1. About 450,000 seniors will benefit from extra subsidies for MediShield Life and outpatient treatment, as well as annual Medisave top-ups under the Pioneer Generation Package.
2. As one of the first Singapore 50 (SG50) events, the Pioneer Generation Tribute was held this morning at the Istana. Attended by over 1,000 members of our Pioneer Generation, the event was held to say ‘Thank You’ to our Pioneer Generation for their contributions in nation-building. These representatives of our Pioneer Generation included those who have served during the early years of Singapore’s nationhood in the uniformed services, unions and the community, former political leaders, and ordinary Singaporeans who contributed in many other ways and raised the next generation of Singaporeans.
3. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the event that the Pioneer Generation will receive a Pioneer Generation Package that will be focused on healthcare. Wide consultations have shown that healthcare is at the top of the minds of older Singaporeans. The Package will provide benefits that cover different types of healthcare needs. All members of the Pioneer Generation will enjoy the Pioneer Generation Package for life.
4. It will include:
a. MediShield Life –. more subsidies for the Pioneer Generation, so that they enjoy the enhanced benefits of MediShield Life but pay less premiums than they do for MediShield today
b. Outpatient treatment – extra subsidies for the Pioneer Generation at specialist outpatient clinics (SOCs), polyclinics, and General Practitioner (GP) clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), on top of other subsidies which all citizens already enjoy
c. Medisave – annual top-ups to the Medisave accounts of the Pioneer Generation.
5. The Pioneer Generation Package will be for living Singapore Citizens who meet both the following criteria:
a. Aged 16 years and above in 1965 (born on or before 31 December 1949, i.e. aged 65 years and above in 2014), and
b. Received their citizenship by 31 December 1986.
The intent is to include those who were citizens when Singapore became independent, or became citizens in the early years after independence. However, for practical reasons, those who became citizens before 1987 will be included. (While full records exist on who Singapore citizens were, there are gaps with regard to dates of registration of citizens prior to 1987, when manual records were kept1.)
6. With this definition, about 450,000 seniors are eligible to receive the Pioneer Generation Package.
7. More information on the package will be announced in Budget 2014 on 21 February 2014. As ongoing work is still being done on MediShield Life, members of the Pioneer Generation will be informed of their detailed premiums at a later date2.
8. There is no need for Singaporeans to enquire about their eligibility now. Those who are eligible will be informed in due course. Relevant channels will also be established for citizens to check on their eligibility later, if they wish to do so.
9. Those who attended the Pioneer Generation Tribute were treated to a performance by 67-year-old singer/guitarist John Lo, as well as two fresh graduates from the Singapore School of the Arts (SOTA) – Moira Loh and Lim Jing Jie – who enthralled guests with their rendition of a new composition by John Teo, titled “Sing Singapore, Move on Singapore”, as their way of honouring the Pioneers. They were accompanied by nine community choral singers representing the four races in Singapore. This new composition represents an ordinary Singaporean’s call for all of us to come together and sing from our hearts for our country, regardless of race, language, or background.
10. Guests were also invited to take a walk down memory lane with a special exhibition depicting our heritage and the Singapore Story over the last 50 years. The exhibition, “Trading Stories”, by the National Heritage Board, showcases the lives of pioneering tradesmen in Singapore and their personal stories of how they coped with challenging times. The “Icons of SG” exhibition showcases icons which represent some of the quirks and values that make us Singaporean.
11. The Prime Minister also called on all Singaporeans to do their own part to honour our seniors. Members of the Pioneer Generation who wish to share their experiences about Singapore’s early years of independence are invited to do so by contacting the Singapore Memory Project at email@example.com. Members of the public who wish to share their memories about members of our Pioneer Generation may also do so through “A Tribute to our Pioneer Generation”, a campaign by the Singapore Memory Project, which will be launched later this month. Members of the public may also share their ideas of how we can celebrate Singapore’s 50th at www.singapore50.sg.
1 With the full computerisation exercise conducted in end-1986, the government has complete information of all citizenship registration records from 1987 onwards. Prior to 1987, the manual historical records on citizens were not complete with regard to dates of registration.
2 The actual premium levels for the Pioneer Generation will be known once the MediShield Life Review Committee has finalised the premiums and benefits for all Singaporeans. However, the Pioneer Generation will enjoy higher subsidy rates, as will be laid out in Budget 2014.