Updated: 02/22/2014 06:31

Singapore Budget 2014: $9 billion Pioneer Generation Package

Singapore Budget 2014: $9 billion Pioneer Generation Package

All members of the Pioneer Generation will receive the benefits provided in the special Package regardless of their income, and it will be for life. 

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam stressed this when giving details of the Package in his Budget Statement. 

From August onwards, the elderly can expect Medisave top-ups of $200 to $800 in their accounts annually. 

Older pioneers will receive larger lifelong top-ups. 

From September, the pioneers will only have to pay half-price when they visit polyclinics and specialist outpatient clinics. 

That's on top of existing subsidies at these institutions. 

At the same time, those with moderate to severe disabilities or their caregivers will receive $1,200 annually under a new Disability Assistance Scheme. 

From next January, all members of the pioneer generation will automatically come under the Community Health Assist Scheme or CHAS. 

Those already under it will receive additional subsidies. 

And in late 2015, when MediShield Life kicks in, these pioneers will enjoy tiered subsidies for their insurance premiums. 

For the younger members of the pioneer generation, like someone who's 65 years old today, this will mean an average subsidy of at least 50 per cent over his or her lifetime. 

While the sums are still being worked out, what's clear is that those aged 80 and above this year will have their insurance premiums fully covered, through subsidies and Medisave Top-ups. 

The Pioneer Generation Package will cost $9 billion.

Mr Tharman says those who miss out the cut-off age for the pioneer generation package will not be left out. 

"There may be people who marginally miss out on the precise criteria but have good claims to be counted among the Pioneer Generation. We will hence establish a panel to assess appeals on a case-by-case basis."

Some 450,000 pioneers who have already been identified will receive their benefits automatically. 

And from today, they can check their eligibility on the Singapore Budget website or at CitizenConnect Centres at community centres.

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