In a surprising turn of events, numerous Singaporeans have found themselves receiving their Assurance Package cash payouts of up to $800 well before the scheduled date of December 5th, as announced by the finance ministry earlier this year.
The Assurance Package (AP) cash payouts were expected to benefit approximately 2.9 million eligible Singaporeans, providing financial relief during these challenging times.
Early Payouts Spark Excitement
OCBC users, in particular, were the early beneficiaries of this financial windfall. Reports emerged that some OCBC users received the AP cash payouts as early as 3 am on Friday, December 1st, a full four days before the officially stipulated payment date.
This unexpected development has sparked excitement and curiosity among Singaporeans eagerly awaiting the financial relief promised by the government.
OCBC Users Lead the Way
Online forums quickly became a hub for discussions as OCBC users shared their experiences of receiving the cash payouts.
Users recounted how the funds started flowing into their accounts in the early hours of December 1st, creating a buzz of anticipation and surprise within the online community.
The early distribution by OCBC has undoubtedly added a layer of excitement to the upcoming festive season for those fortunate enough to be part of the early payout group.
DBS/POSB and UOB Users Follow Suit
Following OCBC, DBS/POSB users entered the fray, with reports indicating that their cash payouts began arriving around 4:30 pm on the same day.
Subsequently, UOB users joined the wave, reportedly receiving their funds about 30 minutes later, at approximately 5 pm.
The Assurance Package
All adult Singaporeans will get $200 to $800 from AP Cash and AP Cash Special Payment
The Assurance Package (AP) aims to help Singaporeans tide through the period of higher inflation and cushion the impact of the GST rate increase. The package includes cash payments, rebates, Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers, and MediSave top-ups.
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong announced at Budget 2023 that the Government would enhance the AP to account for higher inflation and provide additional one-off support to Singaporeans in 2023 to address immediate cost-of-living concerns.
This enhancement ensures that the AP will continue to offset additional GST expenses for the majority of Singaporean households for at least five years, with around ten years offset for lower-income households.
On 28 September 2023, DPM Lawrence Wong announced an additional $1.1 billion Cost-of-Living (COL) Support Package to provide more relief for Singaporean households, especially lower- to middle-income families. This includes a $0.8 billion enhancement to the AP, which brings its total to over $10 billion.
Adult Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2024 will receive up cash payouts in December 2023 under the enhanced AP.
The amount ranges from $200 to $800. About 2.9 million adult Singaporeans will receive up to $600 in AP Cash. About 2.5 million of these adult Singaporeans will also receive up to $200 in AP Cash Special Payment.
You can check if you are eligible for the payouts here.
4. For the AP Cash and AP Cash Special Payment, citizens may check their eligibility at the AP official website (go.gov.sg/assurancepackage) by logging in with their Singpass. The AP Cash and AP Cash Special Payment will be disbursed together in one lump sum in December 2023, with Singaporeans receiving up to $800 in total.
Modes of payment
Go Digital to Receive Cash Benefits Sooner
5. PayNow-NRIC provides added convenience and privacy for citizens to receive the cash benefits in their bank account, without having to disclose their bank account details to the sender. Since 2021, the Ministry of Finance has been using PayNow-NRIC as the default payment mode for citizens who have linked their NRIC to PayNow.
6. Citizens are encouraged to link their NRIC to PayNow by 19 November 2023 if they have accounts with the participating banks in Singapore. By doing so, they can receive their AP Cash and AP Cash Special Payment as early as from 5 December 2023. Please visit the AP official website for the list of participating banks and contact your bank for more details on how to link your NRIC to PayNow.
7. Those without PayNow-NRIC linked bank accounts can update their bank account information (with DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB) at the AP official website by 27 November 2023 to receive the payment from 13 December 2023.
Understanding the COL Package
The COL package, recently unveiled by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on September 28, 2023, is designed to address the pressing issue of inflation that affects the everyday lives of Singaporeans. It includes a multi-pronged approach to alleviate financial stress and provide much-needed relief.
|Enhancements to Assurance Package
|Assurance Package (AP) Cash Special Payment
|· Additional payment of up to $200 cash for 2.5 million eligible adult Singaporeans
· This one-off special payment will be disbursed in December 2023, together with the existing AP Cash component.
· In total, eligible adult Singaporeans will receive up to $800 cash in December 2023.
· This will provide more support to lower- and middle-income adult Singaporeans.
|· Additional $200 of CDC Vouchers for every Singaporean household in 2024. This will bring the total amount of CDC Vouchers to $500 for every Singaporean household in 2024
· The additional CDC vouchers will be allocated equally: $100 for spending at participating heartland merchants and hawkers, and $100 for spending at participating supermarkets.
· The 2024 CDC Vouchers should be claimed digitally at go.gov.sg/cdcv from 3 January 2024 onwards. The vouchers can be claimed any time during their validity period. Those requiring further assistance can approach their nearest Community Centre/Club (CC).
· The vouchers will expire in end-2024.
|Additional Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) Rebate
|· Additional one-off 0.5-month of S&CC rebate for 950,000 Singaporean HDB households
· This will be disbursed in January 2024, together with the regular S&CC rebates.
· This will, on average, fully offset the S&CC increase in the first year of increases for 1- to 4-room HDB flats and about 85% for larger HDB flats.
|Additional U-Save Rebates to cushion impact of increases in carbon tax and water price
|· Additional $20 per quarter of U-Save rebates from January 2024 to December 2025, or a total of $80 per year for 2 years, for 950,000 Singaporean HDB households
· These rebates will be disbursed together with the regular U-Save rebates and will cushion the impact of the increases in carbon tax and water price in 2024 and 2025.
· Over 2024–2025, the additional U-Save rebates will, on average, fully offset the increase in utility bills for 1- to 2-room HDB flats, about 80% of the increase in utility bills for 3- to 4-room HDB flats, and about 65% of the increase in utility bills for larger flats.