Frequently Asked Questions - Town Council Investment

FAQs - Town Council Investment

Our Town Council invested $4 million (2.7%) of the Town Council fund in Minibond Series 2 and 3.

When the announcement of Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy was released in Sep 2008, the financial institutions were not in a position to confirm how the Minibond Series 2 and 3 were affected. At that point of time, the financial institutions were unable to give us a confirmation of the market value of the Minibond. As a result, the Town Council then did not have the appropriate information to release or announce to the public.

The Town Council exercises prudence by investing its funds in a diversified portfolio which seeks to balance returns and risks. The key objective of our investment is to generate healthy return that offsets the rate of inflation and increase the overall long term value of the fund.

At the time the investments in the Minibonds were made, they were considered low risk instruments as they were rated AA by Standard and Poor and Moodys. 

The Town Council’s accounts are audited by auditors which are approved by the Auditor General Office and the Ministry of National Development. Our current auditor is Mazars LLP.

The Town Council exercises prudence by investing its funds in a diversified portfolio (fixed deposits, government bonds and statutory bonds, corporate bonds and investment with Fund Manager) which seeks to balance returns and risks. The funds of the Town Council are invested to meet long term needs, such as cyclical maintenance works like the replacement of lifts. The key objective of our  investment is to generate a healthy return that offsets the rate of inflation and increases the overall value of our fund. In addition, the Town Council’s decision on the investment portfolio is in line with the limit imposed by the Ministry of National Development.

Fixed deposits and Government bonds are virtually low or no risk but more often than not, the returns are even below inflationary rates.

We would like to reassure our residents that the Town Council will continue to take a prudent and pragmatic approach in the management of its funds. We would expect a decrease in the value of our investment as a result of the recent developments in the global financial market but our long term outlook remains positive. The Town Council constantly reviews its investment strategy according to the market environment and at the same time align its portfolio to meet the cap imposed by the Ministry of National Development.

It is required by law to set aside 30% to 35% of the service and conservancy charges(s&cc) to sinking fund. Sinking fund is accumulated for cyclical maintenance works such as the repainting of blocks, replacement of water/booster pumps, reroofing, replacement of major lift parts, replacement of refuse handling equipment, lectrical rewiring,etc. These are longer term works which are carried out at intervals ranging from 7 to 28 years.

The bulk of the S&CC charges, 65%, will be used for routine maintenance works such as cleaning, horticulture maintenance, grasscutting, lift servicing, minor lift repair, water pump servicing, minor water pump repair, utility charges, replacement of lamps and light tubes,etc.

As cyclical maintenance works are major repair and replacement works which involve large sums of money, it is necessary to accumulate sufficient money so that residents are not asked to contribute a lump sum of money when the cyclical maintenance works become due.

Cyclical maintenance works include repair and redecoration of housing blocks and surrounding facilities, reroofing, replacement of water / booster pumps, replacement of lift major parts, replacement of refuse handling equipment, rewiring, etc.

As an example, the overhaul of one lift in a typical 12-storey block costs $100,000. It will therefore cost $200,000 to overhaul the two lifts in a typical block of 100 units. Lifts are overhauled once every 28 years. Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council looks after nearly 1,000 blocks of apartments. The sinking fund set aside has to be sufficient to carry out such works, otherwise each household will have to contribute a lump sum of $2,000 to carry out the lift overhaul when it becomes due. The same is true for other types of major cyclical maintenance.

Setting aside sufficient sinking funds is therefore prudent in order to maintain our estate in good condition. The sinking fund is invested in a well diversified portfolio to earn a long turn return which is above the rate of inflation, in order to cover the future cost of cyclical maintenance work.

The Town Council's Annual Report is available on our website, www.-prpg-tc.org.sg

We would like to reassure our residents that the Town Council will carry out the cyclical maintenance works as planned.