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Excess proceeds of lease buyback will be disbursed to owners in cash

We thank Mr Arthur Lim for his letter “What happens to excess proceeds from lease buyback plan?” (Sept 10).

Lily Chan-Wong Jee Choo, Director (Policy & Property), Housing & Development Board

We thank Mr Arthur Lim for his letter “What happens to excess proceeds from lease buyback plan?” (Sept 10).

The Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS), one of various monetisation options for elderly flat owners to supplement their retirement income, will be enhanced from April 1 to benefit more elderly households and offer greater flexibility to meet different needs.

The four enhancements are: Extension of the LBS to four-room flats; higher monthly household income ceiling of S$10,000; relaxed requirement for households with two or more owners to top up their Central Provident Fund Retirement Accounts (CPF RAs) with the LBS proceeds; and flexibility for households to choose the length of lease to retain.

The proceeds will first be used to top up the owners’ CPF RAs. The rest — up to S$100,000 — will be disbursed to them in a cash lump sum.

Sole owners must use the proceeds to top up to the age-adjusted prevailing Minimum Sum (MS).

For households with two or more owners, from April 1, each owner will only need to use his share of the proceeds to top up his RA to half the age-adjusted prevailing MS.

If the household’s remaining proceeds are not more than S$100,000, the owners will receive this all in cash.

If the remaining proceeds are more than S$100,000, each owner will use his share to further top up his RA to the prevailing MS. They will receive proceeds of S$100,000 (or more, if they have met the prevailing MS) in cash.

If an owner dies, any remaining lease will be passed to his beneficiary, who can either continue living in the flat for the remaining lease or return it to the Housing and Development Board (HDB) for the residual value of the lease.

The owner’s remaining CPF monies will be distributed to his nominees. If no CPF nomination was made, the monies will be distributed to his family members according to intestacy law or Muslim inheritance laws.

The HDB has financial counsellors to provide personalised advice to interested seniors.

Those who wish to learn more about the LBS or other monetisation options may visit any HDB branch or call the HDB branch service line (1800 225 5432) (8am to 5pm on weekdays). More information on the LBS can be found at http://www.hdb.gov.sg/lbs.

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