CPF Board to recover $1.7 million of Medisave grants, paid in error for babies

More than 800 children who became Singapore citizens received more money in their Medisave Accounts than they were eligible for, due to a processing error.
More than 800 children who became Singapore citizens received more money in their Medisave Accounts than they were eligible for, due to a processing error.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Central Provident Fund Board will recover about $1.7 million in Medisave grants paid to more than 800 children due to a processing error.

From March 2016 to January 2017, 885 children received between $1,000 and $3,000 Medisave Grant for Newborns in their Medisave Accounts, more than they were eligible for, the board said in a press statement on Wednesday (April 5).

All Singapore Citizen newborns receive a $4,000 Medisave Grant for Newborns in their CPF Medisave account.

As the affected children were not citizens at birth, they were either not eligible for the grant or should have received a pro-rated amount, depending on the age when the child became a citizen.

Newborns who are Singapore citizens at birth are not affected, the statement said. The board apologised to the affected families for this error.

It has rectified work processes and strengthened them for future payments, it said.

"We will be recovering the overpaid amounts, totalling about $1.7 million, from the Medisave Accounts of these children in April. The parents of the affected children will be informed via mail," it said.

Affected families may contact the CPF Call Centre on 1800 227 1188 (Mondays to Fridays, 8am to 5.30pm) if they have questions.

The grant can be used for the child's healthcare expenses, such as MediShield Life premiums, recommended childhood vaccinations, hospitalisation, and approved outpatient treatments.

Introduced in August 2012, the grant was raised from $3,000 to $4,000 for citizen babies born from Jan 1, 2015.

Children who are not citizens at birth but obtain Singapore citizenship before the age of two are given pro-rated amounts, based on the age when the child becomes a citizen.