Sunday 24 May 2015

SG50 Seniors Package - Goodies for 700,000 seniors

Discounts, freebies to thank them for making Singapore what it is today
By Salma Khalik, Senior Health Correspondent, The Straits Times, 23 May 2015

SENIORS in Singapore will enjoy a slew of goodies, from 50-cent hotel buffet lunches to $50 worth of transport vouchers for use on the MRT or buses.

Announcing the SG50 Seniors package yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who is also the minister in charge of ageing, said these special offers are to thank seniors for making Singapore what it is today.

More than 700,000 people aged 60 years and older can benefit from the more than 200 discounts and freebies given by over 100 organisations.

These range from discounted dining to leisure activities such as free admission to the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and Gardens by the Bay conservatories, and offers ranging from a free PAssion card for five years to 50 per cent off travel insurance.

Some goodies are for all Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 50 and older. Others are only for smaller groups, such as those born in 1965, the year Singapore gained independence, or those of the Pioneer Generation, or Singaporeans aged at least 65 last year.

The validity period also varies - from a couple of months till the end of the year.

Pointing to the "tremendous progress" made in the past 50 years, Mr Gan said: "Singapore is what it is today because of the blood, sweat and tears that our pioneers have contributed to nation-building."

The Ministerial Committee on Ageing that he heads is trying to make ageing exciting, fun and delightful.

Speaking to about 1,000 seniors at the Nee Soon Central Community Centre last night, he said: "With good healthcare and advances in science and technology, we can not only live longer but also live healthily for longer.

"So instead of worrying about 'getting older' as we approach a certain numerical age, we should think about how we can maximise the longer life years we will enjoy."

He encouraged all seniors to take advantage of the offers in the SG50 package to stay active.

Turning to younger Singaporeans, he urged them too to take advantage of these offers to take their parents and grandparents out, "whether to places of attraction or for a good meal, and enjoy some quality time with mum or dad, grandpa or grandma".

A booklet on all the offers will be mailed to seniors 60 years and older. Others can check the offers on

Looking ahead to SG100, Mr Gan said the Committee on Ageing is looking for feedback and suggestions for its Action Plan for Successful Ageing.

Spelling out what the committee hopes to achieve, he said: "We envision our seniors to be healthy, active and happy. We envision a loving community where there are strong bonds between the young and the old, and where the old are treated with love and respect."

To recognise the contributions of our seniors to nation building, Minister for Health and Minister in charge of Ageing...
Posted by Ministry of Health on Friday, May 22, 2015

Families excited over freebies, discounts
By Salma Khalik, Senior Health Correspondent, The Straits Times, 23 May 2015

EXCITEMENT buzzed at the launch of the "thank you" SG50 Seniors package last night as groups of friends and family started to plan the discounts and freebies they intended to enjoy.

And their interests were as varied as the offers they will be getting.

Mr Lim Meng Seng, 62, a karang guni (rag-and-bone) dealer, will take up the free entry to the conservatories at the Gardens by the Bay, which he said were too expensive for him to visit - till now.

Madam Betty Loo, 53, has already signed up for two of the the more than 400 free courses, at a booth set up on site last night. Her choices: flower arrangement and plumbing.

As for Mr Chong Han Sing, 66, he was pleased with the Kopitiam card, which gives seniors 30 per cent off items, including desserts, from its drink stall at its various foodcourts.

At Changi Airport's Terminal 3, however, it is a discount off all stalls, and for him, that's the main draw, as that is where he works.

Each card comes with 500 credits entitling the user to a 30 per cent discount on 500 items.

Kopitiam spokesman Vincent Cheong said seniors aged 60 years and older do not need to apply for the card as it will be mailed to them. And there is more good news. Card holders will enjoy that same deal every year in the month of August, as the nation celebrates National Day.

