SINGAPORE - A suggestion by an opposition member to do away with a requirement for parents to deposit money into their children's Child Development Accounts in order to enjoy matching sums from the Government was rejected by Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.
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Parliamentary Questions and Answers on Child Development Co-Savings Scheme
Mr Yee Jenn Jong
Non-Constituency Member of Parliament
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development since 2001
(a) what percentage of the Child Development Co-savings Scheme budget allocated for babies born into households of one-room to three-room flats, four-room flats, five-room and executive flats, and private property respectively, have been disbursed;
(b) what percentage of children in each of these household types have received the full co-matching amount; and
(c) what are the reasons for the differences in take-up rates amongst these groups, if any.
Since 2001, close to 297,000 Child Development Accounts (CDAs) have been opened for Singaporean children. From 2001 to 2013, the government has disbursed $1.4 billion of co-savings into the CDAs.
MSF does not track the opening, matching and usage of CDAs by housing type. The ministry is mindful that low income families face more challenges in opening and depositing savings into the CDAs of their children. We work through touchpoints such as the Social Service Offices and Family Service Centres to encourage these families to save up for their children. We also support initiatives by the community such as the OCBC starter scheme, which contributes additional funds into the child's CDA to help low income families to kick start their CDA savings. We encourage more such initiatives.
(Launched in Dec 2012, the OCBC Starter Scheme is a community project to help parents, who require financial assistance, to save in their child's CDA. The scheme applies to families with household income less than $4,500. Parents need to deposit a minimum of $50 over a 6-month period, for OCBC to contribute $100 at the end of the period. Government will match the total savings of $150 in the child's CDA.)