I thank Mr Madusoodanan Janardanan Pillai for his letter (Have CPF Board manage SNTC funds, instead of Public Trustee's Office; April 4).
Putting aside whether the Central Provident Fund Board has the proper mandate to manage funds for persons with special needs, I would like to highlight that the Public Trustee's fees are substantially lower than those of any commercial fund manager.
In addition, the Public Trustee's involvement provides parents with the confidence that their funds will be properly managed and are free from bankruptcy risk.
Taken as a whole, the Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC) provides an extremely affordable trust service not found anywhere else in Asia.
Professional trustee services in Singapore are unaffordable to most parents and I believe that the SNTC plays a valuable role in protecting people with special needs.
To ensure parents of children with special needs grow their assets, SNTC works with them to develop a proper financial plan.
For example, there is no need for parents to settle all their assets into an SNTC trust from the onset. Parents should attempt to grow their assets during their lifetime in other ways.
It is only when parents become elderly, or when one parent has died, that an SNTC trust account should be opened.
After settling a trust with SNTC, the parents may then provide a necessary bequest by will or nominate an insurance policy to be paid to SNTC upon their death.
In this way, parents may invest and grow their assets during their lifetime and yet have peace of mind that their dependents will be protected financially when they are no longer around.
The Public Trustee's valuable role in the SNTC scheme is demonstrated by the fact that jurisdictions like Japan and Hong Kong, which are looking to set up similar schemes, have not done so to date because they are unable to find a partner like the Public Trustee.
Tang Hang Wu
Director, Special Needs Trust Company