In this article, we will be educating you more on what the Edusave Account is. If your child is a Singapore Citizen (SC), they would naturally have had an Edusave account created for them automatically by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Having to juggle so many commitments and responsibilities when bringing up our child, we might inevitably forget who adds money to the Edusave Account, if it’s even a bank account and also what it can be used for. FamilyTutor understands your parental struggles and will happily do a little recap for you today! (read till the end for a final tip :))
A very common pointer we tend to forget would be who adds money into the Edusave Account. Guess what, parents like us are actually not allowed to contribute into our child’s Edusave account. This is because the Edusave Account is actually a place for the government to make annual contributions for SC children to support them in their education journey.
For SCs in MOE-funded schools, Primary School students receive $230 a year and Secondary School students receive $290 a year! However, if they do not study in MOE-funded schools (either private or home-schooling or even residing overseas), they won’t be left out as well. They will still receive the annual contributions from the age of 7-16 years. And if your children are within the contribution requirement, there are also entitled to an ADDITIONAL $200 top up this year 2020 and would have been done automatically in April 2020.
Your next question might be: so where’s the money? My child’s GIRO account doesn’t have the top up, their savings account also doesn’t, or my child doesn’t even have a bank account with their own name to begin with? Guess what, the Edusave Account is NOT a bank account you can access. It is an educational account, but you need not worry about the balance and transactions.
You will normally receive what is called a Statement of Account in March every year. This statement will carefully detail the balance and transaction history of your child’s Edusave Account from February of the previous year all the way to January of the current year. Also, if you’d like to know exactly how much money there is in your child’s Edusave Account at any time in the year, you can always call the 24 hour automated MOE Edusave hotline at 6260 0777! Isn’t that convenient?
Lastly, you may be wondering: so when will my child’s Edusave Account be closed and what happens to the money after? Your child’s Edusave Account will actually be closed in the year they turn 17 years old or when they are no longer studying in an MOE-funded school. It will be whichever happens later! Thereafter, your child will still be entitled to the money, but it is not withdrawn out. Instead, it would be automatically transferred to another account called the Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) which we will cover in the next article!
The most burning question every parent would have at some point is what exactly can the Edusave Account be used for if it’s not a bank account and we don’t have direct access to the funds. We’ll break down this answer into 2 parts.
If your child is currently in an MOE-funded school (Government and Government-Aided Primary, Secondary, Junior Colleges, Millennia Institute, Independent Secondary and Junior Colleges, Specialised Independent Schools, Specialised Schools, and SPED), they can use their Edusave funds for the second-tier miscellaneous school fees, autonomous government school fees, and enrichment programmes organised by their own schools. Yes you heard it right, even if you aren’t in Primary or Secondary level, you can still use the Edusave funds but do take note that you will not receive annual contributions or top ups anymore!
So to utilise the Edusave funds, what you need to do is to obtain a Standing Order form from the school and submit it! Believe it or not, it’s actually one of the many forms you first signed when your child was in Primary 1. And you don’t need to resign it if your child moves on to a government secondary school as well. So what happens is that every month, you aren’t actually paying the full school fee, because the Edusave Account covers the second-tier miscellaneous fees every month! Also, activities like CCA or Learning Journeys usually have a consent for you to tick OK to use the Edusave Account to make payment as well! However, if your child is studying in an independent os special education school, please do check with the school on the necessary procedures as it might differ!
Okay, if your child is currently NOT in an MOE-funded schools, there are still a list of local institutions in Singapore that still administer Edusave withdrawals:
Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah
Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah
Madrasah Al-Ma’arif Al-Islamiah
Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Islamiah
Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah
Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al-Islamiah
Canadian International School
Hwa Chong International School
NPS International School
San Yu Adventist School
St Joseph’s Institution International
St Joseph’s Institution International Elementary School
Swiss School in Singapore
The Winstedt School
You will have to check with the school directly for the withdrawal process ya!
And fret not if your child is home-schooling or is studying in a school not listed in the above, they are still entitled to use their Edusave funds. As parents, we can submit the Edusave withdrawal application to MOE directly. What happens then is that the money will be transferred to any local bank account with the child being one of the account holders! Do note that first-time claiming will also require you to submit another form called the Direct Authorisation Form.
But don’t stop reading yet, you will have to ensure that the programmes you sign your child up which you would like to claim from the Edusave Account for fits the approved enrichment programmes by MOE!
The programmes firstly have to be conducted wholly in Singapore and below is a list of the different categories applicable:
Curriculum-related programmes such as speech and drama, creative writing, phonics, creative arts, and science and music enrichment.
Enhancement of social emotional learning such as adventure or leadership camps, educational seminars, conferences and motivational workshops.
Subscription fees for educational magazines and periodicals such as Young Scientists, Readers’ Digest and National Geographic Kids.
Registration fees for competitions such as the Mathematical Olympiad Programme.
(This was taken directly from the MOE website!)
If you’re unsure if the particular activity you’re signing up for is under those categories, do feel free to call MOE to do a check as well!
Okay, that was a lot to take in but it is a lot of usefulness I believe! And a final tip: just in case you didn’t already know, the balance of the Edusave Account actually earns you a 2.5% interest credited to the Edusave Account in December every year. If you aren’t needing that support from the Edusave Account for your child’s fees and enrichment programmes, it is not compulsory to use the Edusave Account to pay for them! This also means that you can accumulate the interest for your child, as this money will be theirs for as long as ever (you’ll realise after the next few articles under Finance Matters!).
By the way, the ‘Simply Advice’ series conveniently gives you information that is useful any day any time. It aims to shed some light on pertinent topics and provide you with the best advice!
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