Family Benefits for Parents in Singapore:
- MediSave Maternity Package
- MediSave Grant for Newborn
- MediShield Life Coverage
- CPF Education Loan Scheme
- MOE Tuition Fee Loan
- Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) & Extended Childcare Leave (ECL)
- Maternity Leave Eligibility and Entitlement
- Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Relief
- Grandparent Caregiver Relief
- Parenthood Tax Rebate
- Qualifying Child Relief/Handicapped Child Relief
- Working Mother’s Child Relief
With new births in Singapore, the Government has various grants, maternity and paternity benefits and tax reliefs to support parents in raising children.
If you’re wondering what type of financial benefits you and your children qualify for, read on to find out. Note that eligibility varies for Singapore Citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) or Foreigner Singapore tax residents.
Save on pregnancy medical expenses, baby’s healthcare needs and enjoy basic health insurance coverage
1. MediSave Maternity Package (MMP)
What is the MediSave Maternity Package? How do I make a claim? Parents can use their MediSave account for pre-delivery medical expenses (e.g., consultations, ultrasounds, tests, and medications), and delivery expenses (including medical expenses, delivery procedure charges and daily hospital charges).
To claim pre-delivery charges, simply present the bills for pre-delivery medical care to the hospital where baby was delivered. The hospital will submit these bills and the delivery expenses to complete the claim on your behalf.
2. MediSave Grant for Newborn
Babies who are born as Singapore Citizens will receive a MediSave grant of $4,000 deposited into their automatically created MediSave account. This sum can be used for your child’s healthcare expenses including childhood vaccinations, MediShield Life premiums, hospitalisation and approved outpatient treatments.
3. MediShield Life Coverage
This is a mandatory basic health insurance all Singapore Citizen babies are automatically covered with, subjected to affordable premiums payable by families. The MediShield Life Coverage can be used for hospital bills and subsidised treatments at local public hospitals.
Planning for your child’s education expenses
4. CPF Education Loan Scheme
When your child is looking to do a Diploma or Degree in Singapore, the tuition fees can be paid for under the CPF Education Loan Scheme. Do note that only full-time subsidised diploma/degree courses at Approved Educational Institutions (AEIs) are covered by this. Repayment of the principal amount and accrued interest returns to the CPF account.
For courses not in the list, other education loan options include commercial bank loans and the MOE Tuition Fee Loan arrangement.
5. MOE Tuition Fee Loan (TFL)
Students applying for local tertiary courses can take up the TFL to cover a portion of their tuition fees. This interest-free study loan repayment may also be suspended during the period of an economic downturn, just as it was extended during this pandemic.
Benefits for Working Parents
6. Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) & Extended Childcare Leave (ECL)
The Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) benefit is extended to eligible working parents who are self-employed, adoptive, foster parents, step-parents and legal guardians. Working parents with a Singaporean child under 7 years old will enjoy up to 6 days of leave per relevant period . Under the Extended Childcare Leave (ECL) benefit which supports working parents with Singaporean kids from 7 to 12 years old, you can claim 2 days of leave per relevant period too. Eligibility requirement for the claiming of childcare leave applies.
7. Maternity Leave Eligibility and Entitlement
Working mothers are entitled to either 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave or 12 weeks of maternity leave, depending on whether your child is a Singapore Citizen and other criteria. Working fathers can also apply to share up to 4 weeks of their wives’ 16-week maternity leave via the Shared Parental Leave scheme.
8. Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Relief (FDWL)
When mums are at work, someone needs to help care for your children. If you’ve hired a foreign domestic worker, you are eligible to claim the Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Relief (FDWL) paid in the previous year. This applies to married women and divorcees or widows with children at school.
9. Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR)
Is grandpa or grandma looking after your kids when you’re at work? If so, maximise your tax savings further by claiming for the Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR). Some conditions apply, so do check before filing your income tax.
Receive free cash gifts, baby bonuses and a free Singapore passport with each birth
The Singapore Government extends the Baby Bonus, Cash Gift and the Children Development Account (CDA) to help families with the cost of raising children. There are ways to maximise your interest earnings with the CDA that’s linked to the bank, thanks to the dollar-to-dollar matching from the Government.
Wondering what the CDA funds can be used for? Primarily, your child’s infant care and childcare fees and medical services such as the Paediatrician. Thankfully, there are childcare and infant care subsidies for kids in Singapore – parents should also choose the best preschool that suits that budget. Additionally, the Working Mum Subsidy helps to save on the childcare fees.
For babies born during this COVID-19 period, they receive a one-off $3,000 cash gift to ease the family’s finances. This Baby Support Grant (BSG) applies to kids born before 1 October 2020, but whose certified estimated delivery date was on or after 1 Oct 2020.
Free passport for Singaporean babies? Yes, new Singapore Citizens enjoy a passport application fee waiver for their first passport in the lion city. These are just some unprecedented benefits offered to defray parenting expenses.
Claim tax relief for the kids you have
10. Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR)
The PTR is a one-off rebate which allows married, divorced, or widowed parents to claim tax rebates of up to $20,000 per child. This applies to adopted children too.
11. Qualifying Child Relief (QCR)/Handicapped Child Relief (HCR)
Both QCR and HCR tax reliefs are eligible for birth parents and those with stepchildren and adopted kids too. Some conditions are to be fulfilled and parents can still enjoy the Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR) and the Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR).
12. Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR)
To encourage mums to remain working, besides the Working Mum Subsidy on childcare fees, working mums can claim the WMCR according to mum’s earned income. If other reliefs are being claimed, some conditions need to be satisfied e.g. The total child relief cap for QCR/HCR and WMCR) is $50,000 per child.
Jenelle’s family financial tips: Find out how much family tax reliefs benefits you can enjoy as a Singapore Citizen!
Are you worried about the rising costs of raising kids in Singapore? Not sure how to plan for your children’s education, healthcare needs and your retirement? It’s time to get started today to ensure you can achieve your financial goals. For a complimentary consultation of your financial health, call me at 8181 6383 or send me a message here. Take charge of your family’s future and start planning.
Note: All information outlined in this article is accurate as of Nov 2021.