Singapore Budget 2015

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CPF ADVISORY PANEL

1)      The Government has been studying possible improvements to the CPF system to better meet our needs. Following extensive review and public consultation, the CPF Advisory Panel has made the following recommendations:

2)      There will be a more flexible CPF system.

  • ·         For those turning 55 in 2016, instead of one CPF Minimum Sum, there will be three different levels of Retirement Sums to choose from.
  • ·         The amount that is set aside in the Retirement Account at 55 will determine the lifelong monthly payout received from 65.

Retirement Sum Options

Monthly payout for life

Basic Retirement sum  (with property[1]) $80,500 $650 – $700
Full retirement sum $161,000 $1.200 – $1,300
Enhanced Retirement Sum $241,500 $1,750 – $1,900
[1] Subject to a pledge/ charge

 

  • ·         Lump Sum Withdrawal: If you turn 55 after 2013 (members who turned 55 earlier were already able to withdraw more of their savings at 55 under the old rules), there will be the option to withdraw up to 20% of our Retirement Account saving at age 65, inclusive of the $5,000 that you can withdraw at age 55.  However, this means a lower monthly payout after you take out the lump sum.
  • ·         Put more savings in CPF LIFE: There will be the option to top up your CPF savings to the Enhanced Retirement Sum to receive a higher monthly payout.
  • ·         Start payouts later: You can choose to start receiving payouts later, up to age 70, to receive a higher monthly payout.

3)      As such, Singaporeans should consider how much we would need in retirement and ask ourselves how much monthly payout we would like to have. For example:

  • ·         If we want to receive $1,200 for life, we will need to set aside the Full Retirement Sum of $161,000.

4)      Singaporeans should also consider saving more in CPF as it allows us to enjoy a higher interest rate that is guaranteed and risk free. For example:

  • ·         If you have $80,000 at age 55 and leave it in CPF to earn interest, this amount can grow to $124,000 or so by the time you reach 65.

5)      There is also more assurance for CPF members:

  • ·         To help you plan for retirement earlier, your Basic Retirement Sum will be made known to you ahead of time.
  • ·         For members turning 55 between 2017-2020, the Basic Retirement Sum for each year will be increased by 3% from the previous year.

6)      With these enhancements, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, Singaporeans will now have more options andgreater flexibility to decide what is needed for retirement. This will give greater assurance and peace of mind when preparing for retirement.

For more information, please visit www.cpfpanel.sg

MEDISHIELD LIFE

1. When implemented in end-2015, MediShield Life will:

a. Give all Singaporeans better coverage, for life. Including those who are very old or have pre-existing conditions.

b. Offer better protection against large hospital bills and expensive subsidised outpatient treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer.

2. Premiums will be very affordable with Government support. The following illustrates the support one can expect to get automatically, without submitting any application forms:

a. All Singapore citizens who experience a net increase in premiums will receive Transitional Subsidies for the first four years.

i. First year: 90% subsidies on the net increase in premiums (up from 80% announced previously)

ii. Second year: 70% subsidies on the net increase in premiums (up from 60% announced previously)

iii. Third year: 40% subsidies on the net increase in premiums

iv. Fourth year: 20% subsidies on the net increase in premiums

b. Lower- to middle-income Singaporeans will receive Premium Subsidies, a permanent feature of MediShield Life.

c. Members of the Pioneer Generation will get special subsidies for life. They will also receive Medisave top-ups for life, depending on when they were born.

d. Working Singaporeans will receive an additional 1% employer Medisave contribution to help them save more for their healthcare needs.

e. Those aged 55-64 in 2014 (born between 1950 to 1959) to will receive Medisave top-ups for the next 5 years (from 2014).

f. Additional Premium Support will be available for those who cannot afford their premiums even after subsidies. No one will lose MediShield Life coverage because of financial difficulties.

