I watched PM Lee’s hour-long National Day Rally so you don’t have to. Here are some of the important changes that might our pocketbooks to some degree or another.
Too long didn’t read? Here’s a TikTok so you just need to watch:
PM Lee said people who are in their 50s and early 60s are not quite as old as the Merdeka or Pioneer generations, but are indeed getting on in years. He referred to this segment of people as “young seniors”, and those who are eligible will be getting some financial assistance in form of CPF top-ups called Majulah Package.
Seniors belonging to the Merdeka and Pioneer generations will also be eligible for the Majulah Package. Eligibility criteria include factors like income, property values and CPF savings.
There are three components to this package:
|Earn & Save Bonus
|Retirement Savings Bonus
|S$400 to S$1,000
|$1,000 to $1,500
|$500 to $1,000
Earn & Save Bonus
The Earn & Save Bonus helps those who are still working full-time or part-time to build their CPF savings. To do so, the government will credit an annual bonus of between S$400 to S$1,000 to lower- and middle-income workers each year as long as they continue to work. Self-employed and platform workers will also qualify.
The top-up is done to the person’s CPF Retirement Account or Special Account depending on age.
Retirement Savings Bonus
For individuals who have not yet achieved the Basic Retirement Sum, a one-time bonus will be credited to their CPF Retirement Account or Special Account (depending on age). This is given even to those who are not working.
There will also be a one-time credit of S$500 to S$1,000 to eligible seniors’ CPF MediSave account.
Tweaks to HDB BTO system
From the second half of 2024, new build-to-order (BTO) flats will no longer be classified as “mature” or “non-mature” estates. This is because the difference in amenities and transport infrastructure between the two has blurred over the years.
In its place, there’d be a new classification system with 3 categories: Standard, Plus, and Prime. Existing flats are not affected by these new categories.
|Choicer (within its region)
10-year MOP, some conditions on resale, subsidy recovery on resale
|Choicest (within Singapore)
10-year MOP, more conditions on resale, more subsidy recovery on resale
With Prime already an existing category introduced last year, Plus is the new kid on the block. It is the middle-ground between Standard flats and Prime flats, and as such, it has subsidies and conditions in between those two categories.
Similar to Prime flats, Plus flats require flat owners to repay a proportion of the resale price if they sell their flats later on. As the subsidies are lower than that of Prime flats, the subsidy recover rate will also be lower.
The same 10-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) applicable to Prime flats is also imposed on Plus flats.
Greater access to housing for singles
Currently, singles aged 35 and above can only buy 2-room Flexi BTO flats in non-mature estates or buy resale in any estate. Singles were left out when Prime Location Public Housing was introduced. This is also set to change.
With the new classification, eligible first-timer singles can now:
|New (from 2nd half 2024)
|Apply for 2-room Flexi BTO flats in non-mature estates
|Apply for 2-room Flexi BTO flats in all locations (Standard, Plus, and Prime)
|Buy a non-Prime flat of any size in the resale market
|Buy a non-Prime (Standard or Plus) flat of any size in the resale market
|Cannot buy a Prime flat in the resale market
|Buy a 2-room Prime flat in the resale market
For singles looking to buy a BTO flat, this is great news as the option will be extended islandwide. While not all BTO projects have 2-room options, this offers greater choice than being restricted to just non-mature estates. I imagine there’d also be fewer BTO projects that do not offer 2-room Flexi flats so as to cater to the housing needs of singles.
Prime locations are also no longer exclusive to married people as single can either apply for 2-room Flexi BTO flats in such estates, or buy a 2-room Flexi flat in Prime locations from the resale market after their MOP.
What do you think about the change?
Are you a “young senior”? Or an aspiring homeowner who is unmarried? Let us know what you think about the changes!
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