When people are asked what they fear the most, many of them will say they’re afraid of growing old. At some point, one can’t help but think of the inevitable. “What would it feel like to be old? What if I start to lose my memory? Will someone take care of me?”
While the first two questions can only be answered by time, the last one is something that’s more tangible. Certain policies are in place on how a nation secures the health and welfare of its senior citizens. The most basic is to give pension and discounts for almost all types of services.
Some countries and organisations, however, go the extra mile with their benefits to honour the seniors’ contribution to their nation’s history and development. To give a snapshot of how ageing can be made more comfortable, here’s a list of 10 unique senior citizen benefits around the region:
Citizens don’t have to wait to become a senior citizen in Brunei to avail of the government’s various welfare programs. There are no taxes, and the government covers citizen’s healthcare, education, and housing needs.
Pension is a common benefit in other countries, but because Bruneians are provided with almost all the basic needs, pension seems like a bonus. Seniors aged 60 and above receive a B$250 (approx. S$250) monthly.
2. Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the Social Welfare Department offers Day Care Centres/Units for the Elderly to maintain seniors’ wellness while still living in their own homes. Seniors aged 60 and above who are not receiving institutional service and whose carers can’t stay by their side on a full-time basis are eligible for this programme. To qualify, they must also be found by the Standardised Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services to be in a state of moderate or severe level of impairment.
Seniors will then be transported to and from the Day Care Centre, where they can enjoy different social and recreational activities, counseling, rehabilitation exercise, meals, among others.
For the complete list of social services and benefits for the elderly in Hong Kong, see here.
In many cases, judicial cases are dragged out for so long that plaintiffs could die before justice is served. Consider this issue addressed in India. In 2013, the Bombay High Court mandated preferential hearing of cases when one of the parties is aged 60 and above. Previously, the required age was above 65. Seniors only need to formally submit a request for the priority hearing.
Obtaining a passport has also been made easier for seniors aged 65 and above. Usually, police verification is needed prior to passport issuance. For seniors, the said verification can come after the issuance, provided they submit a passport of their child, aged 18 and above, who is living abroad.
Read more about the benefits of an Indian senior citizen here.
People who have passed the retirement age of 60 or 65 are no longer expected to work. In Indonesia, however, seniors are encouraged to remain active in the workforce.
This actually proves to be beneficial. In this interview, the Senior Advisor to the Minister of Social Accessibilities said this helps seniors become more financially independent as their children leave home. Additionally, a World Bank report showed that depression rate for the elderly in Indonesia remains low despite them having to work.
In Japan, humanoid robots are now being used to help the elderly cope with ageing.
Seniors can play and interact the humanoid robots, and there have already been studies that prove its benefits to health and well-being. While these robots are commercially sold, a nursing home was already reported to have started using robots to supplement care this year.
The Japanese have also come up with a free smartphone app that helps locate missing people with dementia, resembling a bulletin board where missing people’s information can be posted. Unlike the traditional bulletin board, however, community members who have registered to the app will be notified of any missing report so they can help out in the search.
Read more about how information technology aids in ageing in this article.
Living up to its tourism slogan, ageing is also considered “more fun in the Philippines.” Aside from the Grandparents’ Day celebrated in September, the first week of October is regarded as the Elderly Filipino Week where government agencies, local government units, and non-government organisations spearhead events and programmes to pay tribute to the country’s senior citizens.
In Makati City, considered the business capital of the country, residents who have turned 60 are given a BLU Card and are welcomed into the Tribe of Senior Citizens through a grand party. Seniors then receive yearly birthday cakes, cash incentives, and other perks such as free entrance to cinemas, tours to local destinations, salon and spa services, and Christmas groceries.
Last year, the Republic Act 10868 or “Centenarians Act of 2016,” was signed into law. Here, seniors who are celebrating their centennial year will get a letter of felicitation from the President, PHP100,000 (approx. S$2,620), plaque of recognition, and additional monetary gift from the local government unit.
Singapore is relatively young compared to other countries—it’s the Baby Boomer generation that has shaped the country to what it is today. Now in their senior years, it’s time for them to sit back and relax.
Around 450,000 Singaporeans received the Pioneer Generation Package in 2014. This would help address their healthcare costs for life. Qualified were residents aged 15 and above in 1965, which was the country’s year of independence.
Singapore also recently launched the PAssion Silver Card, a government-issued senior citizen card that offers concessionary fares in public transport, deals in over 1,000 partner merchants, and access to the People’s Association programmes and courses. Citizens aged 60 and above are eligible for the card.
See here for other initiatives for the elderly in Singapore.
8. Sri Lanka
A quick search into senior citizen benefits in Sri Lanka reveals pages relating to finance. Earlier this year, for instance, the Finance Ministry instructed all banks to increase the limit of senior citizen accounts’ fixed deposits from one million rupees (approx. S$8,800) to 1.5 million rupees (approx. S$13,200).
In 2015, the Sri Lankan government also implemented a 15% special interest rate for its seniors’ fixed deposits. The government pays for the difference between this rate and the standard bank rate.
