What other government programs are relevant to my silver years?
ElderShield and CareShield Life
ElderShield and its upgraded version, known as CareShield Life, are long-term disability insurance plans available to all Singaporeans and PRs.
They offer financial support in case of “severe disability”. This is defined as the inability to perform at least three of the six activities of daily living, which include bathing, dressing, walking, feeding, transferring, and using the toilet.
CareShield Life offers higher monthly disability benefits — starting at $600 in 2020 and increasing over time — compared to the ElderShield 300 and 400 plans which offer $300 or $400, respectively.
While disability benefits for ElderShield are granted for up to 60 or 72 months, CareShield Life offers these payments for life.
All Singaporeans and PRs born in 1980 or later are automatically enrolled in CareShield Life when they turn 30, while those born earlier are covered by ElderShield. ElderShield policyholders can choose to stay on ElderShield, switch to CareShield Life, or opt out altogether.
However, Singaporeans and PRs born between 1970 and 1979 who are already insured under the ElderShield 400 scheme and are not severely disabled would have been automatically enrolled in CareShield Life from December last year.
The government is offering participation incentives of up to $2,500 to Singaporeans born in 1979 or earlier if they join CareShield Life by December 31, 2023. If you are part of the Merdeka or Pioneer generations, you can get additional incentives of $1,500.
Dependent protection plan (DPS)
Singaporeans and PRs between the ages of 21 and 65 are automatically included in this opt-out term insurance scheme when you first contribute to the CPF.
The plan provides you and your family with basic financial protection in the event of death, terminal illness or total permanent disability.
For members up to age 60, the maximum sum insured is $70,000. For those between 60 and 65, it’s $55,000.
Coverage ends when the member reaches age 65 or when there is an eligible claim, whichever comes first. DPS premiums can be deducted from our ordinary or special CPF accounts. While DPS is simple to understand, the coverage is basic and usually insufficient, especially if you have dependents or are managing a home loan, Ms. Tan says.
“It is prudent to identify its needs and make up for the shortfall. Consider adding other term insurance contracts to increase your coverage in terms of sum insured and for a longer duration, depending on your financial situation.