If you've missed the National Day Rally (NDR 2019), this are the 4 key points: EDUCATION, OLDER WORKERS, CLIMATE CHANGE and GREATER SOUTHERN WATERFRONT.. The government page here on it clearly shows it.
If you are confused on how you can impact climate change, I am too. It is after all a problem that does not immediately impact you now.
In this post, I'd focus on EDUCATION and OLDER WORKERS changes and how it affects you!
EDUCATION: More Childcare Centre Subsidies!
The monthly income ceiling for additional pre-school subsidies will be raised to $12,000 from $7,500.
Hence, more families in the middle-income households will stand to benefit!
It is estimated that more than 30,000 households would thus qualify. Do you qualify?
How does it work?
In NDR 2019, PM Lee used a story of Mr and Mrs Loh to illustrate how they qualify for future childcare subsidies.
With the new assessment, they will now qualify for additional childcare subsidies.
Hence, they save $190/m per child on childcare centre costs.
With 2 boys, it means $380/m savings! Pretty substantial.
Your woes with childcare costs have been heard by our government!
*Do note that the exact additional subsidy table is not out yet.
Back in NDR 2017, the focus was on getting more childcare places and MOE kindergartens. Read here for more.
This had been executed well and if you stay in new estates such as Punggol, you would have seen rapid development of childcare centres.
There is also going to be an expansion on KidStart, led by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), targeting children from low-income families and disadvantaged children.
If you may benefit, do check more here.
EDUCATION: More Bursaries For Tertiary Education
This was back in Budget 2014.
Government has been raising bursary limits frequently.
NOW, the bursaries for students from lower-income families will be increased again.
What is low income families?
Low income families means that their gross monthly household income (GHI) must not be more than $9,000 or gross monthly household per capita income (PCI) must not be more than $2,250. Read more here on FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION FOR IHLS.
An example of the old bursary scheme to explain on low income families for polytechnic.
With the changes in 2020, bursaries for polytechnic courses will increase from up to 80% of fees to up to 95%. This means even higher bursary amount.
Based on reports, the NEW bursary amount will be $2,850, a huge increase from 2014.
These bursaries are also applicable for Nafa, Lasalle and the ITE.
What are the changes for university bursaries for low income families from 2020?
Bursaries for university courses will increase from up to 50% of fees to up to 75%. Figure shown below.
Do note that this is publicly funded universities and not private universities.
EDUCATION: SIT and SUSS lowers school fees
From 2020, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) will be lowering their annual tuition fees by $500.
If you are a parent exploring these universities for your child, this is great news!
OLDER WORKERS: Retirement and Re-employment age is raised!
Retirement age means that employers are not allowed to dismiss you before the age of 62 because of your age. Source here by gov.sg.
Re-employment Age means your employers must offer you re-employment opportunities when you turn 62, up to the age of 67.
Quick fact: Back in NDR 2015 re-employment age raised from 65 to 67
So in a quick 4 years, old age employment has been raised and pushed back again.
Below is a projected phasing in of the changes with a first step to take place by year2022.
OLDER WORKERS: Your old age CPF rates will be raised!
If you are aged 45 and below NOW, when you reach age55 and are employed, you'd receive higher CPF contribution rates. That is good news for you!
CPF contribution rates from age 56-60 will be the same full 37%.
This means society's benchmark for retirement is now AGE 60!
Quick fact: CPF contribution rates for age 50-65 were raised only back in 1 Jan 2016
So in a quick 3 years, further increments are made again
Conclusions on changes from NDR 2019
For the various EDUCATION changes, most impact middle and lower class children which is fair.
Everyone deserves better education and I'm glad that NDR 2019 has something for it.
Check this video below for insights and a description of the "Greater Southern Waterfront" project.
For OLDER WORKER changes, I'm concerned on how future machine learning and artificial intelligence will really affect the job scene.
Even if retirement age is pushed back, employers may not view old employees who can't keep up with technology useful to employ.
What are your thoughts.