THE automatic entry age for the Dependants' Protection Scheme (DPS) will be raised from 16 to 21 from Jan 1 as more young people start work at a later age.
The DPS is an optional term insurance plan covering Central Provident Fund (CPF) members for a maximum sum of $46,000 up to age 60.
It was started by the Government in 1989 under the CPF Act, and is automatically extended to CPF members - citizens or permanent residents - aged between 16 and 59 when they make their first CPF contribution.
The appointed insurers are Great Eastern and NTUC Income.
The CPF Board said on Friday that the inclusion age for the DPS will be raised to 21 in response to members' feedback and the changing profile of younger members. More members are starting work at a later age.
However, members aged between 16 and 20 can choose to opt into the scheme once they start making CPF contributions.
For those 21 and above, it is an opt-out system - they have to inform their insurer in writing of their wish not to take part.
If they do so within two months of joining the scheme, they will receive a full premium refund.
The purpose of employing an automatic opt-in system is to insure CPF members as early as possible, when they are more likely to be healthy and insurable, and when the premium is at its lowest.
Annual premiums range from $36 to $260 and the coverage is worldwide.
Members may use funds in their Ordinary Account or Special Account to pay the premiums.
As of Dec 31 last year, a total of 1.92 million members were covered under the scheme, and the total sum assured was $95.9 billion.
During the year, 2,789 claims were approved and paid, of which 1,944 were for deaths, and 845 for permanent incapacity.
The total claim amount also increased, from $138.6 million in 2010 to $142.1 million last year.
MediShield, the national health insurance scheme, is another insurance scheme CPF members are automatically included in.
Coverage is extended to CPF members once they make their first CPF contribution, but they can choose to opt out.
As of Sept 30, about 3.5 million CPF members and dependants were covered under MediShield and other Integrated Plans, which are Medisave-approved enhancement plans that provide higher insurance coverage and are available from private insurers.
When CPF members reach the age of 40, they will also be included in the ElderShield scheme, a severe disability insurance scheme that provides basic financial protection to those who need long-term care.
Aviva, Great Eastern and NTUC Income are the appointed insurers.
Its premium is determined at the age of entry and does not increase with age.