Lease Buyback Scheme

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Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) is a monetisation option introduced by Singapore to help elderly households in three-room or smaller flats unlock their housing equity to meet their retirement needs. It was announced by Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Mah Bow Tan, in Parliament on 6 Feb 2009, and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has started accepting applications for LBS from 1 Mar 2009.[1] The scheme underwent a review, following Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Manpower, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam announcement on 17 Feb 2012.[2] The enhanced LBS was announced on 27 December 2012, under which, eligible elderly households will receive a $20,000 LBS bonus when they sell the tail-end lease of their 3-room or smaller flats to HDB and use their net proceeds to top up their CPF Retirement Account (RAs) to the specified top-up requirements. Further revisions to the scheme were announced on 3 Sep 2014, and took effect from 1 April 2015.[3]

Flat Owner's Age (Sole Owner) To Top Up till RA has:
≤69 Prevailing MS (currently $155,000)
70 - 79 Prevailing MS - $10,000 (currently $145,000)
≥80 Prevailing MS - $20,000 (currently $135,000)

This is in addition to the value of the housing equity unlocked from the shorter lease. [1]

The household will receive the full bonus so long as the total top-up to their RAs is $60,000 or more. A maximum of $100,000 of the excess proceeds can be withdrawn in cash, after topping up the RAs to the specified requirements. Any amount in excess of $100,000 will be used to help the person with the lower RA balance meet the prevailing Minimum Sum. They will be able to use their full RA savings to buy a CPF LIFE plan if they have at least $40,000 (if below age 65) or $60,000 (if aged 65 to 79) in their RA after the top-up. This will enable the elderly couple to have a monthly stream of income for life.

Advantages[edit]

The LBS is designed to let elderly residents to age in place comfortably. They can continue to stay in their flats, in the same familiar environment and community that they have grown accustomed to. Besides, they will have a steady source of monthly income for the rest of their life. This is particularly helpful to low-income elderly households of smaller flats who are unable to take advantage of other monetisation options, e.g. right-sizing to a smaller flat elsewhere, or renting out the flat.[4]

Together with the enhanced LBS, a Silver Housing Bonus was also introduced, to help lower-income elderly households supplement their retirement income. When they right-size their flat to a 3-room or smaller flat type, they will receive a cash bonus of up to $20,000 per household.[5]

Eligibility[edit]

LBS is available to Singapore citizens owning four-room or smaller HDB flats. They must also meet the following criteria:

  • Age of youngest owner is 64 years or older;
  • At least one owner is a Singapore Citizen;
  • Household income of S$10,000 or less;
  • No concurrent ownership of second property;
  • All owners have been living in the flat for at least 5 years.
  • Have at least 20 years of lease to sell for proceeds.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "HDB to accept applications for Lease Buyback Scheme from Mar 1". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved March 31, 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "LBS" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Budget Speech 2012" (PDF). Ministry of Finance. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Revisions to the Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme". HDB. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Lease buyback: A mindset issue". AsiaOne. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/residential/living-in-an-hdb-flat/for-our-seniors/right-size-with-silver-housing-bonus

External links[edit]