Guide to Baby Bonus in Singapore: Eligibility, Payout & More
What is the Baby Bonus Scheme?
The Baby Bonus Scheme was implemented in Singapore on 1 April 2001 to tackle low fertility rates by encouraging married couples to have more babies. It does so by lightening the financial burden of raising children, alleviating this challenge of raising a child.
Over the years, the scheme has been enhanced to include the Enhanced Baby Bonus Cash Gift, in addition to the cash gift and the Child Development Account (CDA) benefits already provided under the scheme.
Read on to learn the details of the Baby Bonus Scheme.
What Does the Baby Bonus Scheme Constitute?
There are two aspects to the Baby Bonus Scheme:
- Cash gift (including the Enhanced Baby Bonus Cash Gift); and
- CDA benefits.
The cash gift is an amount of cash given to parents of a new-born to help defray the cost of raising and caregiving. This amount depends on the birth order of the child (see the table below).
The cash gift has since been enhanced to provide an extra Baby Bonus Plus of $2,000 on top of the existing cash gift. This enhancement is known as the Enhanced Baby Bonus Cash Gift.
The CDA is a trust account that belongs to the child. A CDA trustee will manage the account’s funds for the child’s benefit. Such trustees can be either the child’s parents or a third-party. The trustee has to be at least 18 years old and not a bankrupt.
Under the CDA benefits, there is the CDA First Step Grant and the Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Cap.
The CDA First Step Grant is a government grant of $3,000 that is deposited into your child’s CDA account.
The Dollar-for-Dollar Matching is a governmental initiative where the government’s deposit into your child’s CDA account matches the amount you put into the same account. This happens until your child reaches the age of 12.
While the payouts for the Enhanced Baby Bonus Cash Gift and the CDA First Step Grant are fixed (as mentioned above), the amounts of the cash gift and Dollar-for-Dollar Matching depend on your child’s birth order.
The amounts given are stated in the following table:
|Birth Order||Cash Gift
(Inclusive of $2,000 Baby Bonus Plus)
|CDA Benefits||Total Baby Bonus Benefits|
|CDA First Step Grant||Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Cap|
|1st and 2nd child||$8,000||$3,000||Up to $3,000||Up to $14,000|
|3rd and 4th child||$10,000||Up to $9,000||Up to $22,000|
|5th child and higher||$10,000||Up to $ 15,000||Up to $28,000|
What Can the Funds of the Baby Bonus Scheme be Used For?
The cash gift can be used flexibly to defray any cost. Ideally, it should be used for the caregiving of your new-born child.
The funds in the CDA account have restrictions as to what they can be used for. They cannot be withdrawn in cash and may be used on the newborn child and their siblings only. The funds may only be used at/for:
- Baby Bonus Approved Institutions (AIs), which can be:
- Child care centres, kindergartens and special education schools
- Early intervention programmes providers
- Assistive technology devices providers
- Hospitals and clinics
- Optical shops
- Medical Insurance
- MediShield Life
- Medisave-approved plans
What are the Eligibility Criteria to Receive the Baby Bonus Benefits?
To be eligible for the Enhanced Baby Bonus Cash Gift, there are 3 requirements to be satisfied:
- The child’s birth date or estimated date of delivery falls on or after 1 January 2015;
- The child is a Singapore Citizen; and
- The child’s parents are lawfully married (subject to the exception below).
These same eligibility requirements apply for the CDA benefits, except that your child’s birth date or estimated date of delivery must fall on or after 24 March 2016.
You may also check your eligibility by answering some questions via the Baby Bonus eligibility calculator.
(Exception) Are children of single parents eligible for the baby bonus?
Children of unwed/single parents may be eligible for CDA benefits only if they are born on or after 1 September 2016. However, they will still not be eligible for the cash gift.
It should also be noted that only single mothers are eligible to receive the benefits in the CDA accounts and not single fathers.
What if unwed parents get married after the child’s birth?
If unwed parents get married after the birth of their child, they may apply for the Baby Bonus Scheme after they have received their marriage certificate. This is provided that:
- The father’s name is included in the child’s birth certificate;
- Your child is a Singapore citizen; and
- Your child is below 12 years old
Are adopted children eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme?
Adopted children may be eligible for the Baby Bonus after the adoption process is completed. Therefore, parents should apply for the Baby Bonus Scheme only after the adoption process has been completed.