Accordingly, banks also offer special privileges for senior citizens. Seylan Harasara allows account holders above 70 years old to reimburse medical expenses, gives enhanced interest on fixed deposits, and offers easier availment of credit cards and loans. Meanwhile, Commercial Bank has an Udara account for the elderly (Sri Lankan residents above 55 years old), benefits of which include special interest rates, medicine discounts, priority bank service, and waived registration fees for online and telephone banking.
Our next stop is Taiwan, another place where the elderly count steadily grows. This year, seniors have finally outnumbered young children, with those aged 65 and up accounting for 13.33% of the population against those aged 0–14 (13.31% of the Taiwanese). With this, the country makes great effort in the care of its aging citizens.
The Social and Family Affairs Administration (SFAA) lists numerous programmes. For one, the government can give allowance to family carers of the senior in exchange for leaving their jobs and devoting full-time care to their elderly relative.
SFAA also relies on the participation of the community for the success of its programmes. They have established Community Care Stations, where locals help care for the seniors instead of sending them to nursing institutions. They even have “multifunctional tour care buses” to ensure welfare projects reach the rural areas.
Lastly, Senior Citizen Schools make for a productive retirement as seniors learn new skills and talents, which are then showcased in the Double Ninth Festival. Not all courses are all crafty or intellectual as they pay great attention to fitness as well—they do organise hiking trips and even hold athletic competitions! Millennials glued to their tablets and smartphones could take a tip or two from these elders.
10. Christmas Island
Not an Asian country, but we just can’t resist highlighting this amazing senior citizen benefit! From 2002 to 2008, twice a week, volunteer drivers accompanied the elderly to their errands or appointments, such as shopping, medical checkup, and bank appointments. This began after a resident senior had donated a vehicle to the Shire solely for this purpose.
While it would have been nice to sustain this benefit, there are still other programmes that greatly help seniors, such as line dancing and English classes. See here for further details.
This list of benefits proves that our senior citizens will not be alone. They deserve nothing less. For more information on how Singapore senior citizens can live a happier and more convenient life, click here.
- CPF LIFE. Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) ...
- Silver Housing Bonus (SHB) 2 Room Flexi Scheme. ...
- Medifund Silver. Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) ...
- Caregivers Training Grant (CTG) Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) ...
- Comcare Long Term Assistance. Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) ...
- National Silver Academy (NSA)
As stated in the Senior Citizen Act of Singapore, anyone who is at least 60 years of age is considered a senior citizen and is eligible for these benefits.What are the benefits given to senior citizens in the country? ›
- Discounts in special programs for senior citizens.
- Express lanes for senior citizens in all government offices and commercial establishments.
- Free flu and pneumococcal vaccinations for indigent senior citizens.
- Free medical and dental services in government facilities.
Cash payouts of $600 to $900 over next 3 years from 2023 to 2025, to eligible Singaporeans aged 55 and above in 2023, depending on Assessable Income, Annual Value of home and number of properties owned.Does Singapore have old age pension? ›
Minimum Sum scheme which is designed to provide a monthly payout for around 20 years. Starting from Sep 09, members can use their CPF savings to join CPF LIFE, an annuity scheme which provides a lifelong monthly income from draw-down age. public in Singapore's four official languages.How do I get a senior citizen card in Singapore? ›
The HCP can be purchased at any TransitLink Ticket Office, TransitLink Kiosk, General Ticketing Machine or Assisted Service Kiosk. Note: Concession cards have to be activated and valid before the purchase of concession passes.What benefits are there for 55 year old? ›
- Senior discounts.
- Travel deals.
- Tax deductions for seniors.
- Bigger retirement account limits.
- No more early withdrawal penalty.
- Social Security payments.
- Affordable health insurance.
- Senior services.
The average Social Security retiree benefit will increase $146 per month, to $1,827 in 2023, from $1,681 in 2022. The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior group, had estimated last month that the COLA could be 8.7% next year.What are the Nine benefits for senior citizens? ›
- Entertainment Discounts.
- Travel Perks.
- Early Bird Specials for Seniors.
- Secondary Education.
- Senior Citizen Medical Benefits.
- Local Transportation Assistance.
- Lower Gym Membership Rates.
- Tax Breaks.
- Every senior citizen shall enjoy the special privilege of free entrance or pass to any film of their choice, in a movie house or theater . The free movie access is a non-transferrable privilege for all senior citizens covered under the definition of Republic Act 7432.
Mostly, senior discounts come down to marketing: Companies are understandably eager to attract the business of a group of citizens known for having plenty of disposable income and time, and discounts seem to do the trick.What are the benefits of senior citizens in Quezon City? ›
Benefits of Senior Citizens in Quezon City
Free movie admission up to two films every Monday and Tuesday (from cinema opening until 5 pm only), for a total of 240 movies every year. Exemption from payment of transfer tax when selling a senior's house and lot located in the city.
