Halimah holds dialogue with older PAP activists on Medishield Life, changes to CPF

SINGAPORE - Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob held a dialogue with a group of older activists from the People's Action Party on the major changes to the Medishield and Central Provident Fund schemes on Saturday.

The group of 72 older activists are members of the PAP's Seniors Group (PAP.SG), and will in turn fan out to explain the details of the major policy changes to other older Singaporeans in "easy-to-understand" language, said a statement from the PAP.

Set up in late 2013, the PAP.SG is an advocacy group, headed by Madam Halimah, aimed at shaping policies that affect the elderly and their quality of life.

During the dialogue, which was also attended by Jurong GRC MP David Ong, the activists raised issues like how to defray Medishield Life premiums for needy Singaporeans as well as how to encourage people to stay healthy despite the new national health insurance, said the statement.

On the recommendations last week by a Government-appointed panel to allow more flexible withdrawals from CPF funds, the activists lauded the new flexibility but felt that "more effort on the ground will be required to help Singaporeans make calibrated and sensible choices in order to retire adequately."

Madam Halimah called the improvements to Medishield and CPF as "crystallising the PAP's core beliefs, with the Government shouldering more of citizens' burden in sickness and in old age."

"As these revised policies will affect Singaporeans throughout their entire lifetime, it is important for everyone understand how to make clear, independent decisions, given the array of choices now open to them."