From its modest benefits to the new bumper changes setting in from 1 April 2021 onwards.
When you first started working, you might have received a snail mail informing you that you’ve been enrolled in something called the Dependants’ Protection Scheme – likely, it was then chucked to the wayside and promptly forgotten. Recently, this nation-wide term insurance scheme came back into the spotlight, to let you know that you’re about to be paying less and gaining more.
What is Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS)?
DPS is a national term-life insurance plan that offers coverage for death, terminal illness and total permanent disability for policyholders, and helps their families tide over unfortunate occurrences.
An affordable plan payable by CPF savings, it automatically covers Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents upon their first CPF working contribution between age 21 and 60 years old.
New DPS changes to kick in from April 2021
Summing up the key DPS changes in four words: benefits up, premiums down.
Currently, CPF members are enjoying sum assured of $46,000, which is to be paid out in the event of death, terminal illness or total permanent disability. From 1 April 2021, this will be stepped up to $70,000 – a bountiful 52% leap. Those below age 55 will also see a rather significant reduction in premiums. Also, the DPS age limit has been extended from 60 to 65.
According to Khor Hock Seng, Group Chief Executive Officer, Great Eastern, the enhanced DPS will “strive to Lifeproof customers’ protection needs at their different life stages”, and that DPS members will have access to Great Eastern’s full suite of services, insurance solutions and mobile applications.
Check out the table below for a comparison of DPS’s before-and-after state.
If the DPS is something that you still didn't know existed, or is buried deep in the forgotten realms, you can depend on this primer to learn what you’re in for when you’re automatically enrolled.
#1: It is not compulsory
With associations to CPF and it being nation-wide, it is easy for any Singaporean to instinctively think it is mandatory in nature, like how MediShield is. Yet, it is not; you are free to contact the existing insurer (either Great Eastern Life or NTUC Income) and submit a form to terminate the DPS coverage.
In the event you do, this would be our caveat: make sure that you already have adequate protection from your life or term policies to begin with.
#2: Ultra-affordable annual premiums
Just to give you an illustration of the affordability of DPS, you are insured for an increased sum assured of $70,000 under the new changes for $18 (per year, mind you!) if you’re aged 34 and below – it wouldn’t be a long shot to say you’re getting covered for $70,000 for the price of a GrabFood meal delivery.
As you can see from the table below, starting from April 2021, annual premiums for DPS are slashed by up to 50% depending on the age bracket. Moreover, no out-of-pocket cash is needed from you as it is deducted from your CPF OA or SA. This is surely welcoming news coming off the back of the impending hike in MediShield Life premiums.
Even if you have your own term or life insurance from a private insurer in place, it wouldn’t hurt to have a second pool of payout ready for your dependants in case life throws a curveball.
#3: DPS is underwritten by Great Eastern Life
Up until now, DPS has been underwritten by two main players: Great Eastern Life and NTUC Income. Now, Great Eastern Life has been appointed as the sole insurer for DPS for the next five years, starting April 2021.
For existing members of NTUC Income, no action would be required in the transition. For existing members of Great Eastern Life, the increase in sum assured to $70,000 will be automatically extended from 1 April 2021 onwards.
#4: As with any other insurance plans, there are exclusions
DPS may be automatically extended towards Singaporeans and PRs, but that doesn’t mean it comes without exclusions. Whether you’re accepted into the DPS scheme or not is subject to your health and medical history; if you are dealing with pre-existing medical conditions, it is not a guarantee that you will be successfully underwritten. Some other exclusions include:
- Self-inflicted injury or suicide
- CPF member committed a criminal offence punishable by death
- The claim arose out of the CPF member's own intentional criminal act
- Provision of false or misleading information
- The claim arose from wars or any warlike operations or participation in any riot
#5: DPS coverage is valid on a yearly renewable basis
Similar to standalone personal accident insurance plans, your DPS renews every year upon payment of the annual premium. Assuming you are paying via your CPF, this would be automatic. The coverage will remain in force for exactly one policy year from the renewal date.
From 1 April 2021, DPS is automatically renewed every year until the age limit of 65. Currently, the age limit is only until 60 years old. No action is required from existing DPS policyholders as the coverage will be automatically renewed on an annual basis up to age 65.
#6: Who gets the claims?
In situations whereby the insured passes away, the DPS payout will go to the insured’s nominee. If no nomination is made, it will go to a proper claimant instead – that could be your spouse, parent, child or sibling. To avoid any kind of dispute or ambiguity among those who are survived by, it might be advisable for you to take a minute and make a nomination. It can be done by submitting the nomination form available on Great Eastern Life’s website.
The insured will be the one receiving the claims if he/she is struck by a terminal illness or total permanent disability.
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