Government Schemes for Seniors Trying to Sell Old Flats

Ohmyhome Apr 06, 2018

Seniors having difficulties selling their old flats?

Well, we have encountered similar situations as well for our senior users and customers and sometimes these 2 government schemes come in handy. We have extracted information from the HDB website on the Silver Housing Bonus and the Lease Buyback Scheme that could be useful for seniors as the steps lead to having retirement income through CPF LIFE.

Silver Housing Bonus (SHB)

If you own a bigger flat and would like to sell and move to a smaller and lower priced flat (up to 3-room flat), you can apply for the SHB and receive up to $20,000 cash bonus per household by using some of your net sale proceeds to top up your CPF Retirement Account (RA) and join CPF LIFE.

Who Qualifies?

Criteria Eligibility
Age, Citizenship At least one owner is a Singapore Citizen aged 55 or above
Income Gross monthly household income of $12,000 or less
Existing Property
  • HDB flat (met Minimum Occupation Period for resale), or
  • Private property of Annual Value of $13,000 or less; and
  • No concurrent ownership of second property
Property You Are Buying
  • Smaller HDB flat (up to 3-room); and
  • Purchase price does not exceed selling price of existing property
  • You can buy from the resale market or HDB.
Housing Transactions Booking of new HDB flat, or application to buy resale flat must be:
  • before sale of existing property; or
  • within 6 months of completing sale of existing property
Net Sales Proceeds Net sales proceeds from the sale of your home must be more than $0. To calculate your net sales proceeds, please download the Ohmyhome app, on the main page, tap on ‘Journey’ at the bottom right, under ‘Seller’s Journey’ item 2, you can calculate your sales proceeds.


Top-up Amount Required

The amount you need to top up depends on the amount of net sale proceeds:

Net Sale Proceeds CPF Top-up Requirement Net Sale Proceeds to be kept in Cash Cash Bonus
Less than $60,000 All net sale proceeds* $0 $1 for every $3 top-up
$60,000 to $160,000 $60,000* $0 to $100,000 $20,000
More than $160,000 $60,000 + Further top-up (i.e. Net sale proceeds – $60,000 - $100,000)^ $100,000 + Remaining after further top-up $20,000

*Top up into any flat owners’ CPF RA , ^ Top up into CPF RA of flat owner with lowest RA balance, up to the prevailing Full Retirement Sum (FRS)

When Do You Receive the Cash Bonus?*

Upon completion of the housing transactions, HDB will submit your documents to CPF board. Once CPF board has verified all the documents, they will send a letter to request for your required top up amount to your CPF Retirement account. Once they receive your check they will process for the cash bonus to be credited to your bank account.

*This is based on our call to HDB hotline.

Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS)

If you’re not really particular about moving but would like to enjoy some income, you could potentially sell part of your remaining flat lease while continuing to stay in the same home.

What’s this?

Lease Buyback Scheme allows you to sell part of your flat’s lease to HDB and choose to retain the length of lease based on the age of the youngest owner. The proceeds from selling part of your flat’s lease will be used to top up your CPF Retirement Account (RA). You can then use your CPF RA savings to purchase a CPF LIFE plan, which will provide you with a monthly income for life.

Who Qualifies?

Criteria Eligibility
Age All owners must be age 65 or older
Citizenship At least 1 owner must be a Singapore Citizen
Income Gross monthly household income of $12,000 or less
Flat Type 4-room or smaller
Property Ownership No concurrent ownership of 2nd property
Minimum Occupation Period All owners have lived in the flat for at least 5 years
Minimum Lease At least 20 years of lease to sell to HDB

How Long is the Application?

The application time length is 2.5 months from the date you submit your application to HDB

How to apply?

To apply for the LBS, visit My HDBPage and log in using your NRIC number and SingPass. Once you have logged in successfully, proceed to My Flat > Purchased Flat – Flat Details.

Submission of Application

The following information will be required:

  • Gross monthly income and occupation of all flat owners and occupants
  • Bank account information such as name of bank, branch, and account number of all flat owners

After Submission of Application

Once you and your fellow applicants are deemed eligible for the LBS, HDB will:

  • Invite you for the first appointment within 14 days from the date we receive your application
  • Explain the LBS in detail
  • Assist you in calculating the estimated total pay-out and monthly income you may receive under the scheme

If you decide to proceed with your application after having a better understanding, HDB will:

  • Process your application
  • Invite you to sign the legal documents in approximately 2 months
  • •Issue a cheque for any excess that is above the required CPF Retirement Account (RA) top-up (if applicable). This will happen on the day that all application formalities are completed

Your monthly payout will commence in about 1 to 2 months following the completion of the application.

Fees payable

These are the fees payable for your application under the current Lease Buyback Scheme.

Fees Amount
Administrative Charge $100 (inclusive of GST) which will be deducted from the proceeds from the sale of the tail-end lease
Legal Fees Vary according to flat type and market value of flat. About $300 to $500 which will be deducted from the proceeds from the sale of the tail-end lease


If you need assistance with regards to these schemes, you can call HDB Branch Service Line at 1800-225-5432 between 8:00am and 5:00pm from Mondays to Fridays.

Source: HDB LBS, HDB SHB


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While the Information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the Information. The Information may change without notice and Ohmyhome is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

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