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Seniors who miss pioneer package still benefit

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SALMA KHALIK on 22 Feb 2014

Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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NO SINGAPOREAN LEFT BEHIND: HELP WITH HEALTH CARE


OLDER Singaporeans who miss being part of the pioneer generation group will still get a top-up of their Medisave accounts for the next five years.


The Government will give those born in 1959 or earlier – aged at least 55 this year – $100 or $200 a year.


Those living in homes with an annual value of up to $13,000 – which include most Housing Board flats – will get the higher $200 annual sum.


The rest in that age group will get a $100 top-up.


Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam explained the move: “We want to provide more support for other older Singaporeans.”


Mrs Yvonne Teo, 59, a retired executive, has three working children who help with the family finances. Her Medisave account is healthy after years of contributions, so she does not need the new top-up.


But when she heard that both she and her husband would each get $100 in their Medisave for the next five years, she said: “I’m delighted by the Government’s gesture and heartened that I’ve not been left out.”


Sociologist Paulin Straughan said the top-up “sends a message to the near-elderly that the Government hears their concerns”.


Boosting their Medisave also signals to them that when you are that age, you must prepare for unexpected health expenditure, she added.


Dr Lam Pin Min, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Health, called it a “good gesture” that shows the Government cares for all groups. He said: “I certainly hope that the Government will consider more top-ups and for a longer period in future Budgets.”


CONSIDER MORE TOP-UPS


I certainly hope that the Government will consider more top-ups and for a longer period in future Budgets.
– Dr Lam Pin Min, chairman of the GPC for Health


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

 

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