Which other government schemes are relevant for my silver years?
ElderShield and CareShield Life
ElderShield and its enhanced version, known as CareShield Life, are long-term disability insurance plans available to all Singaporeans and PRs.
They offer financial support in the event of “severe disability”. This is defined as the inability to perform at least three of six activities of daily living, which include washing, dressing, walking, feeding, transferring and toileting.
CareShield Life offers higher monthly disability benefits — starting at $600 in 2020 and increasing with time — compared to the ElderShield 300 and 400 schemes which offer $300 or $400 respectively.
While the disability benefits for ElderShield are given for up to 60 or 72 months, CareShield Life offers these payouts for life.
All Singaporeans and PRs born in 1980 or later are automatically enrolled into CareShield Life when they turn 30, while those born earlier are covered by ElderShield. ElderShield policyholders can choose to remain on ElderShield, switch to CareShield Life, or opt out completely.
However, Singaporeans and PRs born from 1970 to 1979 who are already insured under the ElderShield 400 scheme and are not severely disabled would have been automatically enrolled into CareShield Life from December last year.
The Government is offering participation incentives of up to $2,500 for Singaporeans born in 1979 or earlier if they join CareShield Life by Dec 31, 2023. If you are part of the Merdeka or Pioneer generations, you can get additional incentives of $1,500.
Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS)
Singaporeans and PRs aged between 21 and 65 are automatically included in this opt-out term insurance scheme upon your first CPF contribution.
The scheme provides basic financial protection for you and your family in the event of death, terminal illness or total permanent disability.
For members up to age 60, the maximum sum assured is $70,000. For those between 60 and 65, it is $55,000.
The coverage ends when the member turns 65 or when there is an eligible claim, whichever is earlier. DPS premiums can be deducted from our CPF Ordinary or Special Accounts. While the DPS is simple to understand, the coverage is basic and usually insufficient, especially if you have dependants or are servicing a home loan, says Ms Tan.
“It is prudent to identify your needs and plug the shortfall. Consider adding other term insurance plans to boost your cover in terms of the sum assured and for a longer duration, depending on your financial situation.”