Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on government pensions
Parliamentary Sitting Date: 21 April 2008:
Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Prime Minister in light of the rising cost of living especially with respect to food and other daily necessities, whether the Ministry will consider giving a cost of living allowance to all Government pensioners who have contributed in the past to the growth of the country.
Oral Reply (for the Prime Minister) by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Minister in charge of the Civil Service and Minister for Defence:
A pension is a fixed quantum paid for past services rendered, and is calculated based on an officer’s length of pensionable service and pensionable salary as at the eve of retirement. This is provided for under the Pensions Act. Hence, the pension is not subject to change.
Notwithstanding the fixed nature of the pension, since 1974 the Government has given an ex-gratia payment, called the Singapore Allowance to pensioners with low pensions. This is an additional payment over and above the pensions received. Since its inception, the Singapore Allowance has been adjusted several times. Most recently, as announced during the Budget Speech this year, the Government has with effect from 1 April 2008 increased the Singapore Allowance by $20 from $200 to $220 per month. For those receiving the Singapore Allowance, the gross pension ceiling, comprising the monthly pension plus Singapore Allowance, was also raised, from $1,150 to $1,170.
Like other citizens, pensioners are also eligible for national surplus sharing initiatives from the Government. A number of these initiatives have been specially designed to benefit older Singaporeans.