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Oral Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on Silver Support Scheme

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1535 OF 2019 FOR A SITTING ON 18 FEB 2019

QUESTION NO. 2643 FOR ORAL ANSWER

MP: Ms Sylvia Lim

To ask the Minister for Manpower since the inception of the Silver Support Scheme in 2016 (a) how many Singaporeans who initially received payouts were assessed to be ineligible in subsequent years; (b) what support does the Scheme give to those between the bottom 20% to 30% of elderly Singaporeans; and (c) whether the Scheme's criteria for household monthly income per capita of $1,100 will be reviewed to exclude the income of the applicant's siblings living at the same address.

Answer

  1. The Silver Support Scheme targets support at the bottom 20% of elderly Singaporeans aged 65 and above. Coverage may however extend to include up to the next 10% of elderly. Eligible elderly receive cash payouts of between $300 and $750 every quarter, according to the type of HDB flat they live in. Recipients living in smaller flat types receive higher payouts. The median quarterly payout has been $600, corresponding to the payout quantum for eligible elderly living in a 3-room HDB flat.
  2. The automatic means-test assessment is done annually to take into account changes in circumstances of the elderly, to ensure Silver Support reaches those with lesser means as the Scheme was intended to do. In 2016, about 143,000 elderly received Silver Support payouts. Of these elderly, 33,000 no longer received Silver Support in 2019. About 14,000 had passed away while 18,000 had seen their household incomes rise beyond the eligibility threshold. At the same time, 42,000 elderly who were not receiving Silver Support in 2016 were assessed to be eligible for Silver Support by 2019. Overall, the number of elderly eligible for Silver Support and the total annual amount paid out to recipients have been increasing each year.
  3. The Ministry of Manpower will review the Silver Support Scheme from time to time to ensure that it continues to provide meaningful support to elderly who had low incomes throughout their lives and who now have little or no family support. We will also continue to assess appeals from those who have missed the income criteria on a case-by-case basis.