1.54m S'poreans to get letters on Budget benefits

Customers queuing at a bank to encash their GST Voucher scheme cheques in 2012.
Customers queuing at a bank to encash their GST Voucher scheme cheques in 2012. PHOTO: ST FILE

$890m worth of GST Vouchers and Medisave top-ups will be given out

Some 1.54 million eligible Singaporeans will receive letters informing them of their 2016 GST Voucher, Medisave top-ups and other Budget benefits by July 1.

The GST or Goods and Services Tax Voucher handouts and Medi- save top-ups are worth about $890 million, the Ministry of Finance announced yesterday.

Under the GST Voucher benefits, an estimated 1.3 million Singaporeans will each get up to $300 in cash.

On top of that, the Government also announced in Budget 2016 a one-off GST Voucher - called the "cash special payment" - of up to $200 to support households amid the current economic slowdown.

This means that eligible GST Voucher recipients could each get up to $500 in cash this year, which will be disbursed in two payments in August and November.

Meanwhile, about 425,000 Singaporeans aged 65 years and above will receive Medisave top-ups of up to $450 each in August.

Under the GST Voucher benefits, an estimated 1.3 million Singaporeans will each receive up to $300 in cash. On top of that, the Government also announced in Budget 2016 a one-off GST Voucher - called the "cash special payment" - of up to $200 to support households amid the current economic slowdown.

Pioneers will also receive their Pioneer Generation Medisave top-ups of between $200 and $800 next month.

Singaporeans are eligible for Pioneer Generation benefits if they are aged 67 and above this year, and obtained citizenship before 1987.

In addition, Singaporeans aged 57 and above this year who are not eligible for Pioneer Generation benefits will receive a Medisave top-up of up to $200 each year until 2018.

The top-up this year will be made in August.

The Finance Ministry is encouraging Singaporeans to sign up to receive SMS notifications at www. gstvoucher.gov.sg, instead of waiting for notification letters.

All GST Voucher recipients aged 21 to 35 will get letters asking them to log on to the same website with their SingPass to view their benefits and sign up for SMS notifications.

"A small group" of other Singaporeans will also receive such letters, while the remaining recipients will still receive letters in the current format which list all their benefits.

The ministry said: "The Government will review whether to do away with hard-copy notification letters in future and only send notifications via SMS in order to go paperless and be more eco-friendly."

Details on the GST Voucher can be viewed at www.gstvoucher.gov.sg, while information on other Budget benefits is available at www.singaporebudget.gov.sg

Lee Min Kok

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2016, with the headline '1.54m S'poreans to get letters on Budget benefits'. Print Edition | Subscribe