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What are you eligible for in Singapore's Budget 2024?: CDC vouchers, U-Save, CPF, ABSD, SkillsFuture, and more

From CDC vouchers and U-Save to CPF and SkillsFuture, here are the Budget 2024 announcements for Singaporean households, mid-career workers, seniors and more.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong delivering the Singapore Budget 2024 in Parliament, illustrating a story on Budget announcements including more CDC vouchers.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong delivering the Singapore Budget 2024 in Parliament. He announced a slew of items for Singaporeans including CDC vouchers, U-Save rebates, CPF changes, SkillsFuture top-ups and more. (PHOTO: Screenshot from MCI YouTube channel)

SINGAPORE — There is something for nearly everyone in the Singapore Budget 2024, delivered on Friday (16 February). In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong highlighted the challenging economic environment of the previous year and the pressures of higher living costs on households in Singapore.

Despite the circumstances, DPM Wong acknowledged that the government was fortunate to have "some unexpected revenue upside" from the strong economic rebound in the preceding two years.

So, what exactly was announced in the budget, and how do you know if you are eligible? Yahoo Finance Singapore has put together a list of key announcements affecting Singaporeans of all age groups.

For Singaporean households: CDC, U-Save, and more

More CDC vouchers

Singaporean households can look forward to additional Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers in the year ahead. About 1.4 million Singaporean households will each receive an extra S$600 in CDC vouchers, with the first payout of S$300 expected in June 2024, while the remaining S$300 will be disbursed in January 2025. The CDC vouchers can be used at participating merchants, hawkers and supermarkets.

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Additionally, there will be a cost of living special payment of between S$200 and S$400 for eligible Singaporeans. To qualify for the special payment, individuals must have an assessable income of not more than S$100,000, be aged above 21, and not own more than one property. About 2.5 million adult Singaporeans are expected to benefit from this.

U-Save and S&CC rebates

Eligible Housing and Development Board (HDB) households will get one-time U-Save rebates of up to S$950 for the financial year 2024. This is an increase of two and a half times the usual U-Save rebate amount and is intended to help cover about four months of utility bills for those living in three or four-bedroom HDB flats.

DPM Wong also announced an additional service and conservancy charges (S&CC) rebate for HDB flats. Together with regular S&CC rebates, eligible HDB households will receive up to four months of such rebates in financial year 2024.

For Singapore workers: SkillsFuture, income tax

SkillsFuture top-up

Good news for mid-career workers looking to upskill – the government will introduce a new SkillsFuture Level-Up programme which includes a S$4,000 credit top-up in May for all Singaporeans aged 40 and above. The SkillsFuture credit top-up can be used on selected training programmes deemed to have better employability prospects. This includes part-time and full-time diplomas, post-diplomas, undergraduate programmes, and Progressive Wage Model sector courses.

Additionally, Singaporeans aged 40 and above will also receive subsidies to pursue another full-time diploma at polytechnics, ITE and art institutions from academic year 2025. A monthly training allowance will be given to those who enrol in selected full-time courses, an amount equivalent to 50 per cent of the enrolled individual's average income over the latest available 12-month period and capped at S$3,000 per month. Individuals can receive up to 24 months of training allowance throughout their lifetime.

Income tax rebate

To alleviate pressures from the rising cost of living, the government said that it will provide a personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent for the Assessment Year 2024, capped at S$200. In addition, the income threshold for taxpayers who claim dependant-related reliefs will also be raised from S$4,000 to S$8,000, with effect from Assessment Year 2025. The relief also applies to working mothers who are caring for children, as well as taxpayers who have topped up the CPF accounts of their spouses or siblings.

For older Singapore workers: CPF

Several changes to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) were announced in the budget speech. Singapore workers aged 55 to 65 will see their CPF contribution rates increase by 1.5 percentage points in 2025. The Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) will also be increased to S$426,000, going from three times the Basic Retirement Sum to four times.

Furthermore, the government also announced that the CPF Special Account (SA) will be closed for those aged 55 and above come 2025. The SA savings will then be transferred to the Retirement Account (RA) up to the Full Retirement Sum, and the remaining savings will be moved to the Ordinary Account (OA). Currently, CPF members aged 55 and above have an SA and an RA.

Seniors who require more assistance can look forward to the enhanced Silver Support Scheme in 2025. The scheme provides quarterly payments to seniors who earned low incomes during their working years and have less family support. The quarterly payments will be increased by 20 per cent, while the qualifying per capita household income threshold for the scheme will be increased from S$1,800 to S$2,300.

Finally, the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme (MRSS), which helps Singaporeans aged 55 to 70 with less CPF savings to save more by providing dollar-for-dollar matching for cash top-ups to their CPF accounts, will be extended to those aged above 70. The annual matching cap will increase from S$600 to S$2,000 with a lifetime matching cap set at S$20,000. The changes will take effect from 2025.

For Singaporeans' health: MediSave

On the back of rising healthcare costs, the government announced various enhancements to healthcare benefits in the budget. Firstly, all adult Singaporeans aged 21 to 50 will receive a one-time MediSave bonus payout of up to S$300. The bonus will be tiered based on each Singaporean's year of birth, the annual value of their residence, and whether they own more than one property as of 31 December 2023. It will be credited to the eligible individual's CPF MediSave account in December 2024. For Singaporeans in their 50s and early 60s, the government will hand out a one-time MediSave bonus as part of the Majulah Package.

Moreover, the government announced an allocation of S$3.5 billion over the next decade that will fund the Age Well SG initiative – a national health programme that aims to help seniors age gracefully in the community by having more active ageing centres and making improvements to commuter infrastructure for mobility and safety.

The government will also raise the qualifying monthly per capita household income threshold for healthcare and associated social support subsidy schemes. Each subsidy tier's threshold will be increased, ranging from S$100 to S$800. The healthcare and associated support subsidy schemes include MediShield Life premium subsidies, Community Health Assist Scheme subsidies for primary care, and subsidies for outpatient and inpatient treatment at public hospitals.

For older Singapore property owners/buyers: ABSD

Property owners and buyers take note – the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) concession will now be extended to single Singapore citizens aged 55 and above. This will help support seniors who wish to right-size their residential property by allowing them to claim the ABSD refund paid on their replacement private property if they sell their first property within six months of purchasing a lower-value replacement private property. Currently, only Singaporean married couples with an existing residential property can enjoy an ABSD refund on their replacement property.

During the announcement, DPM Wong said that the ABSD concession will take immediate effect on 16 February. He added that the government will lower the ABSD clawback rate if developers sell at least 90 per cent of each development within the prescribed sale timeline.

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Singapore residents may use the Support For You Calculator to find out the type and amount of benefits you and your household are eligible for.

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