Silver Lining for Seniors

By : Kay Liao
29 September 2016

Becoming a new home owner is an exciting key milestone. Moving out of your childhood home to start a family is a special experience, which can be just as rewarding for your parents. 


For your parents, it can also be the time to think about the next phase of their life and how they can smoothly ease into retirement. Their flat may prove to be a tad too big to clean and upkeep once you and siblings leave the nest.

The Silver Housing Bonus (SHB) might just be what they need. It is designed for those who want to right-size and earn supplementary retirement income. Read on for more information.

What is the Silver Housing Bonus (SHB)?

HDB introduced the SHB as a monetisation option, to help elderly households enhance their retirement income when they right-size to a smaller flat type.

After selling their existing property to buy a smaller HDB flat, the elderly can apply for the SHB. They can receive a cash bonus of up to $20,000 per household if they use some of their net sale proceeds to top up their CPF Retirement Account (RA) and join CPF LIFE.

How does right-sizing work?

Right-sizing involves the elderly home owners selling their existing flat/ property and buying either:

Who is eligible for the SHB?

The SHB is for the benefit of elderly home owners who meet the following criteria:



Age, Citizenship

At least one owner is a Singapore Citizen aged 55 or above


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

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

What is the top-up amount required?

The amount needed to top up the elderly flat owner’s CPF RA depends on the amount of net sale proceeds from selling their existing property. Here is a quick breakdown:

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#


$1 for every

$3 top-up

$60,000 to $160,000


$0 to $100,000


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


# 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)

In general, households have to top up $60,000 of net proceeds into one or more owner’s CPF RA to receive the $20,000 cash bonus. However, if the net sale proceeds exceed $160,000, they will need to make a further top-up into the CPF RA of the flat owner with the lowest RA balance, up to the prevailing Full Retirement Sum.

To apply, simply head down to any HDB branch office or CPF service centres to pick up and submit the application form.

Elderly households can also consider other options to monetise their housing asset for additional retirement income, such as the Lease Buyback Scheme or subletting of their flat.

Now that you know more about the SHB, spread the word around and share with your parents and elderly family members so that they can enjoy a fuller retirement life! 





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