferences of the elderly, from smaller HDB flats like studio
apartments, to private retirement housing with dedicated care
"Our own population is ageing - current
projections show that one-in-five Singaporeans will be over the
age of 65 by 2030...
been two years since we introduced the parenthood
we have seen some positive results - there were about
240 more births from January to June 2006 compared to
the same period in 2005, and about 400 more births in
2005 compared to 2004. This is a positive reversal
which comes after four consecutive years of
To help elderly and low-income Singaporeans cope
with their healthcare needs, I will top up the Eldercare Fund and
Medifund by $100 million each.
For Singaporeans aged 50 and above, I will top-up
their CPF Special or Retirement and Medisave accounts. These
top-ups will be tiered by age and Annual Value (AV).
Those aged 60 and above who live in a property with
an AV of $6,000 and below will get the largest top-up of $800.
Those aged between 50 and 59 staying in properties with AV above
$10,000 will receive the lowest amount of $100. We will divide
the top-ups equally between the CPF Special or Retirement Account
and the Medisave Account to cater to both retirement and
healthcare needs. The top-ups will be made on 1 May 2006. They
are expected to cost the Government $500 million.
"Our society will have to make many
adjustments as our population grows older. We need to put in place
policies and programmes to enable Singaporeans to live more
meaningful and fulfilling lives in their golden years.
"We must review issues such as
elder-friendly housing, barrier-free access to buildings and public
transport, and affordable medical care during old age. These issues
will become increasingly important to the growing numbers of senior
citizens. The Committee on Ageing Issues (CAI) has been studying
them and will publish its report soon.
"In addition, the Tripartite Committee on
Employability of Older Workers has just put out its recommendations
to make it easier for older workers to stay employed. The Government
supports these recommendations, and will work with its tripartite
partners to help older workers upgrade their skills, find jobs, and
contribute in productive ways to our society..."
"As a result of direct Government subsidies,
the average Class B2/C bills are relatively modest. In 2004, the average
bill size for Class B2 and C wards were around $1,050 and $800
"As at end-December 2004, the average
Medisave balance for all active accounts was $17,321. This is enough
to cover more than 20 times the average Class C
hospital bill or 10 times the 90th percentile Class C
"By 2030, one in
five Singaporeans will be at least 60 years old. With
families getting smaller, we will have fewer children around
to support us in our old age.
"Part of the answer is to
get workers to work longer and retire later. But another
part is to ensure that Singaporeans have enough savings to
continue enjoying financial security and good medical care
throughout our lives.....
"To encourage extended family living, HDB
will extend the $12,000 monthly income ceiling to extended families
buying resale HDB flats with the CPF Housing Grant. The revised policy
will apply with immediate effect...
"To facilitate the elderly to buy SAs, buyers
aged at least 55 years will now be able to use their CPF to buy SAs
after they have set aside at least the full cash component of their
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Dr Vivian Balakrishnan:
and MOH’s budget for eldercare services for FY05 translates to a
total of $98 million, comprising $12 million from MCYS and $86
million from MOH. This represents an annual growth of 4.5% from
$82 million in FY2001.
"Much of MCYS’ expenditure for the elderly goes into the Eldercare
Masterplan, where we fund VWOs to run a range of eldercare
services. They range from developmental
programmes for the healthy to services for the frail.
We are currently reviewing our range of services
and developing a new Eldercare Masterplan
for FY2006 to FY2010
in consultation with our service providers and users.
Employment Opportunities for Older Workers
job opportunities for older Singaporeans.
This is one of the CAI’s
As a start, we need to review the
retirement age policy, identify employment opportunities for the
elderly, promote elder-friendly work and HR practices, and explore
the possibility of establishing informal industries and
micro-credit as Ms Penny Low.MCYS
will work with relevant partners, including MOM, to address these
"On informal industries, my Ministry will pilot
a community platform where the elderly or homemakerscan
make a living selling their own products, crafts or service.
We will also study whether the lack of micro financing is
an obstacle that prevents this from taking off.
Promoting Active Ageing
active after retirement, whether through work, volunteering, or
pursuing a hobby, is important in delaying the onset of
degenerative diseases typically affecting the elderly...
encourage active ageing, my Ministry runs the Active Seniors
Programme(ASP for short). This is a scheme that
funds up to $200,000 to community groups who want to start
projects that tap on the skills and experience of older
Singaporeans. Over 3,000 elderly volunteers have been
mobilised under ASP projects.
One such project is a mentoring programme run by
local NGO, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (or RSVP for
short) which engages seniors in mentoring latchkey students.
encourage more and a wider variety of projects, MCYS will set
aside $200,000 out of the $1 million ASP fund for small-scale
projects worth $10,000 or less.
Ministry will organise more elderly-focused events,
starting with an Inter-Generation Bonding Family Day in June 2005,
and a Sports and Mind-Games Carnival in September 2005, in
addition to the Senior Citizen’s Weeks every November.
will also give the elderly more reasons to be active. Some
businesses offer discounts to elderly during the annual Senior
Citizens’ Week. MCYS will build on this arrangement to
introduce a Concessionary Card for seniors aged 65 and
above. Examples of benefits could include discounts at
leisure and sports facilities, shopping centres and eateries.
In addition, MCYS will introduce an annual “Elder-Friendly
Award” to organisations that adopt
elder-friendly practices or provide elder-friendly infrastructure,
services or products.
EXCERPTED FROM Source:
www.mcys.gov.sg Press Release
11 Mar 2005