NTUC rolls out discounts and perks for pioneers

NTUC rolls out discounts and perks for pioneers
NTUC secretary general Lim Swee Say (extreme left) takes a photograph of a group of pioneers having bread and coffee at NTUC Foodfare food court in Ang Mo Kio Hub on Oct 13, 2014.

SINGAPORE - Mondays just got better for Ms Lim Sui Cheng, 66.

The private tutor yesterday received a 3 per cent discount on her groceries at NTUC FairPrice, under a new scheme to honour Singapore’s pioneer generation aged 65 and older.

Her meals at NTUC Foodfare foodcourts will cost her 12 per cent less every Monday, while purchases of medicine and other items at NTUC Unity pharmacies will have a 6.5 per cent discount.

These discounts are on top of priority queues and seats marked out for pioneers like Ms Lim at nearly 200 NTUC-linked supermarkets, pharmacies, foodcourts and other outlets in Singapore.

This “Pioneers OK!” package, by the labour movement’s social enterprise arm called NTUC Enterprise, will last till the end of next year.

In launching it yesterday, NTUC secretary-general Lim Swee Say paid tribute to the pioneers at the event in Ang Mo Kio Hub, which 150 of them attended.

Mr Lim said: “Because of you, Singapore is OK today. And we want to work together as one Singapore to make sure that you, our pioneers, will be OK in the future.”

The Monday specials are to help the elderly with basic essentials, and are a result of feedback from them, he said.

The NTUC move follows the Government’s $9 billion Pioneer Generation Package, announced earlier this year, to help 450,000 older Singaporeans with their health-care bills.

The 3 per cent discount on Mondays at FairPrice supermarkets – capped at $200 worth of purchases – is in addition to the ongoing 2 per cent discount given every Tuesday to seniors aged 60 and older. Said Ms Lim, who was at the launch: “I spend $200 a month on groceries and household items, so I’d save $6. The savings are decent. I’ll try to do my grocery shopping on Mondays now.”

Other than the Monday discounts, there are designated priority queues every day at FairPrice supermarkets, priority queueing at NTUC Income offices, and seating areas set aside for pioneers at Foodfare eateries.

Ang Mo Kio Hub Foodfare regulars Lan Xiao Mei, 78, Tay Siak Luan, 75, and Annie Khong, 62, who meet daily for coffee and a chat, said the seats for pioneers would be much appreciated on days when their regular table is taken up by others.

The discount package also includes a new NTUC Income personal accident insurance plan called PioneerCare.

Mr Lim said NTUC Enterprise will introduce more offers every quarter.

“The next target will be in health care,” he said, adding that it was premature to disclose more at this stage.

On whether the package will continue beyond next year, he said a review will be done towards the end of the programme to assess how beneficial it was to the pioneers and its cost to NTUC cooperatives.

But more importantly, NTUC wants to make sure pioneers find the package useful, he added.

Next: Benefits at a glance

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