Are parents who are foreigners eligible for the Baby Bonus?
The newborn child of parents who are not Singapore Citizens will be eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme as long as the new-born becomes a Singapore Citizen. It does not matter whether one or both parents are Singapore Citizens at the time of birth of the newborn.
The Baby Bonus benefits for children born to parents who are foreigners will be pro-rated as shown in the tables below:
|Age when the child becomes a Singapore Citizen||Cash gift or 1st or 2nd child||Cash gift for 3rd child and onwards|
|Before 6 months old||$8,000||$10,000|
|6 months old or older but before 12 months old||$6,000||$7,500|
|12 months old or older but before 18 months old||$4,000||$5,000|
|18 months old or older but before 24 months old||$2,000||$2,500|
|Beyond 24 months old||NIL||NIL|
|Age of child when Singapore Citizenship is obtained||CDA First Step Grant||1st or 2nd child||3rd or 4th child||5th child and above|
|Government dollar-for-dollar matching||Total CDA Benefits||Government dollar-for-dollar matching||Total CDA Benefits||Government dollar-for-dollar matching||Total CDA Benefits|
|At birth or before 1st birthday||$3,000||$3,000||$6,000||$9,000||$12,000||$15,000||$18,000|
|On or after 1st and before 2nd birthday||$2,750||$2,750||$5,500||$8,250||$11,000||$13,750||$16,500|
|On or after 2nd and before 3rd birthday||$2,500||$2,500||$5,000||$7,500||$10,000||$12,500||$15,000|
|On or after 3rd and before 4th birthday||$2,250||$2,250||$4,500||$6,750||$9,000||$11,250||$13,500|
Note that the CDA payout decreases after every year the child remains a non-Singaporean Citizen, up to the child’s 11th birthday.
You may wish to check the payout amount you will receive using the Baby Bonus eligibility calculator.
When Do I Apply for the Baby Bonus Scheme and How?
Do I apply before or after the child’s birth?
The Baby Bonus Scheme may be applied before or after the child’s birth. Parents may pre-register for the Baby Bonus Scheme up to 2 months before the estimated delivery date, or join the scheme after their child’s birth registration.
However, the child has to join the scheme before the end of the year that they turn 12 years old.
If the child was not a Singapore Citizen at the time of birth, the amount of benefits they will receive under the scheme will be pro-rated based on when they became a Singapore Citizen (and hence become eligible to join the scheme) as discussed above.
Procedure and documents to apply
The following is a 3-step procedure to apply for baby bonus:
- Log on to the Baby Bonus website using your SingPass.
- Provide the following details:
- Personal information of the parents and their child (e.g. personal information and supporting documents, if applicable, such as a citizenship certificate or an adoption order)
- The bank account details of the person to receive the cash gift (the bank account holder can be appointed by a parent who has either custody, care and control of the child, or with care and control of the child by a court order, without the other parent’s consent)
- Select a CDA bank and the CDA trustee. If the parent is not the trustee, get the trustee to log on to the baby bonus website (mentioned in step 1) with his/her SingPass to accept the CDA bank’s Terms and Conditions.
- Complete the relevant sections of the application and submit it.
What Happens to the Baby Bonus Benefits in the Event of the Parents’ Divorce or the Child’s Death?
In the event of a divorce, any remaining cash gift will be credited into the bank account of the parent with custody, care and control of the child.
In the event where the CDA trustee dies, the personal representative of the deceased trustee becomes the new CDA trustee.
If the child passes away, the CDA account will be closed and any remaining balance will be transferred to the Public Trustee for disbursement according to the Interstate Succession Act or Syariah Law.
Any outstanding cash gift amounts will be given to the CDA bank account holder in one lump sum.
By When Must All the Baby Bonus Funds be Used?
The CDA closes at the end of the year that the child turns 12. However, this does not mean that any unused CDA balance will expire.
Instead, the unused funds will be transferred to the child’s Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) to be used for school programmes and/or study loans.
Over the years, the government has continuously revised and enhanced the Baby Bonus Scheme. With these improvements, the scheme has become more inclusive in its aim to increase the financial aid to parents while they raise their children.
To find out more about the Baby Bonus Scheme, visit the Baby Bonus website.