3. The full premiums may be paid for using Medisave. For those who have insufficient Medisave balances (e.g. homemakers), their premiums can be paid for by family members who are working. Medisave accounts may also be topped up with cash to pay for the premiums.

4. The MediShield Life Scheme Bill has been passed in Parliament to provide for the implementation and administration of MediShield Life.

For more information, please refer to the attached materials: 1) Keeping premiums affordable for MediShield Life; and 2) Recap on the “8 things to know about MediShield Life”

For more information on MediShield Life, please visit : www.medishieldlife.sg.

For access to the MediShield Life Premiums Calculator which estimates the expected MediShield Life premiums payable, please visit : https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/medishield-life/premium-calculator.html

YOUR QUERIES ANSWERED
The PGPU assists OLs on queries you may have with regards to certain government policies, by checking with relevant ministries/ agencies. We share some of the useful information here:

Query from Opinion Leader: The government recently announced that with effect from 1 Jan 15, lower to middle income Singaporeans will enjoy more subsidies on subsidised medication at polyclinics and subsidised Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs). However this does not apply to ALL medications issued by doctors. Why is this so?

Reply from the Ministry of Health:
1. The Government subsidises drugs on the Standard Drug List (SDL) and the Medication Assistance Fund (MAF). The list of subsidised drugs can be found on the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/costs_and_financing/schemes_subsidies/drug_subsidies.html

2. The list of subsidised drugs is reviewed on an ongoing basis to take into account changes in clinical practice, advances in medical science and evolving needs of patients. The assessment is done by the Drug Advisory Committee (DAC) which comprises of senior clinicians, and chaired by the Director of Medical Services.

3. Three main factors are considered when determining whether a drug can be subsidised:

a. Whether the drug is essential for treatment of medical conditions

b. Whether the drug offers a major improvement in terms of efficacy and effectiveness

c. Whether there is sufficient evidence of long term safety and cost-benefits of the drug

4. About 90% of the drugs prescribed at public healthcare institutions are standard drugs.

5. Eligible patients who require non-standard drugs can apply for subsidies under the MAF.

HELPING SINGAPOREAN- FOREIGN COUPLES BETTER PLAN FOR THEIR FUTURE

The following News Highlights covers the two topics:

i) Housing Measures

ii) Helping Singaporean- Foreign couples better plan for their future

 

HOUSING MEASURES

a. Helping families live closer to each other

 

1. As part of the government’s commitment to help families who wish to live closer to each other, the government will be adopting suggestions that came up during the recent Housing Conversations on “Closer Families, Stronger Ties”.

2. BTO exercises in future will set aside a proportion of new flats for families who want to live with, or close by.

i. First priority will be given to those who are applying to live together.

ii. First priority will also be given to parents who own a flat in a mature estate, and are applying for a flat in a non-mature estate to live near their married child.

3. These measures will take effect at the next

BTO launch in November 2014.

 

b. Slowing down supply of BTOs

1. Over the last 3 years, HDB has ramped up the supply of BTO flats (77,000 units). Efforts have effectively cleared waiting queues especially for first timers.

2. Now that the housing market is stabilising, the government will need to slow down to prevent an oversupply in the public housing market.

3. After studying BTO application rates carefully to ensure demand continues to be met, the government will:

i. Further reduce the number of BTO flats launched by 25% in 2015 (16,000 units). In 2014, the number of BTO flats was already reduced by 10% (22,400 units).

ii. BTO exercises will be launched every quarter (ie 4 times a year), instead of every other month (ie 6 times a year). The launch size will be kept at 4,000 units to ensure a good spread so that buyers continue to have choices.

4. These measures will take effect in 2015.

 

For more information on Housing Measures:

https://mndsingapore.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/living-close-by-is-cool/

http://mndsingapore.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/changing-gear/

 

HELPING SINGAPOREAN- FOREIGN COUPLES BETTER PLAN FOR THEIR FUTURE

1. Over the years, there have been more marriages between Singaporeans and foreigners.

i. In 2013, 3 in 10 marriages were between a Singaporean and a non-resident.

