Press Releases

Press Releases

NTUC Income Announces Free Insurance Scheme for Low-Income Families (IFMIS)

9 Apr 2010

Scheme covers death or total and permanent disability of main caregiver, expected to benefit 13,000 low-income families with young children

Singapore, 9 April 2010 – NTUC Income, Singapore’s leading insurer announced today, the launch of a free insurance scheme for low-income households at a dinner in which Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports was the Guest of Honor.

Called the Income Family Micro-Insurance Scheme (IFMIS), it will pay out $5,000 in the event the main caregiver passes away or becomes totally and permanently disabled. It will benefit 13,000 low-income households with young children and is expected to cost NTUC Income up to $500,000 for the next three years.

Helping youth and disadvantaged children has been a central theme to Income’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme and the insurer remains committed to this cause in the coming years.

IFMIS will cover recipients of ComCare GROW schemes administered by the five Community Development Councils (CDCs), which come under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. The schemes which will benefit from IFMIS are Centre-based Financial Assistance Scheme for Child Care (CFAC), Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KiFAS) and the Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) programmes. About 18,000 children from 13,000 families currently benefit from these schemes. (See Appendix A for more details)

No application is required to join this Scheme, as the insurance cover is automatically extended to active recipients under the applicable ComCare GROW schemes. The Scheme is renewable every year and does not involve underwriting, a waiting period, or exclusion of pre-existing illnesses.

The Scheme was applauded today by Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, at the NTUC Income Summit Club Gala Dinner where he was the Guest of Honour.

Dr Balakrishnan said: “NTUC Income has continued to demonstrate how a social enterprise can deliver good business results and at the same time, bring about positive social outcomes. The Scheme launched this evening is a fine example of NTUC Income innovatively translating its business results to benefits for needy and disadvantaged families.”

NTUC Income will be working with the CDCs over the upcoming months to make available more details of the Scheme and raise awareness among the recipients of the ComCare GROW schemes.

With regard to IFMIS, NTUC Income Chief Executive Tan Suee Chieh said that the company launched the Scheme as part of its commitment to helping the community, and also to mark its 40th anniversary this year.

“There are many worthy causes in Singapore to support but NTUC Income is directing its help towards children and youth, especially those from low income families. These are uncertain times and a needy family losing a primary caregiver is likely to result in a crisis,” he said.

“To help these households, NTUC Income married its core expertise in insurance with a desire to help families in a crisis. We believe that we were able to bring our expertise to bear through this Scheme,” he added.

This year, NTUC Income will contribute close to $3 million towards charity, community projects and NTUC-related projects. When the financial crisis was in full effect in 2009, it was widely reported that many organisations planned to cut back in their contributions to charity. NTUC Income, on the other hand, decided it was during tough times that it had to help those who needed assistance most. NTUC Income then committed $1 million to help families of retrenched and low income workers under NTUC’s Labour Movement U Care Fund in 2009. A further $1 million will be extended under the U Care Fund in 2010.

Other plans launched to help needy Singaporeans include the $6 million scheme to help low-income and elderly Singaporeans with their Incomeshield premiums and the $1 million “Income Cares Fund” to help annuitants tide over this financial crisis.

NTUC Income has also been extending help to other organisations, including the Singapore Children’s Society, Assumption Pathway School and Moral Home. From 2010, special and disadvantaged children and youths in these organisations can benefit from about $200,000 annual funding.

In adopting the Assumption Pathway School, NTUC Income targeted its help towards The Monfort Challenge, a signature programme in the institution. This innovative programme is an experiential learning programme that aims to inculcate in the students an attitude of daring to dream and encourages them to take actions to make their dreams come through. It will benefit 380 students.

NTUC Income’s Summit Club Gala Dinner recognises the achievements of its top performing financial consultants, who had propelled the insurer to its leadership position in all major segments of the insurance market last year in Singapore for the first time in its history.

In 2009, Income reported a milestone of $275.2 million in sales and the highest weighted new premiums among all insurers – a measure used to benchmark the performance of life insurance companies.  This was in a year where Income grew 7.6 per cent, in sharp contrast to the -17 per cent contraction recorded by the industry.

The year 2009 was also one where NTUC Income regained its leadership position in motor insurance in Singapore, augmenting its No. 1 positions in its health and annuity insurance businesses.

Appendix A

The Community Care Endowment Fund, or ComCare for short, helps to ensure that no needy Singaporean is left behind, and serves as a springboard for the needy to become self-reliant. GROW schemes are targeted at helping children from needy families.

About Centre-based Financial Assistance Scheme for Child Care (CFAC)
CFAC provides a subsidy for a child's child care fee every month, up to the maximum amount of $340. This subsidy is given over and above the universal government child care subsidy. In addition, a start-up grant of up to $1,000 per child may be provided, to help families pay for their child's deposit, registration fee, uniforms and insurance.

About Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)
KiFAS provides a subsidy for a child's kindergarten fee every month, up to the maximum amount of $98. In addition, for very needy families earning $1,000 or less, a start-up grant of up to $200 per child may be provided, to help them pay for their child's deposit, registration fee, uniforms and insurance at the beginning of the year.

About Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA)
Student Care Centres (SCCs) provide before- or after-school care for children aged 7 to 14. If a family needs to put a child in a student care centre but cannot afford the fees, they may apply for help under SCFA. SCFA subsidises for a child's student care fees. The amount of subsidy will depend on the type of Student Care Centre your child attends and your household income.