SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the National Day Rally the introduction of the Majulah Package, an initiative aimed at providing support for a new category of seniors he refers to as "young seniors".
These individuals, aged in their 50s and early 60s, are distinguished from the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations, but are still considered seniors due to retirement or impending retirement.
PM Lee said during his National Day Rally speech on Sunday (20 August) that this group occupies a "unique position", having benefited from Singapore's growth but often earning less than younger counterparts over their lifetime.
In response to the challenges faced by this demographic – which include inadequate retirement savings and the responsibilities of caring for both elderly parents and young children – PM Lee expressed empathy for their concerns and reassured them, stating, "You will not be left behind."
Three key components of the Majulah Package
The Majulah Package is targeted at Singaporeans aged 50 and above in this year (those born in 1973 or earlier), with a focus on individuals with lower incomes and fewer assets.
Comprising three fundamental components, the package seeks to offer varying levels of assistance based on income and Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings.
PM Lee said the first component, the "Earn and Save" bonus, will give lower- and middle-income workers a yearly CPF bonus of up to $1,000 a year.
He explained, "The government will credit this into your CPF account, on top of the usual employer and employee contributions. You will receive this 'Earn and Save' bonus yearly, as long as you are working, whether full-time or part-time."
The second element, known as the Retirement Savings Bonus, is a one-time CPF bonus of up to $1,500. This bonus is intended for those whose CPF balances have not yet reached the basic retirement sum of $99,400 (as of 2023).
Individuals who are not currently part of the workforce – including homemakers chose to raise families instead of having a career – will also benefit from this bonus.
To address healthcare concerns, the third component is the MediSave Bonus, which offers a one-time bonus of up to $1,000.
PM Lee said this bonus aims to provide supplementary financial support for medical expenses and insurance premiums, addressing the worries of many young seniors regarding healthcare costs.
Extending Majulah package benefits to Pioneer and Merdeka generations
The benefits of the Majulah Package are also extended to working seniors from the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations who meet the specified income criteria. .
The Majulah Package's expense is about $7 billion, and the Ministry of Finance will establish a new fund using resources from this term of government to cover the package's entire lifetime expenses.
"This way, we will honour this commitment without burdening future generations," PM Lee added.
He said during his speech that this package will benefit some 1.4 million older individuals spanning various generations.
In conjunction with the Majulah Package, PM Lee also confirmed that enhancements will be made to existing schemes such as the Silver Support Scheme and the Workfare Income Supplement Scheme.
He stated, "Details will be announced next year. Taken together, these improvements will help seniors to meet basic retirement needs, especially for lower- and middle-income Singaporeans. So you can have greater peace of mind in your golden years."
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