9994). Also, indigent senior citizens receive a ₱1,000 monthly social pension—double the previous amount before Republic Act No. 11916 lapsed into law in July 2022. This social pension serves as additional financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the poor and needy elders.When can we get the SG bonus 2022? ›
The payouts will be disbursed over five years, from 2022 to 2026. The first payout will be made in December 2022. This will benefit about 2.8 million adult Singaporeans. There will be additional cash payouts of $600 to $900 for less well-off Singaporean seniors through the special GSTV – Cash (Seniors' Bonus).Is there a workfare special payment in 2022? ›
Payments by cheque take up to 2 weeks longer compared to bank crediting. From March 2022 onwards, the payout will be credited in their PayNow NRIC-linked bank account if they have one.How much is low income in Singapore? ›
Wages for those earning less than 2,500 Singapore dollars ($1,815) a month rose by only 2.5% between May last year and this year, the study showed. Expenses for Singaporeans earning less than S$2,500 grew 13.8% between May 2021 and May this year —5.6 times more than their income growth of 2.5%, the study showed.Can I retire at 55 in Singapore? ›
The minimum retirement age in Singapore is 63 years
From 1 July 2022, the retirement age has been raised to 63, and will gradually be raised to 65 by 2030. This means that your employer can't suggest that you “retire early” or dismiss you from your job before age 63, for age-related reasons.
On 1 July 2025, 12.5 years after you retired, we will increase (restore) your monthly pension from $1,831.00 to $3,051.50 per month. (However, if you retired early, your full pension will be restored 12.5 years after you receive your first pension payout.)What is Singapore retirement age? ›
You will retire on the day you turn 63 years. If you turn 63 on 1 August 2022, your retirement date will be 1 August 2022.› news › 37046-senior-citize... ›
Senior Citizens Benefits And Discounts In The Philippines
Benefits for Senior Citizens | Perks for Senior Citizens in Singapore
The HCP can be purchased at any TransitLink Ticket Office, TransitLink Kiosk, General Ticketing Machine or Assisted Service Kiosk. Note: Concession cards have to be activated and valid before the purchase of concession passes.What is the retirement age in Singapore? ›
You will retire on the day you turn 63 years. If you turn 63 on 1 August 2022, your retirement date will be 1 August 2022.What concessions do I get at 60? ›
- Ride the Rail. It's really important for older people to keep a strong social network. ...
- Iceland Over-60s Discount. ...
- More Points at Boots. ...
- Movie Savings. ...
- Free TV. ...
- Cheaper Haircuts. ...
- Free Bus Pass. ...
- Free Prescriptions.
Many theatres across the country offer concession tickets for over 60s which are much cheaper than a regular adult ticket. This is perfect if you love going to see shows but can't afford to pay over the odds.Who is eligible for PAssion card? ›
PAssion Card - CAPITASTAR Rewards Programme
This programme is open to anybody residing in Singapore aged 16 years and above at the time of application. Registration is required and can be done via the CapitaStar App.
In the United States it is generally considered that a senior citizen is anyone of retirement age, or a person that has reached age 62 or older.Who is eligible for silver PAssion card? ›
With this card, Singapore Citizens aged 60 and above can enjoy PAssion Silver membership, concessionary fares on public transport and discounts at participating merchants.How much do I need to retire at 55 in Singapore? ›
A basic standard of living
The amount reported was S$1,379 per month and for an elderly couple, the amount is S$2,351 per month. While this is a good starting point to compute how much you'll need, two important factors need to be accounted for.
Eligibility Requirement of Singapore Work Permit (WP)
Minimum age: 18 and the Maximum age of the foreign work is 50 year-old.
Singapore does not have a special retirement visa or retirement program dedicated to foreigners who want to reside permanently. Therefore, to retire in Singapore, you must get a permanent residency (PR) for a long-term stay in the country.
Hospital Travel Costs
- Guarantee Pension Credit.
- Income Support.
- Jobseeker's Allowance.
- Employment and Support Allowance.
- State pension benefits. ...
- Free eye tests and dental care. ...
- Free TV license. ...
- Discounts on public transport. ...
- Help with heating your home. ...
- Benefits for carers and disabled individuals. ...
- Military pension benefits.
- State Pension.
- Pension Credit.
- One-off cost of living payment.
- Help with Council Tax.
- Help with heating costs.
- Health benefits.
- Travel and TV benefits.
- Benefits for war widows or widowers.
The age you're considered a senior citizen depends on the benefits you're looking to enjoy. For instance, in the UK, seniors are considered to be 60 years and above to receive assistance with health costs. Seniors aged 60 years and above can get eye tests and free prescriptions.Can a 2 year old go to the cinema? ›
Once your toddler turns 2, up to one hour of screen time use is OK, but parents should watch with their children to help them understand what they are viewing. So, given that movies range from an hour and a half to two hours long, they should be the rare exception, not the rule, on your toddler's list of activities.Can you take a 1 year old to the movies? ›
Overview. Yes, it can be safe to take your baby to the movies—and it'll be good for you, too! Parents complain all the time about missing new movies they want to see. Sure, it's cheaper to wait until everything comes out on DVD or Netflix, but now is the best time to take your baby to the theater.