Reply to Parliamentary Question on reverse mortgages
QUESTION NO 1610
NOTICE PAPER 1035 OF 2022
FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
Date: For Parliament Sitting on 28 February 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Joan Pereira, MP, Tanjong Pagar GRC
To ask the Prime Minister with regard to the reverse mortgage tie up between CPF and DBS to help seniors unlock equity from their private homes while they continue to live in them (a) whether the Government has data on the take-up rates since it was offered; and (b) whether the Government will implement measures to promote reverse mortgages and increase awareness among these seniors who are asset-rich but cash-strapped.
Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:
1The DBS Home Equity Income Loan is a reverse mortgage product that allows homeowners to borrow against their fully-paid private residential properties. The loan proceeds will be used to top up their CPF Retirement Sums which will be used for the CPF LIFEThe CPF Lifelong Income For The Elderly ("CPF LIFE") Scheme is a national longevity insurance annuity scheme that provides Singapore citizens and permanent residents a monthly payout for as long as they live. scheme, allowing them to receive monthly payouts for as long as they live.
2Since its launch in August 2021, we understand DBS has approved most of the reverse mortgage applications it has received from eligible private property owners. We are unable to share specific data on the take-up of the product as the information is commercially sensitive.
3The government offers a range of housing monetisation options. All homeowners can consider renting out the property or a room for rental income, or right-sizing. HDB owners who right size may enjoy a cash bonus through the Silver Housing Bonus scheme. Eligible HDB flat owners can also unlock the value of their properties by selling back part of their lease to HDB under the Lease Buyback Scheme. Homeowners can access information on these housing monetisation options on HDB’s website.
4The Government will continue to review our policies to ensure Singaporeans have suitable housing monetisation options, especially to meet their retirement needs.