Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by Parentology
Since 2001, the year in which the Baby Bonus Scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, multiple enhancements have been made to the scheme, whether in terms of individual parts or the scheme as a whole. This is in order to keep up with changing circumstances regarding both the economy and the social situation in Singapore in general. Many parents and couples who face these changes, however, want to know and understand what each set of changes brings, and what the updated guidelines are in regard to their specific situations.
This article covers the BO2 enhancements regarding the Child Development Account section of the Baby Bonus Scheme, which was the set of updates announced on 26 February 2021 and aims at providing added support by beefing up the Child Development Account benefits. Do be aware that there may have been additional announcements since.
What enhancements were there?
Government Co-Matching Benefits
On top of the original co-matching benefits, the following changes will be made in this aspect. Firstly, the cap for co-matching will be raised for the second child (in terms of birth order) from $3,000 to $6,000. This applies only to children whose birthdays are on or after 1 January 2021.
The increased co-matching would apply to any deposits starting on 1 April 2021 and will continue after that.
There are no changes made to the co-matching benefits for first and third or subsequent children.
Other enhancements were added outside of the Child Development Account, including cash in lieu of paid leave for fathers and adoptive mothers, but this is outside the scope of the article.
Children from natural births and also adopted children are eligible for the higher maximum as long as they fulfil the eligibility criteria for the Baby Bonus Scheme – in this case, they would need to be Singaporean Citizens with a date of birth or Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD) on or after 1 January 2021.
(If your child’s Estimated Date of Delivery was on 1 January 2021, but they were born before the date, they still qualify for the enhancements as long as they meet the other criteria as well. In this case, you will need to submit an appeal to MSF by emailing relevant documents to email@example.com including the Estimated Date of Delivery document with the birth mother’s information, the name of the clinic, and the doctor’s signature. The appeal will be assessed and you will be updated on whether the appeal is approved within 2 weeks of submission.)
For this enhancement to be applicable, it would have to be your second child as well. While the CDA is mostly tagged to the child’s status, in this case, birth order is counted in relation to the mother. Several examples follow:
- If they are the mother’s second child and the father’s second child, then they are considered the second child order, and they would qualify for the enhancements.
- If they are the mother’s first child and the father’s second child, then they are considered the first child, and they would not qualify for the enhancements.
- If the mother has already had a child from a natural birth and is adopting a child, then the adopted child qualifies as second birth order and would qualify for the enhancements.
Adopted children are considered part of the mother’s birth order based on the date on which the adoption order was finalised. To note, as long as you and/or your spouse were citizens at the time of birth or adoption, your child will automatically qualify for Baby Bonus. If they are your second child, they will then qualify for the enhancements.
If you and/or your spouse were not citizens at the time of your child’s birth or adoption, all Baby Bonus benefits will be prorated from the date at which your child obtains Singaporean citizenship.
If you are unsure about the eligibility of your children, you can use the ‘Check Eligibility’ function on Baby Bonus Online.
Unfortunately, non-citizen children and step-children of the mother will not be counted. Additionally, children who are given up for adoption will not be counted in their birth mother’s birth order, but instead in the birth order of the person who adopted them.
There is nothing special you need to do to enrol into the enhancement other than the usual registration of your child into the Baby Bonus Scheme. You can do this on the Baby Bonus Online website, or on the LifeSG phone application. For more information, you can visit the Baby Bonus Online website, or call MSF at 1800-111-2222. You will need to navigate the menu to reach the Baby Bonus division first by speaking to the virtual assistant.
Additionally, MSF has released a series of videos instructing parents on how to register their children for the Baby Bonus Scheme on Baby Bonus Online. This can be found on the Facebook tag #BiteSized Baby Bonus.
Receiving the updated amounts
Other than the situations in which you need to appeal your case, you will simply need to enrol your child into the Baby Bonus Scheme as per usual. From then on, all Singaporean Citizen children born after 1 January 2021 will then receive the updated co-matching cap after 1 April 2021.
The rest of it is as per usual – parents who enrol their children will then be able to open the Child Development Account, deposit funds into it, and then receive the government co-matching funds within a few weeks of the deposit until the cap.
If I made a deposit into the CDA before 1 April 2021, will I still receive the increased matching?
Yes! To clarify, the co-matching is dollar-to-dollar; so, for instance, if you have made a deposit for $1,000, the government will also credit $1,000 to your account. This will happen up until $6,000, based on the updated enhancements. If you have managed to deposit $6,000 in your account prior to 1 April 2021, you will still qualify (as long as your child meets the criteria).