February is one of my favourite months. Not only is it my birthday, there’s also the added excitement of the year’s budget statement. Themed “Building Our Shared Future Together”, Budget 2024 brings much to celebrate too with support for every member of the family.


Here’s a recap of the key highlights that work with Singlife’s Milestone Map to help you chart your way to financial freedom 😉.

For young adults


Younger Singaporeans can look forward to additional support in the form of the ITE Progression Award and LifeSG credits for NSmen. ITE graduates will receive a S$5,000 top-up to their Post-Secondary Education Account when they enrol in a diploma programme and extra S$10,000 top-up to their CPF Ordinary Account upon attaining their diploma. If you’re a past or present NSman or are enlisting this year, you’ll also receive S$200 LifeSG credits later in November.


You can put these payouts to good use and grow your money towards your first home or retirement. If you’re enlisting this year, check out our guide on how to ORD with S$15,000. The updated rates on the Singlife Account can also provide you with a safe way to grow your money since your capital is guaranteed and you can make withdrawals anytime!

For new families


Newlyweds looking to buy their first home will see more affordable prices for Build-to-Order (BTO) flats in mature estates this year and can even rent a flat at subsidised rates while they wait. As part of the enhanced Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), couples who successfully booked a BTO will be issued a PPHS voucher later this year so they can rent a flat in the open market at subsidised rates from HDB. With 4,000 flats being set aside for this scheme and rental prices of up to S$900 per month for a 3-room flat in prime estates, this is a great option for couples looking for some privacy.  


Existing homeowners will also receive additional U-save rebates of up to S$950 in April, July and October 2024 and January 2025 to help with the rising cost of utilities. There will also be a one-off 0.5-month Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebate January 2025. This should soften the blow from the expected hike in charges from 1 July 2024 which will see fees raised by S$1 to S$9.10 for all HDB residents.


If, like me, you’re thinking of having kids, you’ll be glad to know that childcare fees will be reduced from 2025. Fee caps in government-supported pre-schools will be lowered to S$640 for anchor operators and S$680 for partner operators. Further reductions are planned for 2026 but details are expected to come later. In terms of preschool subsidies for low-income families, stay-home mums will also receive the same S$300/month subsidy given to working mothers. This is in addition to the generous Baby Bonus updates in the 2023 Budget (S$11,000 for your first and second child) so there really is no better time to be a parent.  


One of the most important things I’ve learnt while growing my family is the importance of protection. You want to make sure that your loved ones are always taken care of, so be sure to have some protection plans in place! The MINDEF & MHA Group Insurance plans are a great starting point since they provide up to S$1 million in coverage for as little as S$0.17 a day. Having coverage under these group plans also unlocks exclusive discounts for other important plans like travel and home insurance so it’s a win-win situation.



For active adults


Singaporeans in their 50s and 60s get a boost for their retirement plans with the latest enhancements to the Majulah Package, which benefits those born in 1973 or earlier. The Earn and Save Bonus provides eligible Singaporeans who earn up to S$6,000 a month with a yearly bonus of S$1,000 to their CPF savings. Young seniors who currently have savings that are below the Basic Retirement Sum of S$99,400 will also receive a one-time bonus of S$1,000 to S$1,500 to their CPF Retirement or Special Account.


These changes come amidst the announcement that the CPF Special Account (SA) will be closed for individuals aged 55 and above from 2025. Funds from the SA will be transferred to the Retirement Account (RA) up to the prevailing Full Retirement Sum (S$213,000 in 2025) where it will continue to earn interest at around 4% per annum. Any excess funds will then be transferred to the Ordinary Account where it earns a lower interest rate of 2.5% per annum or be withdrawn at any time. Navigating these changes might seem daunting with the different figures and accounts. Consider speaking to a financial adviser rep to better understand how these changes affect you and discover alternative ways to continue growing your money even during your retirement.     


A one-time bonus S$750 to S$1,500 will also be disbursed to the CPF MediSave accounts of those born in 1973 or older. The actual amount will depend on their year of birth, annual value of their residence and how many properties they own.


Don’t forget about the S$3.5 billion being set aside over the next decade for Age Well SG initiatives aimed at helping Singaporeans engage in active ageing. These include a slew of infrastructure upgrades like more sheltered linkways, pedestrian-friendly roads and more senior-friendly amenities in neighbourhoods.


As you enter your golden years and your children gain financial independence, you may want to consider converting your term life into an endowment or whole life policy to build your savings. Be sure to pick up a CareShield Life or ElderShield upgrade to better manage your long-term care needs as well.



General benefits


In case the S$500 worth of CDC vouchers you got at the start of the year weren’t enough, all households will receive an additional S$600 in CDC vouchers – the first S$300 will be disbursed in June 2024, while another S$300 will arrive in January 2025. Pro tip: Head over to the GoWhere site to see if some of your favourite cafes are listed as heartland merchants where you can spend your CDC vouchers!


This year’s Assurance Package also adds another round of cost-of-living special payments of S$200 to S$400 in September 2024 for all citizens aged 21 and above in 2024 who are living in Singapore, do not own more than one property and had an assessable income of not more than S$100,000 in 2022. It might be tempting to just spend this money but resist the urge, friend, and stash it for your emergency fund instead.

Support for all


Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by the announcements during Budget 2024. It’s nice to see how everyone is being looked after and with the right planning, each of these measures can go a long way.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your quest for financial freedom are just looking for a place to start, our Milestone Map is a great jumping-off point for any life stage. Of course, you can also chat with any of Singlife’s friendly financial adviser representatives who can help you plan your version of financial freedom.      



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