0801 Oral Answer by Minister of Manpower Dr Tan See Leng to PQ on Silver Support
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1241 OF 2022 FOR THE SITTING ON 1 AUGUST 2022
QUESTION NO. 3140 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Liang Eng Hwa
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry will consider reviewing the criteria of the Silver Support Scheme so that more seniors in need of the support can be assisted; and (b) whether the criteria for the scheme can be better communicated and explained to the seniors.
- The Silver Support Scheme provides quarterly cash supplements to seniors who had lower incomes during their working years and now have little or no family support in their retirement. Lifetime wages, housing type, and the level of household support are used to decide who are eligible.
- The Ministry of Manpower reviews the Silver Support Scheme regularly and enhanced the scheme last year.
a. First, we have raised payouts for recipients by 20%.
b. Second, we have expanded the thresholds for lifetime wages and household monthly income per person to cover more seniors. We have also added a new payout tier that provides a payout to seniors with household monthly incomes per person above $1,300 but not exceeding $1,800.
With the enhancements, the number of Silver Support recipients has increased from one in five seniors in 2020, or about 150,000 seniors, to one in three seniors this year, or about 250,000 seniors. Total Silver Support payouts have also nearly doubled from $330 million in 2020 to $600 million per year today. Seniors do not need to apply for Silver Support. They are automatically assessed annually, and the payouts are directly credited into the senior’s registered bank account or sent to the senior’s registered address via cheque.
Currently, all seniors who are eligible for Silver Support in any given year are automatically notified by CPF Board in December of the preceding year. For newly- eligible recipients, the notification letter contains an accompanying infographic which explains the qualifying criteria in all four vernacular languages. We also disseminate information on Silver Support through Community Centres, and Silver Generation Ambassadors are trained to explain the scheme to seniors during their house visits.
If members have suggestions on how the Silver Support eligibility criteria can be better communicated, we are happy to look into them as well.