NS men may get boost to Medisave under National Service Recognition Award scheme

National service men could get a boost to their Medisave accounts as the Committee to Strengthen National Service looks at ways to further recognise their contributions.

"Health care has always been of concern to many Singaporeans. NSmen would be keen to see how we can show greater support in that regard," said Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Minister of State for Defence, on Wednesday night. He was speaking after a meeting with the "Recognitions and Benefits for NS" working group, which sits under the committee.

NSmen now stand to receive either $9,000 or $10,500, depending on rank, under the National Service Recognition Award - a scheme announced in 2010. A third of the amount is paid into a serviceman's post-secondary education account after he completes two years of service. The rest will be paid into his CPF account in the middle and at the end of the reservist period to meet housing or retirement needs.

The total award amount may be increased to include a contribution to Medisave.

The working group also discussed changes to the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord) structure, which was formed in 1984 to allow the public to give feedback about defence matters. It suggested that Accord be reorganised into various groups to target specific segments in society, such as employers, families and students.

Dr Maliki said he and Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing would most likely chair some of these outreach groups. "If we are able to harness the full potential of Accord, we can do a lot more," he said.

rachelay@sph.com.sg