2. To help these prospective couples better plan for the future and build the foundation for a strong marriage, the government will:

i. Revise the Long Term Visit Pass process to provide greater clarity prior to marriage, on whether foreign spouses can qualify for a long term stay in Singapore;

ii. Introduce Marriage Preparation and Support programmes to help these couples better integrate into the local community; and

iii. Make it easier for foreign spouses to boost family finances and seek employment in Singapore.

3. Please see annex A for more details on new measures.

Promoting the extension of re-employment age till 67 and key points from PM Lee’s speech at NUSS

The following News Highlights covers the two topics:

i)                    Promoting the extension of re-employment age till 67; and

ii)                   Key points from PM Lee’s speech at NUSS

PROMOTING THE EXTENSION OF RE-EMPLOYMENT AGE TILL 67

 

The Public Service Division has announced that from 1 January 2015, eligible public servants can be re-employed after they turn 65, up to the age of 67.  This announcement comes after the Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers (Tricom) recommended promoting the extension of re-employment age to 67 by providing incentive support.

 

The following are the main details of the re-employment of older workers:

 

1.       The Government is committed to helping older workers who can and want to continue working do so.

 

2.       The Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers’ (Tricom) has recommended providing incentives to encourage firms to re-employ their older workers beyond age 65.

 

a.       The incentives will be announced in Budget 2015, and backdated to 1 Jan 2015.

b.      This will give companies time to adjust before legislation kicks in, in a few years.

3.       From 1 Jan 2015, the Public Service will take the lead to offer re-employment to all eligible officers till age 67.

 

a.       Currently, public officers are re-employed up to age 65 when they reach the retirement age of 62.

b.      Already, some public agencies have voluntarily re-employed officers beyond age 65, if officers wish to continue working and can continue to contribute to the agency.

For more information on the Tricom recommendations and Advisory on Re-Employment: http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/Pages/PressReleasesDetail.aspx?listid=589

 

KEY POINTS FROM PM LEE’S SPEECH AT NUSS

 

Speaking at the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) Lecture on Friday, 3 October 2014 , Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about Singapore’s future as it enters a phase of transition.  The following recaps the key points of the speech by Prime Minister Lee:

 

1.    We have embarked on our New Way Forward. These are good-hearted and necessary shifts.

 

c.       More risk-sharing. For example: MediShield Life subsidies

d.      More support for the elderly. For example: Pioneer Generation Package, Silver Support

e.      Keeping pathways upwards open to all. For example: ASPIRE/ SkillsFuture

2.    However, we cannot be all Heart, and no Head. We will need to be hard-headed also.

 

a.       Because we have to do good-hearted things the right way

b.      Because we have to be good-hearted not only to ourselves, but to our children and grandchildren

i           For example, in CPF, it would be irresponsible to make our children fund our retirement, as some countries have done.

ii         Instead, we spend within our means.

3.    We need growth and prosperity so that we can be good-hearted.

 

a.       A rich society may not always be happy. But poor societies rarely are.

b.      Growth doesn’t solve all problems, but without it, we will not be able to do many important things for Singaporeans.

i           For example, if we close our doors to all foreign PMEs, companies may not want to come here, and Singaporeans will not have jobs in these companies also.

ii         Instead, we remain open, but make sure that Singaporeans can compete fairly and thrive

4.    We will address Singaporeans’ anxieties where we can, but we must also be honest and clear about what needs to be done.

