SINGAPORE: A total of 1.4 million Singaporeans will receive their Bicentennial Bonus benefits in November, the finance ministry said on Thursday (Oct 24).
These benefits include a cash payment under the GST Voucher scheme, a Central Provident Fund (CPF) top-up and a Workfare bonus for lower-income workers.
In February during Budget 2019, the Government announced a S$1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus package to commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial and to support those in need.
All 1.4 million Singaporean adults aged 21 years and above this year, with an assessable income of up to S$28,000 for 2018, will receive the GST Voucher cash payment in November.
They will receive either S$150 or S$300, depending on the value of their homes.
The 400,000 workers who qualify for the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) will receive the Workfare Bicentennial Bonus at the end of October.
They will receive an additional 10 per cent of the total annual payment for work done in 2018, or a minimum payment of S$100, to help them with their daily expenses, the finance ministry said.
Those with disabilities and who are below 35 years old in 2018, and who also meet the WIS eligibility criteria, will receive between S$100 and S$150 based on work done last year.
Singaporeans eligible for the GST Voucher and Workfare Bicentennial Bonus, and who have registered their mobile number with SingPass, will receive an SMS notification by the end of this month. Letters will also be sent to all eligible Singaporeans.
A total of 300,000 Singaporeans will receive CPF top-ups and will get both their letter notification and payment next month.
Those aged between 50 and 64 will receive S$300 to S$1,000 depending on their combined CPF Ordinary and Special Account or Retirement Account balance.
To qualify for the top-up, the individual's assessable income for 2018 must not be more than S$28,000. The person's home should also not have an annual value of more than S$21,000 as of Dec 31, 2018, and he or she should not own more than one property.
Other Bicentennial Bonus benefits were also distributed over the past few months.
Top-ups to Edusave Accounts and Post-Secondary Education Accounts were completed in June, benefiting 570,000 students.
Primary and secondary students received an Edusave top-up of S$150 while those aged 17 to 20 received up to S$500 in their PSEA.
Taxpayers will also receive a personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent, or up to S$200 each, which will be granted for the Year of Assessment 2019.
In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that from time to time, when finances allow, the Government shares the surpluses with Singaporeans, and provides more help to those with specific needs.
“With this bonus, I hope all Singaporeans, young and old, will join us to commemorate this significant moment in Singapore’s history,” he said.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that taxpayers will receive a 50 per cent personal income tax rebate by December this year. This has been updated to reflect a correction by the Ministry of Finance.