SINGAPORE — Singaporean children up to six years old in 2023 will receive a one-off top-up of $400 to their Child Development Account (CDA) from mid-September 2023.
In an announcement on Monday (4 September), the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said that this amount – double the top-up in 2022 – will benefit about 240,000 children.
The top-up will be credited directly to the child's CDA from mid-September 2023 or after the CDA is opened, whichever is later. Parents who have yet to open a CDA will need to do so by 30 June 2024 for their children to receive the top-up.
CDA trustees will be notified via SMS, email, or hardcopy letter after the CDA top-ups have been credited. CDA trustees are advised to guard against scams and should take note that SMS notifications sent to CDA trustees would only be from the SMS ID "MSF".
The SMS notification will only contain information on the status of the top-up after it has been credited into the child's CDA. CDA trustees will not be asked to reply to the SMS, click any links, or provide any information to the sender. Messages on the CDA top-up will also not be sent via WhatsApp or other mobile application messaging platforms.
For enquiries on the one-off CDA top-up, members of the public may call the Baby Bonus Hotline at 1800 111 2222 or visit the FAQs page at www.babybonus.msf.gov.sg.
Enhanced Baby Bonus
Earlier, families with eligible children received their enhanced Baby Bonus benefits from 1 August, several months earlier than the anticipated early-2024 initial implementation period.
In a statement on 28 July, Singapore's Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) said that "agencies have successfully expedited the legislation and system updates necessary to bring forward the implementation timeline to 1 Aug 2023".
Eligible Singaporean children are those who were born on, or after 14 February 2023, to legally married parents.
Here's what you need to know about the new Baby Bonus Scheme, comprising the Baby Bonus Cash Gift (BBCG) and the CDA.
What is the increased baby bonus from 2023?
During his Budget speech in February 2023, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced that the BBCG would be increased by S$3,000 for eligible Singaporean children born on and from 14 February 2023.
The payout schedule would also be adjusted to provide support regularly every six months. This will be in force until the child turns six-and-a-half years old.
The government would also raise contributions to the CDA, which is generally used to help with preschool and healthcare expenses, from S$3,000 to S$5,000 for the First Step Grant, and by $1,000 in co-matching caps for the first and second child.
MSF and NPTD said children enrolled in the Baby Bonus Scheme from 1 August will receive their First Step Grant in their CDA within two weeks of opening their accounts. The children will also receive government co-matching contributions within two weeks from parents depositing into the CDA, excluding public holidays.
There will be a phased approach for children who enrolled between 14 February to 30 June, MSF and NPTD said.
A child enrolled from 14 February to 30 June will have the additional S$2,000 First Step Grant be paid into the CDA by mid-August. Parents can start saving in the CDA from 1 August and receive government co-matching contributions, up to the additional cap of S$1,000, within two weeks of deposit, excluding public holidays.
A child enrolled from 1 to 31 July will get the additional S$2,000 First Step Grant paid into the CDA by 1 October. Parents can start saving in the CDA from 1 August and receive government co-matching contributions, up to the additional cap of S$1,000, by 1 October. Savings made after 1 October will be co-matched within two weeks of deposit.
How much baby bonus will you get?
If you have eligible children, born on or after 14 February 2023, the Baby Bonus cash gift will amount to S$11,000 for the first and second child, and S$13,000 from the third child onwards.
What is the baby bonus?
The Baby Bonus Scheme helps Singapore parents manage the costs of raising a child.
The scheme comprises the BBCG and a CDA, which is a co-savings scheme for your child.
How does the CDA work?
The CDA in turn has two components – the First Step Grant, and government co-matching of parents' savings. The First Step Grant is deposited into the CDA without you having to save first. Subsequently, when you put money into the CDA, and your savings will be co-matched by the Government, up to a cap.
What can CDA money be used for?
CDA funds can be used at the Baby Bonus Approved Institutions to pay for the following expenses of your child:
Fees for registered childcare centres, kindergartens, special education schools and early intervention programmes
Medical expenses at healthcare institutions such as hospitals and general practitioner clinics
Premiums for MediShield Life or MediSave-approved private integrated plans
Assistive technology devices
Eye-related products and services at optical shops
Approved healthcare items at pharmacies
Who is eligible for baby bonus in Singapore?
The Baby Bonus Scheme is eligible for children who are Singapore citizens, and whose parents are legally married.
Children of unwed parents are eligible to join receive CDA benefits if they are Singaporeans and were born on, or after 1 September 2016.
How to register for the Baby Bonus Scheme?
To join the Baby Bonus Scheme, start by checking your child's eligibility by using the "Check Eligibility" function on the Baby Bonus website. If your child qualifies, you may apply to join the Baby Bonus Scheme up to two months before your child's expected due date – use the form on the MSF website.
When applying, both parents have to decide which parent or a third party will receive the cash gifts as a nominated bank account holder, and manage the CDA as a CDA trustee. The nominated bank account holder for the cash gift and the CDA trustee can be the same person, or different people. The CDA trustee has to be above the age of 18 and must not be a bankrupt.