PARLIAMENT

Seniors to enjoy payouts from 2016

From early next year, 150,000 eligible Singaporeans aged 65 and above will enjoy quarterly payouts of between $300 and $750 under the Silver Support Scheme.
From early next year, 150,000 eligible Singaporeans aged 65 and above will enjoy quarterly payouts of between $300 and $750 under the Silver Support Scheme.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

A new law detailing the framework and penalties for the Silver Support Scheme that was unveiled in this year's Budget has been passed.

This paves the way for 150,000 eligible Singaporeans, aged 65 and above, to get a quarterly payout of $300 to $750 from early next year.

The scheme's administrator - the CPF Board - will develop a system to automatically assess a person's eligibility, and to make payments to recipients. A commissioner will also be appointed to, among other things, review appeal cases.

Information will be pulled from government databases for means- testing. But safeguards will be put in place, and Singaporeans may opt out from this process, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say yesterday.

The scheme will be permanent and will apply to "both current and future generations" of elderly people. Mr Lim will also look into Dr Fatimah Lateef's (Marine Parade GRC) suggestion to allow payouts to authorised third parties or next-of-kin of those who are unable to directly receive the benefits.

The law will also make it an offence to provide false information to qualify for Silver Support benefits, or to receive a higher quantum. Those found guilty face a maximum $5,000 fine and a year in prison.

Walter Sim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2015, with the headline 'Seniors to enjoy payouts from 2016'. Print Edition | Subscribe