Extend Post-Secondary Education Account use to more courses

Money in the Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) can currently be used to pay only for courses other than those under the SkillsFuture programme.

The PSEA should be extended to fund courses that are currently payable with SkillsFuture Credits and those that are not under either of these schemes.

This will benefit those who have sizeable amounts in their PSEA but have used up a significant portion of their SkillsFuture Credits to pay for courses, some of which can cost the full $500, leaving no more or an insufficient amount for them to take up other courses.

This will help Singaporeans who have very little savings or cash to upgrade their skills and improve their employability.

As there is a national movement to encourage Singaporeans to continually upgrade themselves throughout their lifetimes, there should be more flexibility in the use of the PSEA.

The account should also be made available for use without any age restriction.

Currently, the unused balance in the PSEA is transferred to the Central Provident Fund Ordinary Account after the account holder turns 30.

According to the Ministry of Education's website, Singaporeans may request an extension of the use of the PSEA beyond age 30, and the account is aimed at getting Singaporeans to complete their post-education early.

However, in the spirit of lifelong learning, it is more compelling to extend the usage of the account, together with the SkillsFuture Credit, to further encourage Singaporeans to continually learn new things without having too much of a financial concern.

It would be good if the ministry can enhance the PSEA and help Singaporeans in their journey of lifelong learning.

Can Singaporeans also recommend training providers to be PSEA-approved in the same way that they can recommend them to be SkillsFuture-approved?

Kevin Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2019, with the headline 'Extend Post-Secondary Education Account use to more courses'. Print Edition | Subscribe