Oral Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on the Home Protection Scheme (HPS)
Notice Paper No. 463 of 2013 For The Sitting On 11 Nov 2013
Question No. 1620 For Oral Answer
MP: Ms Lee Li Lian
To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower (a) what percentage of HDB flat owners are not covered by the Home Protection Scheme (HPS); (b) what percentage of this is due to insufficient funds in the owners' CPF Ordinary Account to pay for the premium; and (c) whether the Government will consider allowing the payment of premiums from the CPF Ordinary Account of the owners' children if the owners have insufficient funds in their Ordinary Account.
- HDB flat owners who are using CPF savings to service their monthly loan instalments are required to take up the Home Protection Scheme (HPS) or an equivalent Mortgage Reducing Insurance (MRI). This applies to about 60% of all HDB flat owners with outstanding loans. Of this group, 95% are covered under HPS or an equivalent MRI, while about 3% are uninsurable or ineligible for HPS cover. The remaining 2% had lapsed on their HPS premium payments.
- Of the 40% of HDB flat owners who are not required to take up HPS because they are not using CPF savings to service their monthly loan instalments, 44% have taken up the HPS voluntarily. Some have also chosen to take up MRI from private insurance companies.
- The HPS premium is deducted automatically from the Ordinary Account (OA) of CPF members. For those with insufficient OA savings, a grace period of 2 months is provided for them to make their premium payment. During the grace period, any new OA contributions are channelled first towards meeting the HPS premium payments and then monthly loan instalments. This is essentially to minimise lapses in coverage. CPF members are also notified to make cash top ups to their OA as required to make up the shortfall for the HPS premium. If their children wish to assist with making premium payments, they can do so via this route. CPF members can also choose to tap on the OA savings of their spouse, who must also be a co-owner of the flat, to pay for the premium.
- We will study the feasibility of using non-spouse co-owners’ OA savings for the payment of HPS premiums, without affecting the payers’ own retirement adequacy. This feedback has come up regularly. We are also in the process of working with the Ministry of National Development to study other options to help HPS policy holders who face difficulties in paying their HPS premiums to minimise lapses in HPS coverage.