A NEW Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme is being introduced to help parents provide for the long-term financial security of their children with special needs. The Special Needs Savings Scheme will enable parents to ensure that, after their death, funds in their CPF accounts can be regularly disbursed to cover the child’s needs until the savings are exhausted. The scheme, an initiative of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, is being set up through changes to the CPF Act tabled in Parliament yesterday. It will be debated in the House later. The Manpower Ministry, which oversees the CPF scheme, said the initiative will “provide parents of special-needs children with a low-cost option for savings and disbursement to the children after the parents’ demise”.
Several changes related to the administration of other CPF matters are also being made. These include provisions to better manage unclaimed monies when the actual date of a CPF member’s death cannot be ascertained. Also introduced yesterday was the Work Injury Compensation (Amendment) Bill. Its proposals include restricting compensation for some categories of work-related fights, and expanding the scope of occupational diseases where compensation can be made. Compensation limits will also be increased to take into account rising wages and health-care costs.
Several changes have also been proposed for the Income Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act and Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act. Amendments to the Income Tax Act take into account changes announced in the Government’s 2011 Budget, and other changes arising from its regular review. Changes to the Stamp Duties Act include the removal of the $2 and $10 stamp duties currently levied on documents; while the changes to the GST Act will help companies in the marine and biomedical sectors, and provide relief for local companies with specialised warehouses.