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Make the most of state benefits

Make the most of state benefits

1. Baby Bonus Cash Gift 
For each Singaporean child born, you will receive upfront cash of $6,000 for each of your 1st and 2nd child, and subsequently $8,000 for each of your 3rd and 4th child. This cash gift is disbursed over 3 installments in the first 12 months of the birth of your child.

Hey wait, I only received $4,000 for my 3-year old son when he was born! That’s right, the dollar amount was raised for babies born from 26 Aug 2012 onwards, by $2,000 for each child. Isn’t it awesome that the government keeps up with inflation for baby bonus?

How about the 5th child onwards? Well, there doesn’t seem to be any information on this for now but if you are one of the (very) rare couples who have reached this stage, you may write in to the Ministry of Social & Family Development. We’d love to hear about the outcome from you.

2. Baby Bonus Child Development Account
This is essentially a dollar-for-dollar matching savings scheme for your children, which can be opened with either OCBC or Standard Chartered Bank. These funds can be used for prescribed withdrawal purposes like childcare centre fees, medical expenses and approved healthcare items. You may do a search of the approved institutions here.

The cap for this matching scheme is $6,000 from the government for each of your 1st and 2nd child, and $12,000 for each of your 3rd and 4th child, and $18,000 for each subsequent child.

Any unused balances from this account will be transferred to your child’s Post-Secondary Education Account when your child turns 13. It can then be used for your child or his/her siblings’ post-secondary education expenses. You may continue contributing to this account and receive the government’s dollar-for-dollar matching up to the ceilings mentioned above until your child turns 18.

3. Jubilee Baby Gift Pack (Only 2015 Babies)
Want something other than cash gifts from the government? It is not too late to do so. Babies born next year will receive a special package of 8 birthday presents from the government. These include a special medallion, practical items like a baby sling, multi-functional shawl and diaper bag, and also a scrapbook for memories.

Throughout the history of nations, the Jubilee Year has been associated with the cancellation of debts and release of prisoners. A gift package for new babies is uniquely Singaporean, and apt for this new-age ‘crisis’ (of fading into oblivion) that we are facing.

4. Tax Incentives
Having children also means you can claim for tax rebates from the government, under the Parenthood tax rebate (“PTR”) and working mother’s child relief (“WMCR”).