 

5.    By striking the right balance, we can be more confident of a brighter future.

 

Related article on PM Lee’s Speech at NUSS:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-must-be-both/1396758.html#

STAGGERED DOWNPAYMENT FOR RIGHT-SIZING TO 2-ROOM OR 3-ROOM FLATS

The following News Highlights covers the two topics:

i)                    Staggered downpayment for right-sizing to 2-Room or 3-Room flats; and

ii)                   Population In Brief report 2014

STAGGERED DOWNPAYMENT FOR RIGHT-SIZING TO 2-ROOM OR 3-ROOM FLATS

 

At the latest Build-To-Order (BTO) launch on Wednesday, 24 September 2014, HDB announced that existing flat owners who right-size to a new 2-room or 3-room flat in a non-mature estate/town will be able to enjoy the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, where they pay half the downpayment for the new flat.

 

The following are the main details of the Staggered Downpayment Scheme.

 

1.       HDB flat owners who wish to right-size to a 2-room or 3-room BTO/Sale of Balance flat will now only need to pay half of the downpayment when they sign the Agreement for Lease

 

a.         A 5% downpayment to be paid upfront for HDB loan cases or those who do not need a loan, down from the existing 10%.

b.        A 10% downpayment to be paid upfront for loans taken from financial institutions (regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore), down from the existing 20%.

2.       They only need to pay the other half of the downpayment together with the balance purchase price of the new flat when the new flat is ready and they collect the keys.

3.       This will help HDB flat owners who want to right-size but cannot pay the full downpayment because their funds are tied up in the existing flat.

4.       Who are eligible for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme?

a.         They have applied to buy a 2-room or 3-room flat in Build-To-Order/Sale of Balance Flat exercises from September 2014 onwards (The next Sale of Balance Flats exercise is in November 2014);

b.        The new flat is in a non-mature estate; and

c.         They have not sold their existing flat (or the sale of the existing flat has not been legally completed) when they apply for a new flat.

5.       Flat owners do not need to apply for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme. The HDB will automatically extend it to those who are eligible.

More information on the Staggered Downpayment Scheme:

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10321p.nsf/w/BuyingNewFlatSDSFlatLevies
http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10296p.nsf/PressReleases/D7803F9C33FE714148257D5D00095369?OpenDocument

 

POPULATION IN BRIEF

 

The National Population and Talent Division released its annual publication Population in Brief report on Thursday, 25 September 2014. The report provides relevant information on Singapore’s population landscape and contains a collation of key population indicators and demographic trends.

 

The following highlights the main findings of the report:

 

1.       Overall:

a.         Slowest population growth in the last decade (1.3%).

b.        As of June 2014, Singapore’s total population was 5.47 million

2.       Citizen/PR population:

a.         Citizen population grew by 0.9% while PR population remained stable.

b.        Our citizen population continues to age – percentage aged 65 and above higher than last year.

c.         Ethnic profile of citizen population remains stable.

d.        Fewer Singaporeans are getting married, and having children. Our total fertility rate dipped from 1.29 in 2012 (Dragon Year) to 1.19 in 2013 across all ethnic groups.

3.       Non-resident population: (This group is not here for good – It is made up of foreign workers, employment pass (EP) holders, students – and depends on the state of our economy)

 

a.         Growth of this group slowed – mainly due to concrete steps taken to slow foreign workforce growth to a more sustainable pace.

b.        Bulk of foreign employment growth was in construction – to support infrastructure projects (building homes, MRT projects and hospitals).

 

4.       Businesses will face a tight labour market as we restructure the economy.

a.         Singapore remains business friendly.

b.        Government programmes are helping businesses to become more productive and rely less on foreign workers.

c.         Businesses can grow and succeed here, and create quality jobs for Singaporeans.


To download the full report:

http://www.nptd.gov.sg/content/NPTD/news/_jcr_content/par_content/download_118/file.res/population-in-brief-2014.pdf

Benefits for Pioneers at Subsidised Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) in Public Hospitals

BENEFITS FOR PIONEERS

AT SUBSIDISED SPECIALIST OUTPATIENT CLINICS (SOCs) IN PUBLIC HOSPITALS

 

The Government has introduced the Pioneer Generation (PG) Package to honour and thank our pioneers for their hard work and dedication.  The PG Package will help Pioneers with their healthcare costs for life:

 

i)                    Annual Medisave top-ups of between $200 to $800 (beginning July 2014);

ii)                  Subsidised outpatient care at polyclinics and SOCs (September 2014);

iii)                 Support for MediShield Life Premiums with special premium subsidies (late 2015).

