Parliament: Merdeka Generation Fund passed into law

SECOND MINISTER FOR FINANCE LAWRENCE WONG.
SECOND MINISTER FOR FINANCE LAWRENCE WONG.

A proposed law was passed by Parliament yesterday to establish the $6.1 billion Merdeka Generation Fund, which will help pay for the healthcare costs of nearly 500,000 Singaporeans.

It involves amendments to the Pioneer Generation Fund Act to establish the Merdeka Generation Fund as separate from the existing Pioneer Generation Fund.

The Act will be renamed the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation Funds Act.

Outlining its scope, Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong said the changes set out the purposes for which money in this new fund can be used. It also provides for separate financial statements and auditor's reports for both funds to be presented to Parliament.

Other changes include setting out the eligibility criteria for the Merdeka Generation Package and detailing the appeals process for those who wish to be included in the package.

The much-talked about package will be given to citizens born between Jan 1, 1950 and Dec 31, 1959. But if a person was born before Dec 31, 1949 and does not currently receive the Pioneer Generation Package, the appeals panel may decide they are eligible for the Merdeka Generation Package.

"The changes in this Act will enable the Government to implement the Merdeka Generation Package," Mr Wong said. "This is how we can honour our Merdeka Generation for their contributions and give them and their families greater peace of mind with their healthcare costs."

HONOURING MERDEKA GENERATION

This is how we can honour our Merdeka Generation for their contributions and give them and their families greater peace of mind with their healthcare costs.

SECOND MINISTER FOR FINANCE LAWRENCE WONG

The Merdeka Generation Package was announced earlier this year by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, in his annual Budget speech as Finance Minister.

He estimated it will cost more than $8 billion, in current dollars, over the lifetimes of the Merdeka Generation. The $6.1 billion set aside in this year's Budget will, with interest accumulated over time, cover the package's full projected costs, he had said.

Those who are eligible will get their welcome folders and Merdeka Generation cards in the mail from late next month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2019, with the headline 'Merdeka Generation Fund passed into law'. Print Edition | Subscribe