If you were born before 1950 and became a Singapore citizen before 1987, congratulations, you’re part of the Pioneer Generation. According to the government, you’re part of that first batch of Singaporeans who laid the foundations that helped the country become what it is today. And you get a cool Pioneer Generation Card too!
That all sounds very nice. But the reality is that many people in this age group spent their prime working years in a time when prices and wages were a mere fraction of what they are today. For some, their twilight years will be spent in poverty.
That’s where the Pioneer Generation Package comes in.
- What is the Pioneer Generation Package?
- Are you eligible for a Pioneer Generation Card?
- Summary of Pioneer Generation Card benefits
- Outpatient care
- Subsidies for MediShield Life Premiums
- Medisave Top-Ups
- Cash of $100 a month under Disability Assistance Scheme
- NTUC FairPrice Pioneer Generation discounts
What is the Pioneer Generation Package?
If you look at government websites, you’ll read that the purpose of the $9 billion Pioneer Generation Package is to “honour and thank” Pioneers for their hard work in making Singaporean what it is today
But the unsaid purpose of the Pioneer Generation Package is to help older Singaporeans to survive financially, particularly those who do not have enough for retirement.
The Pioneer Generation Package schemes offer healthcare support, as well as other discounts and subsidies.
To this end, every Singaporean who qualifies as a member of the Pioneer Generation should have received a Pioneer Generation Card, which they can use to take advantage of the benefits.
Are you eligible for a Pioneer Generation Card?
Not sure if you are a true member of the Pioneer Generation? Here are the criteria.
- You must have been aged 16 and above in 1965, meaning you were:
- Born on or before 31 December 1949, and
- Aged 65 and above in 2014.
- You must have obtained Singapore citizenship on or before 31 December 1986.
If you qualify, you should have been one of about 450,000 people who were notified by post of your Pioneer Generation status in June 2014. Regardless of your income level, all Singaporeans who qualify should have been issued a Pioneer Generation Card which entitles them to certain benefits.
Didn’t receive your Pioneer Generation card but think you should have? Check if you qualify on this site, and dial 1800-2222-888 if you think something is amiss.
Summary of Pioneer Generation Card benefits
Hold on to that Pioneer Generation Card if you have one, because it can help you save quite a bit of money when it comes to healthcare and eldercare.
The benefits your Pioneer Generation Card gives you can be divided into these four broad categories:
- Outpatient care – For when you fall sick and have to see a doctor or seek treatment, but are not hospitalised.
- Subsidies for MediShield Life premiums – This is our national health insurance scheme, whose premiums can be paid for using Medisave.
- Medisave Top-ups – Your CPF Medisave account can be used to pay for hospitalisation, certain approved types of outpatient treatment, Integrated Shield Plan premiums and more.
- Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme – Offers monthly payouts to those who need assistance in their daily lives.
As you get older, there is a high chance your healthcare spending will increase.
Basic hospitalisation costs are usually at least partially covered by MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans, if you have one, or can be paid for using the savings you’ve accumulated in your CPF Medisave account.
But outpatient care (ie. healthcare when you are not hospitalised) must usually be paid for out of pocket, unless it falls under one of the categories that you can pay for using the savings in your Medisave account. (Not sure what you can pay for using Medisave? We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to Medisave here.)
Here are the outpatient care benefits your Pioneer Generation Card gets you.
Additional 50% off subsidised services and medications at polyclinics and Specialist Outpatient Clinics
Our public healthcare system is already heavily subsidised. While consultation fees for Singaporean adults are $13.20 at polyclinics, senior citizens pay just $6.80.
With your Pioneer Generation Card, you get an additional 50% off subsidised services and medications. That means a polyclinic consultation will cost you just $3.40 (medication not included).
In addition, if you have a monthly household income of $1,800 and below, you can submit this application form (link will download a PDF) to request for higher subsidies. Note that you MUST apply even if you qualify, otherwise you will not receive these further subsidies!
Here are the maximum subsidies you can receive according to your income level.
Subsidies at Specialist Outpatient Clinics
Household monthly income per personAnnual value of home for households with no incomeAt Specialist Outpatient Clinics for all agesFor subsidised servicesFor subsidised medications$1,100 and below$13,000 and below70%75%$1,101-$1,800$13,001-$21,00060%75%More than $1,800/Did not apply for subsidiesMore than $21,000/Did not apply for subsidies50%50%
Special Pioneer Generation Subsidy – Additional 50% subsidy for services and medications
Subsidies at Polyclinics for those aged 65 and above
Household monthly income per personAnnual value of home for households with no incomeAt Polyclinics for all elderly aged 65 and aboveFor subsidised servicesFor subsidised medications$1,100 and below$13,000 and below75%$1,101-$1,800$13,001-$21,000More than $1,800/Did not apply for subsidiesMore than $21,000/Did not apply for subsidies
Special Pioneer Generation Subsidy – Additional 50% subsidy for services and medications
Here’s a list of public hospitals and institutions where you can enjoy Pioneer Generation subsidies for outpatient treatments.