 

 

From 1 September 2014, all Pioneers can receive an additional 50% off for subsidised services at the subsidised SOCs.  Here are some FAQs for Pioneers who are looking to benefit from the additional subsidies.

 

 

Q1) What is the difference between patients from subsidised SOCs and private SOCs?

 

SUBSIDISED Patients

PRIVATE Patients

Receive treatment at subsidised SOCs at public hospitals Receive treatment at private hospital or public hospital private SOC
No choice of doctor Able to choose your doctor
From 1 Sep 2014: Receive additional 50% off forsubsidised services at subsidised SOCs

 

From 1 Jan 2015: Receive additional 50% off forsubsidised drugs

Receive NO subsidies

(regardless of PG status or Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) card holder)

 

 

 

 

Q2) How do I receive treatment at the subsidised SOCs?

 

NEW Patients

CURRENT Patients

If you are not yet a patient at the public hospital SOC, visit a doctor at a polyclinic or a CHAS clinic.

 

Your doctor will refer you to the subsidised SOC where a team of healthcare professionals will provide care for you.

If you are currently a patient at a public hospitalprivate SOC, you may approach the SOC staff for assistance on switching to the subsidised SOC.

 

 


Q3) Is there additional financial help available for Pioneers at subsidised SOCs?

 

Pioneers who need additional financial help would be able to enjoy higher subsidies for subsidised SOC services through the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).  Please refer to Annex A for some examples.

 

Type of
CHAS Card

Criteria

on household income per person

Subsidy for subsidised SOC services

Pioneer Generation Card

TOTAL SUBSIDY RECEIVED

(From 1 Sep 2014)

Blue CHAS Card Up to $1,100

70%

Additional 50% off subsidised services

85%

Orange CHAS Card Between $1,100 – $1,800

60%

80%

No CHAS Card more than $1,800

50%

75%

 

 

Q4) How do I qualify for the CHAS card?

 

Pioneers without CHAS Card

Pioneers with Blue/ Orange CHAS Card

You may approach SOC or polyclinic staff for help.

 

Application forms are also available at Public Hospitals, Polyclinics, Community Centres/Clubs or Community Development Councils.

 

Visit www.chas.sg for more information

Renew your CHAS card once every two yearsto continue to enjoy CHAS subsidies in addition to your PG subsidies.

 

If you are unsure of your whether you have been assessed before, you can call 1800-650-6060 to check

 

 

Q4) What cards do I need to bring along when I visit the doctor at the SOC?

 

  • ·         When visiting a subsidised SOC or polyclinic, remember to bring along your CHAS card and PG card
  • ·         Do not worry if you forget to bring your PG card to the subsidised SOC or polyclinic, as your information will be in the computer system.

A Future based on Skills and Mastery & Household Expenditure Survey 2012/13

A FUTURE BASED ON SKILLS AND MASTERY AND
HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURE SURVEY 2012/2013

 

The following News Highlights covers the two topics:

i)                    A Future Based on Skills and Mastery

ii)                   Household Expenditure Survey

A FUTURE BASED ON SKILLS AND MASTERY

 

Speaking at the opening of the Lifelong Learning Institute on Wednesday 17 September 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam highlighted the importance of lifelong learning and developing an ethos of cherishing and respecting the mastery of skills as Singapore moves into a new phase of development.

 

The Lifelong Learning Institute is a Continuing Education & Training (CET) campus built by Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) for adult learning. The 30,000 sqm campus aims to make training and skills upgrading easily accessible to the local workforce.