The five-year free PAssion card offer was equally popular, with more than 500 people signing up for it last night. The card, which comes with a free umbrella, can accumulate points for users at supermarkets like Cold Storage and Giant. Points can be used to offset purchases.

For neighbours Alice Wong, 78, and Priscilla Nazareth, 53, it is the dining and activity offers they found most enticing.

Madam Wong said she will join the dancing courses with her group of friends.

Mrs Penny Low, 68, said: "All the offers are fantastic."

We have received feedback from some seniors that they have not received their SG50 Seniors Package in the mail. The...
Posted by Ministry of Health on Monday, June 15, 2015

* Seniors have a good time with SG50 package
Many enjoy free visits to Zoo and Bird Park; others take courses to enrich their lives
By Linette Lai, The Straits Times, 31 Jul 2015

If the numbers are anything to go by, Singapore's golden oldies are having a ball of a time.

More than 27,000 people aged 60 or above visited the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park last month, after gaining free entry as part of the SG50 Seniors Package, which offers special discounts to seniors as a token of appreciation.

Some 9,300 took up free courses offered in a lifelong learning scheme by the Council for Third Age, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement yesterday. The courses are so popular that more have been started for the remaining five months of the year.

And as of July 15, over 500,000 seniors had redeemed public transport vouchers worth $50 each. Those who have not claimed their vouchers can do so at TransitLink ticket offices or Add Value Machines until Dec 31 next year. Complimentary SG50 PAssion Cards, which entitle cardholders to discounts islandwide, were offered as well to citizens and permanent residents aged 55 and above. Between Feb 14 and June 30, over 128,000 cards were issued, said MOH.

Launched by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on May 22, the SG50 Seniors Package provides special discounts at selected institutions. It includes more than 200 benefits, such as discounted hotel stays, promotional dining deals and classes targeted at the elderly.

Retiree Julie Choo, 66, has seized the chance to enrol in a practical social gerontology programme.

"This course has taught me how to age meaningfully in my senior years," she said. "I learnt that age is just a number, and there are many things I can do proactively at my age, like serving the community."

* Elderly saved millions with SG50 Seniors Package
The Straits Times, 22 Dec 2015

More than 600,000 seniors have signed up for the SG50 Seniors Package since its launch in May.

The package, for citizens or permanent residents aged 60 and above, includes about 200 types of dining, leisure and lifestyle offers.

It was launched by the Ministerial Committee on Ageing to reward seniors who had contributed to Singapore's formative years. Some 700,000 seniors qualified for it.

Many used the package to enjoy discounted admission to attractions such as the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.

More than 100,000 seniors got into the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay for free, and more than 25,000 accompanying caregivers had 50 per cent off their entrance tickets, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

The package also has deals to encourage seniors to pick up new skills. About 650 free courses in topics from personal finance to technology were conducted, offering more than 11,000 places to those aged 50 and above.

As at end-November, more than 600,000 seniors had redeemed their Public Transport Voucher worth $50.

They also get a 30 per cent discount at participating Kopitiam stalls for every credit they use on their iCard, which has resulted in close to $4 million in savings. Next month, 500 additional credits will be loaded onto their iCards, which can be used till Feb 29 next year.

Except for the iCards and the SG50 Seniors Public Transport Vouchers, which expire on Dec 31 next year, most of the offers and privileges will come to an end as the Jubilee year draws to a close.

But supermarket chain FairPrice said yesterday it would extend its 3 per cent discount at all its outlets to customers who flash their Pioneer Generation card on Mondays till Dec 31 next year. Pioneers have saved $3.6 million in all since this discount began in October last year, it said.

Under the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, a PAssion Silver Card will be issued free to every citizen aged 60 and above in the second half of next year, giving them benefits over five years.

Part-time executive Madam Rajam Sadanandan, 68, who uses the Kopitiam iCard frequently, said: "As I needed to go to the hospital quite often recently, I used my Kopitiam iCard to get discounts on food and drink, which enabled me to save money."

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