- SingHealth Polyclinics
- National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (including BreastScreen Singapore services offered at Outram Polyclinic by Medi-Rad Associated)
- Alexandra Hospital
- Changi General Hospital
- Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- National University Hospital (Singapore)
- Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
- Singapore General Hospital
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital
- Institute of Mental Health
- Jurong Medical Centre
- National Cancer Centre of Singapore
- National Dental Centre of Singapore
- National Heart Centre of Singapore
- National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore
- National Skin Centre (Singapore)
- Singapore National Eye Centre
IMPORTANT! Do note that while you can just turn up at a polyclinic without an appointment and still receive subsidised treatment, for Specialist Outpatient Clinics (that means all the above institutions except SingHealth and National Healthcare Group Polyclinics), things are different.
In order to qualify for subsidies at Specialist Outpatient Clinics, you must:
- Not choose your specialist, and
- Be referred by a polyclinic or a public hospital where you were a subsidised patient, or
- Be referred by a CHAS doctor.
So remember to always make sure you have a referral when you visit any doctor except for those at polyclinics if you want to receive the Pioneer Generation subsidy for outpatient treatment.
Also, be aware that Pioneer Generation subsidies do NOT apply to private clinics!
Subsidies at participating GP and dental clinics under the CHAS scheme
The Community Health Assistant Scheme (CHAS) is designed to lower healthcare costs for lower- to middle-income Singaporeans by offering subsidised dental and medical care.
To enjoy these subsidies at participating CHAS clinics, you usually have to apply for a CHAS card first. But as a Pioneer Generation cardholder, you are automatically entitled to CHAS subsidies, so there’s no need for a CHAS card.
Here are the subsidies you enjoy when visiting a GP or dental clinic that’s participating in the CHAS scheme.
Up to $28.50 subsidy
Chronic conditions under CDMP*
Visit for a single chronic condition
Up to $90 subsidy per visit, capped at $360 subsidy per year
Visits for multiple chronic conditions, or a single chronic condition with complication(s).
Up to $135 subsidy per visit, capped at $540 subsidy per year
Selected dental services
$21 to $266.50 subsidy per procedure (amount depends on procedure)
Health screening under Screen For Life for diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer
Free with Screen for Life invitation letter, for recommended screening test(s) and first post-screening consultation, if required
* Diabetes, Hypertension, Lipid Disorders, Stroke, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Major Depression, Schizophrenia, Dementia, Bipolar Disorder, Osteoarthritis, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Anxiety, Parkinson’s Disease, Nephritis/Nephrosis.
Not sure which clinics participate in the CHAS scheme? Here’s a full list of all participating clinics islandwide.
Subsidies for MediShield Life Premiums
All Singaporeans are automatically enrolled in the MediShield Life national health insurance scheme and must pay premiums for MediShield Life every year. Medishield Life premiums can be paid for using Medisave.
Pioneer Generation cardholders receive subsidies of 40% to 60% on their MediShield Life premiums.
Here’s how much you’re getting, depending on your current age.
Age next birthday
MediShield Life annual premiums
With Pioneer Generation subsidies
66 to 70
71 to 73
74 to 75
76 to 78
79 to 80
81 to 83
84 to 85
86 to 90
However, do note that if you have a serious pre-existing condition which surfaced before MediShield Life kicked in on 1 Nov 2015, you will pay 30% more in MediShield Life premiums for 10 years.
Pioneer Generation folks will get yearly top-ups of $200 to $800 to their CPF Medisave accounts. These top-ups will continue for life.
The top-ups are distributed according to age.
Year of birth
Amount of top-ups
1934 and before
1935 to 1939
1940 to 1944
1945 to 1949
Cash of $100 a month under Disability Assistance Scheme
To qualify for the monthly cash benefit of $100 a month for the rest of your life, you must need permanent help with at least three of these six activities:
You’ll need to apply for the cash gift by submitting the three forms on this page.
NTUC FairPrice Pioneer Generation discounts
This is one benefit that doesn’t exactly come from the government, but is worth mentioning anyway.
Since October 2014, NTUC Income has been running a discount scheme for Pioneer Generation cardholders. They have announced that this scheme will be extended until December 2018 at least.
Pioneer Generation cardholders enjoy the following benefits when they shop at NTUC FairPrice.
- 3% discount at all FairPrice supermarkets and hypermarkets on Mondays and Thursdays.
- 2% discount at all FairPrice supermarkets and hypermarkets on Tuesdays.
- All NTUC FairPrice outlets offer priority queuing at designated Pioneer Generation priority payment counters.
Are you or is anyone in your family a Pioneer Generation cardholder? Share your experiences in the comments.
More Info: blog.moneysmart.sg
Categories: Money Matters