CPF Topping-Up And Benefits
Having turned 55, you are one step closer to receiving payouts from your CPF during your retirement years. However, this does not mean you are unable to continue building your CPF savings. There are several options available that you may wish to consider.
You can make a CPF or cash top-up to bolster your loved ones' or your own Special Account or Retirement Account savings. Topping up to the Enhanced Retirement Sum (available from January 2016), a sum set at three times the Basic Retirement Sum, gives you the opportunity to enjoy a higher monthly payout during retirement.
Under the CPF Retirement Sum Topping-Up (RSTU) Scheme, you can even get tax relief1 for cash top-ups. You can enjoy tax relief of up to $14,000 per year if you use cash to top up for yourself (up to $7,000) and your loved ones* (up to $7,000).
Details on making cash top-ups and CPF transfers are available at the RSTU section.
1 Terms and conditions apply.
* "Loved ones" include only your parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, spouse and siblings.
Withdrawals From 55
Once you have set aside the Full Retirement Sum or Basic Retirement Sum with sufficient property charge/ pledge, you can withdraw your CPF savings#. Even if you do not meet the criterion, you can still withdraw up to $5,000 from your Special and Ordinary Accounts when you reach 55.
For members who turned 55 from 2013, you also have the option to withdraw up to 20% of your Retirement Account savings from 65 years old (includes the first $5,000 you could withdraw at 55).
# Excludes top-up monies, interest earned and any government grants received.
CPF Interest Rates
Did you also know that your CPF savings earn compound interest? Simply put, it is interest paid on interest.
As an alternative to withdrawal, consider keeping your money in your CPF account to let your CPF savings grow. Savings in your Ordinary Account earn up to 3.5% per year** while savings in all other accounts earn up to 5% per year**. Members with lower CPF balances can earn up to 6% interest per year. These interest rates are guaranteed and can be helpful for paying off your home loan and CPF-related insurance schemes.
** Your CPF savings in the Ordinary Account earn guaranteed interest rates of 2.5% per year, while savings in the Special and MediSave Accounts earn guaranteed interest rates of 4% per year. The first $60,000 of your combined CPF balances, of which up to $20,000 comes from your Ordinary Account, will earn an extra 1% interest per year. Combined balances refer to the total balances in your Ordinary, Special, MediSave and Retirement Accounts, including the annuity premiums for CPF LIFE less any payouts made.
With effect from January 2016, an additional extra interest of 1% per year will be given on the first $30,000 of your combined CPF balances (for members aged 55 and above). This is on top of the existing 1% extra interest on the first $60,000 of combined CPF balances.
*Two-thirds of CPF members earn the full 5% per year on their Special, MediSave and Retirement Accounts savings and more than half enjoy the full 3.5% per year on their Ordinary Account savings.
Your home is potentially one of your greatest assets and you may have used your CPF savings to finance your home. As you grow older, your contributions to your CPF accounts gradually decline. To put your mind at ease about having insufficient funds in your Ordinary Account for housing loan payments, you should consider paying off your home loan before you reach 55. Having paid off your home loan, you can focus on growing your retirement funds through other means.
What if you have an outstanding home loan after 55?
Investing During Your Golden Years
A prudent approach is generally recommended if you are considering investing during your golden years. Before you begin identifying products or plans, it is essential to have sufficient funds set aside for your daily needs and emergencies.
As time may be a constraint, do consider products that generate a regular income at regular intervals instead of a larger sum paid out after a longer period. A diversified portfolio based on conservative instruments can be helpful in reducing stress as it takes time and effort to monitor your investments.
Do avoid investment products that may cause you to lose your capital or that cannot be easily liquidated.
For more information on making an investment click here
For more information on investment tips as a retiree, visit MoneySENSE
Healthy Living Through Staying Active
Retiring can afford you more time to pursue your interests and hobbies. And just like any younger person, you can still contribute meaningfully to your family, community and society.
Living healthily through your golden years comes from staying active. If you are looking for new and engaging activities to try out, many programmes are available through the Council For Third Age (C3A), Centre for Seniors and Ministry of Social and Family Development.
Personal care for your health is especially important during retirement. A healthy YOU makes a happier YOU. To find out about health, nutrition, exercise and leading a stress-free lifestyle, excellent resources are available at the Health Promotion Board.
Heart To Heart
With a longer life expectancy, many Singaporeans intend to work beyond the retirement age. 61-year old Ms Shanta Krishnan, who works as an office manager in the legal industry, is one such Singaporean. Passionate about her job, she greatly enjoys her interactions with her colleagues. "I would like to continue working for as long as my health permits, as it keeps me active. My CPF savings have grown steadily over the years and I am looking forward to my CPF LIFE payouts when I retire. I feel the monthly payouts should meet my basic needs and I will supplement it through the extra income I get from renting out a room in my flat."
– Ms Shanta Krishnan.
Planning and saving early helps you better prepare for retirement. Through the Retirement Sum and CPF LIFE schemes, monthly payouts will afford for basic needs during your golden years. A larger amount of CPF savings will result in higher monthly payouts during your retirement.
To supplement your retirement income, the value in your home can be unlocked. With these additional schemes in place, do exercise prudence if you plan to grow your nest egg further through investments. And do remember, your health is just as important as your wealth.