 

The following recaps the key points of the Speech by DPM Tharman at the Opening of the Lifelong Learning Institute on our SkillsFuture.   

 

1.       Singapore must continue to be a place where everyone has the opportunity to succeed no matter what their starting point.

 

2.       We must adopt a “meritocracy for life” – one where you are assessed on your performance at every stage of your life, not just what you achieved in school at 18 or 24.

 

3.       To move to the next stage of development, Singapore must have a first-rate system of continuing education and training. Every Singaporean should be able to learn throughout his or her life.

 

4.       We must move beyond paper qualifications and move towards mastering skills. And we must respect such mastery no matter what the job.

 

5.       As such the Government has done the following:

a.       Accepted the ASPIRE recommendations, which aim to strengthen the polytechnic/ ITE pathways.

b.      Developed a new CET Masterplan to:

i)        revamp continuous education and training;

ii)       provide wider range of high quality learning opportunities; and

iii)     enable all Singaporeans, regardless of qualifications, to build and deepen their skills throughout their careers.

 

c.       Set up a new SkillsFuture Council bringing together Government agencies, labour unions and employers  to drive this new plan forward.

6.       We want to help everyone develop the skills relevant to the future, and we must build a future based on skills and mastery, in every job.

7.       This requires a national effort. We all have a role to play – Government, individuals, employers, training and learning institutions.

  • ·      More Information on SkillsFuture will be released soon
  • ·      More information on CET Masterplan 2020:

http://www.wda.gov.sg/content/wdawebsite/L209-001About-Us/L219-PressReleases/16_Sep_2014.html

  • ·      For a summary of DPM Tharman’s Speech, please see Annex A

 

HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURE SURVEY 2012/2013

 

The Department of Statistics released its Household Expenditure Survey (HES) 2012/13. The HES is conducted once every five years and includes topics such as household consumption expenditure, households’ income, socio-economic characteristics and ownership of selected consumer durables.

 

A total of 11,050 households were interviewed between October 2012 and September 2013. These included HDB dwellings, condominiums and other apartments, landed properties and other types of dwellings. The selected sample was representative of the broad national dwelling type distribution.

 

The following highlights the main findings of the HES 2012/2013.

 

1.       Singapore resident households are earning more compared to 5 years ago

  • ·           Average monthly household incomes from all sources rose – average income was $10,500 in 2012/2013 compared to $8,110 in 2007/2008.

2.      Households across all income groups saw their incomes rise during this period.

  • ·           Those in the lower to middle income groups (up to 60th percentile) saw their income increase faster than those in the top 40% with those in the lowest 20% income group experiencing the fastest growth.
  • ·           Households in the lowest 20% income group also saw their income increase at a faster rate between 2007/2008 and 2012/2013 than in the period 2002/03 to 2007/08.

 

3.       While households are spending more, their income has grown more than their expenses.

  • ·           Compared to the rise in average household income (5.3% per annum), average household expenditure rose by a lower 4.4 % per annum.
  • ·           Expenses increased partly because households are buying better quality and higher-end products and services.
  • ·           For example, they are spending more on eating out at restaurants, cafes and pubs.

 

4.       Households are enjoying a better standard of living.

  • ·           There is rising ownership of household durables. Ownership of TV and washing machines is near universal. More households also own better quality items like LCD and LED TVs compared to CRT TVs.
  • ·           More also own mobile phones, personal computers and have air conditioning in their homes. Ownership of these items has increased not only among the higher income groups but also the lower income groups.

 

5.       Government transfers amounted to a significant share of household income for lower income groups.

  • ·           The bottom 20% households received government transfers amounting to 90% of their annual household income before the transfers.
  • ·           These include regular transfers like Workfare Income Supplement and GST vouchers; government subsidies/rebates such as Education and Child Care subsidies which offset expenditure; and ad-hoc transfers such as baby bonus.

