Bicentennial Bonus: What you need to know

Bicentennial Bonus: What you need to know

Singapore Bicentennial i Light display
View of an i Light display at the launch of the Singapore Bicentennial. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: This year sees a slew of events and projects to mark 200 years since the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles on Singapore’s shores – and now, commemorations will extend towards helping Singaporeans with specific needs.

READ: Singapore’s bicentennial commemoration in 2019 - A time to reflect on its rich history

READ: Budget 2019 - S$1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus for Singaporeans

To commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial this year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday (Feb 18) announced a S$1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus to be shared with Singaporeans.

Here’s what this bonus includes:

HELP WITH DAILY LIVING EXPENSES FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT

There will be additional payments for lower-income Singaporeans at the end of the year to help them with daily living expenses.

This includes:

- Up to S$300 in GST Voucher – Cash (Bicentennial Payment)

Budget 2019 GST voucher

- A cash Workfare Bicentennial Bonus: Those who receive Workfare Income Supplement payments will get an extra 10 per cent of their payment for work done in 2018, with a minimum payment of S$100.

PERSONAL INCOME TAX REBATE

Also on the table is a tax rebate for income earned in 2018 (Year of Assessment 2019). A personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent of tax payable will be granted to all tax resident individuals – capped at S$200 per taxpayer.

This is estimated to cost about S$280 million.

SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

Younger Singaporeans have not been forgotten either, with the Government promising additional top-ups to support students’ educations to be made by mid-2019.

Primary and secondary school students will get a S$150 top-up to their Edusave accounts, while Singaporeans aged 17 to 20 will receive up to S$500 in their Post-Secondary Education Accounts.

These top-ups are estimated to cost about S$140 million and to benefit around 570,000 students.

RETIREMENT SAVINGS FOR ELDERLY, ESPECIALLY WOMEN

The Government will also make a one-off CPF top-up of up to S$1,000 for eligible Singaporeans aged between 50 and 64 this year. Those eligible must have less than S$60,000 of retirement savings in their CPF accounts.

About 300,000 Singaporeans will benefit from this top-up. Most of these will be women who left the workforce for caregiving roles and so had fewer years to build up their savings.

Source: CNA/nc(hs)

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