Do you know when you turn 40 years old, CPF will automatically deduct your Medisave account to pay an insurance schemed called ElderShield?


So what is exactly Eldershield? How much premium do you have to pay? What are the other options that you can have?

What is Eldershield

ElderShield was first launched by the Ministry of Health in September 2002 as an affordable severe disability insurance scheme which provides basic financial protection to those who need long-term care. It provides

  • A monthly cash payout
  • For a limited period of time

to help pay out-of-pocket expenses for the care of severely disabled persons.

CPF members with Medisave Account (MA) will be offered ElderShield cover when they turn age 40. No registration or medical assessment is needed.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has appointed three private insurers to manage ElderShield. They are

  1. Aviva,
  2. Great Eastern Life Assurance
  3. NTUC Income Insurance.

The insurers are assigned randomly. You will receive an invitation package from one of these insurers three months before your 40th birthday.

If you are under 65 years old and are not covered, you can still apply for ElderShield, subject to medical assessment.

What is the definition of severe disability?

Since ElderShield provides a monthly cash payout should a member suffers severe disability, how is it defined?

When a person is unable to do at least three of these six daily activities listed below, the person is considered to have a severe disability. Under such circumstance, the person can submit a claim under ElderShield.

These six daily activities are sometimes also referred as Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

  1. Washing – The ability to wash in the bath or shower (including getting into and out of the bath or shower) or wash by other means.
  2. Dressing – The ability to put on, take off, secure and unfasten all garments and, as appropriate, any braces, artificial limbs or other surgical or medical appliances.
  3. Feeding – The ability to feed oneself food after it has been prepared and made available.
  4. Toileting – The ability to use the lavatory or manage bowel and bladder function through the use of protective undergarments or surgical appliances if appropriate.
  5. Mobility – The ability to move indoors from room to room on level surfaces.
  6. Transferring – The ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair, and vice versa.

What are the payouts under ElderShield?

There are currently two ElderShield schemes:

  • ElderShield300
  • ElderShield400.

ElderShield300 was first launched in September 2002; ElderShield400 came about after the ElderShield reform in 2007. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who join ElderShield after September 2007 will be under the ElderShield400 scheme. The differences between these two plans are:

  • For ElderShield300, the monthly cash payout is $300 for a maximum of 60 months.
  • For ElderShield400, the monthly cash payout is $400 for a maximum of 72 months.

How much is your ElderShield premium?

Your ElderShield premium is based on your age when you join the scheme and does not increase with age. Below is the current premium (inclusive of 7% GST) for Eldershield 400. (Last updated on 18 Apr 2013).

Entry AgeNumber of Premium PaymentsAnnual Premiums(Payable till Age 65) ($)

The premiums can be paid using your Medisave savings. If you do not have enough Medisave savings, you can use the Medisave savings of your spouse, parents, children and grandchildren. You can also pay using cash, cheque or arrange for a GIRO payment to your insurer.

Should you stay on ElderShield and not opt out?

By joining the scheme under auto-coverage, you do not need to go for any medical assessment. If you opt out now and want to join later, your application will be subject to the insurer’s underwriting and approval.

In addition, as the ElderShield premiums depend on the age of entry and do not increase with age, it is more affordable to be covered earlier.

Can you change your ElderShield insurer?

You can change your ElderShield insurer before your cover commences by completing the form in your invitation package. Mail the completed form back to your assigned insurer and you should receive your policy documents from your chosen insurer about one to two weeks later.

If you wish to change insurer after the commencement of your plan, you will need to terminate your plan with your existing insurer and apply for a new cover with your chosen insurer. You may be subject to underwriting or medical assessment by the new insurer. Premiums can only be refunded if the cover is terminated in the first 60 days of the first policy year.

What are ElderShield Supplements?

If you wish to have higher severe disability insurance coverage (e.g. higher payouts and/or longer payout period), you can consider buying ElderShield Supplements (sometimes referred as Eldershield upgrades) offered by the three appointed private insurers.

Note that you need to have a basic ElderShield cover before you can buy ElderShield Supplements. The premiums of ElderShield Supplements can also be paid using your Medisave savings, up to a limit of $600 per year per insured person.

Currently, three insurers’ upgrade programs are approved by CPF board. They are

About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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