 

 

Detailed findings on HES 2012/13: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/publications/publications_and_papers/household_income_and_expenditure/household.html

 

Related Articles on HES 2012/13:

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/12-interesting-trends-about-singapore-household-income-a

http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/more-households-be-interviewed-household-expenditure-survey-next-month


Staggered downpayment for righ-sizing to smaller flats & Population in Brief

The following News Highlights covers the two topics:

i)                    Staggered downpayment for right-sizing to 2-Room or 3-Room flats; and

ii)                   Population In Brief report 2014

STAGGERED DOWNPAYMENT FOR RIGHT-SIZING TO 2-ROOM OR 3-ROOM FLATS

 

At the latest Build-To-Order (BTO) launch on Wednesday, 24 September 2014, HDB announced that existing flat owners who right-size to a new 2-room or 3-room flat in a non-mature estate/town will be able to enjoy the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, where they pay half the downpayment for the new flat.

 

The following are the main details of the Staggered Downpayment Scheme.

 

1.       HDB flat owners who wish to right-size to a 2-room or 3-room BTO/Sale of Balance flat will now only need to pay half of the downpayment when they sign the Agreement for Lease

 

a.         A 5% downpayment to be paid upfront for HDB loan cases or those who do not need a loan, down from the existing 10%.

b.        A 10% downpayment to be paid upfront for loans taken from financial institutions (regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore), down from the existing 20%.

2.       They only need to pay the other half of the downpayment together with the balance purchase price of the new flat when the new flat is ready and they collect the keys.

3.       This will help HDB flat owners who want to right-size but cannot pay the full downpayment because their funds are tied up in the existing flat.

4.       Who are eligible for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme?

a.         They have applied to buy a 2-room or 3-room flat in Build-To-Order/Sale of Balance Flat exercises from September 2014 onwards (The next Sale of Balance Flats exercise is in November 2014);

b.        The new flat is in a non-mature estate; and

c.         They have not sold their existing flat (or the sale of the existing flat has not been legally completed) when they apply for a new flat.

5.       Flat owners do not need to apply for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme. The HDB will automatically extend it to those who are eligible.

More information on the Staggered Downpayment Scheme:

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10321p.nsf/w/BuyingNewFlatSDSFlatLevies
http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10296p.nsf/PressReleases/D7803F9C33FE714148257D5D00095369?OpenDocument

 

POPULATION IN BRIEF

 

The National Population and Talent Division released its annual publication Population in Brief report on Thursday, 25 September 2014. The report provides relevant information on Singapore’s population landscape and contains a collation of key population indicators and demographic trends.

 

The following highlights the main findings of the report:

 

1.       Overall:

a.         Slowest population growth in the last decade (1.3%).

b.        As of June 2014, Singapore’s total population was 5.47 million

2.       Citizen/PR population:

a.         Citizen population grew by 0.9% while PR population remained stable.

b.        Our citizen population continues to age – percentage aged 65 and above higher than last year.

c.         Ethnic profile of citizen population remains stable.

d.        Fewer Singaporeans are getting married, and having children. Our total fertility rate dipped from 1.29 in 2012 (Dragon Year) to 1.19 in 2013 across all ethnic groups.

3.       Non-resident population: (This group is not here for good – It is made up of foreign workers, employment pass (EP) holders, students – and depends on the state of our economy)

 

a.         Growth of this group slowed – mainly due to concrete steps taken to slow foreign workforce growth to a more sustainable pace.

b.        Bulk of foreign employment growth was in construction – to support infrastructure projects (building homes, MRT projects and hospitals).

 

4.       Businesses will face a tight labour market as we restructure the economy.

a.         Singapore remains business friendly.

b.        Government programmes are helping businesses to become more productive and rely less on foreign workers.

c.         Businesses can grow and succeed here, and create quality jobs for Singaporeans.


To download the full report:

http://www.nptd.gov.sg/content/NPTD/news/_jcr_content/par_content/download_118/file.res/population-in-brief-2014.pdf