HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: 1,000 self-employed asked to return SIRS payouts; 440,000 Singaporeans eligible for matched CPF savings scheme

And BeeNext backs Finja’s $11.9m funding.

From ChannelNewsAsia:

About 1,000 self-employed individuals have been made to refund their Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) payouts due to erroneous declarations of income and property information.

These individuals make up 0.5% of all SIRS recipients, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said in Parliament on 5 January.

SIRS is a financial assistance grant of up to $9,000 to help freelancers tide through the pandemic, and is subject to both an audit by the Manpower Ministry and an external auditor appointed by the National Trades Union Congress.

SIRS was made available to self-employed people who earn a net trade income of up to $100,000 a year and live in a property with an annual value that does not exceed $21,000. They must also not own two or more properties.

Read more here.

From ChannelNewsAsia:

A total of 440,000 Singaporeans aged 55 to 70 are eligible for a new savings scheme this year where the government will match cash top-ups made to their Central Provident Fund (CPF) retirement accounts.

To qualify for the matched retirement savings scheme, the CPF members must have less than the prevailing basic retirement sum in their accounts, said the CPF board in a media release on 6 January.

The basic retirement sum this year is $93,000.

Other eligibility criteria are: an average monthly income of not more than $4,000, an annual value of residence of up to $13,000 which covers all Housing Board flats, and ownership of not more than one property.

About 53% of CPF members between 55 and 70 years old are eligible for the grant, the CPF board said.

Read more here.

From DealStreetAsia:

Pakistani digital lending platform Finja has announced that it has closed $11.9m (US$9m) of a $13.2m (US$10m) Series A financing round, with new investor ICU Ventures and all previous institutional investors, including Singapore venture capital firm BeeNext, participating.

The company also has the flexibility to raise an additional $1.3m (US$1m) as part of this round, based on the terms of the financing.

Founded in 2016 by Qasif Shahid, Monis Rahman, and Umer Munawar, Finja operates lending and digital payments businesses and partners with banks, FMCGs, distributors, kiryana stores, and small businesses.

The startup targets Pakistan’s small business and consumer lending sector, a potentially $79b (US$60b)-market that is only 4% penetrated. Small businesses in the country have been struggling to grow due to limited availability of capital, Finja noted.

Read more here.

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