Did you know that 1 in 2 CPF members aged 65 today will live beyond 85, and 1 in 3 will live beyond 90? With higher life expectancy today, it is crucial that we do not outlive our retirement savings. Here’s where CPF LIFE comes in.
Introduced in 2009, CPF LIFE is an annuity scheme that provides the assurance of receiving monthly payouts for as long as you live. This is achieved through ‘risk-pooling’, where members use their Retirement Account (RA) savings to pay for their CPF LIFE premiums, and interest earned on these premiums are pooled among all members in the Lifelong Income Fund to provide monthly payouts for life — even when members have exhausted their RA savings.
Understanding risk-pooling: How CPF LIFE secures a lifelong income for you
How your CPF LIFE monthly payouts are determined
If you are on CPF LIFE, you can choose to start your
monthly payouts any time, from your payout eligibility age (PEA). The latest age to start your payouts is 70.
How much you receive monthly depends on three factors:
i. The amount you set aside as your retirement sum
At age 55, your Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) savings, up to the Full Retirement Sum, will be transferred to your RA. From age 55 to the time you join CPF LIFE, this retirement sum will continue to grow with interest. This amount will then be used to join CPF LIFE when you are ready to start your monthly payouts. The more you set aside, the higher your monthly payouts. Read
here to find out the retirement sums applicable to you. However, do note that the Basic, Full, and Enhanced Retirement Sums are set as a guide and you may set aside any amount in between as your retirement sum.
To estimate your payouts based on your retirement sum, you can use the
CPF LIFE Estimator
ii. The CPF LIFE plan you choose
You can choose from three CPF LIFE plans: Basic, Standard, or Escalating. The plans differ in terms of monthly payouts you would receive and the bequest you would leave to your beneficiaries.
Consider your preferred retirement lifestyle when choosing your plan. If you do not choose a plan by the time you reach 70, you will be automatically placed on the Standard Plan.
Need more help choosing your CPF LIFE plan? Read
iii. When you choose to start your payouts
You can start your payouts from your PEA. If you do not have an immediate need for the income stream, you can choose to defer the start of your payouts to a later age, up to age 70. For each year you defer, your payouts can grow by up to 7%.
The table below helps you gauge your monthly payouts based on your retirement sum and when you start your payouts.
Figures are based on CPF LIFE Standard Plan payouts computed as of 2019.
Retirement Sum at age 55||
If you start payouts at age 65||
If you start payouts at age 68||
If you start payouts at age 70|
|Basic Retirement Sum: $88,000||$730 – $790||$870 – $940||$970 – $1,050|
|Full Retirement Sum: $176,000||$1,350 – $1,450||$1,590 – $1,720||$1,790 – $1,930|
|Enhanced Retirement Sum: $264,000||$1,960 – $2,110||$2,320 – $2,500||$2,600 – $2,810|
Let’s look at an example.
Say you set aside $120,000 at age 55. If you choose to start your payouts at age 65, here’s how much you can expect to receive as your lifelong monthly payout, according to the different CPF LIFE plans.
Note: Payouts are estimates computed as of 2019 and may be adjusted to account for long-term changes in interest rates of life expectancy. Such adjustments (is any) are expected to be small and gradual.
How you can boost your payouts
You may be interested in receiving higher CPF LIFE payouts. Here are three ways you can do so.
1. Choose to start your payouts later
You can consider starting your payouts at a later age, if you have no immediate need for the payouts. For each year that you defer, your savings can increase by up to 7%.
2. Make cash top-ups to your SA/RA
Top up your Special Account (if you are below age 55) or Retirement Account (if you are aged 55 or above) and enjoy tax relief of up to $7,000 per year. This is applicable to top-ups up to the Full Retirement Sum.
3. Transfer savings from your OA to SA/RA
Transfer your OA savings to your SA (if you are below age 55) or RA (if you are aged 55 or above) to enjoy higher interest — from 2.5% to 4%. Over time, these savings will grow significantly!
To find out how to make a cash top-up or CPF transfer, read
Check out the video below for a visual explanation of the CPF LIFE monthly payouts!
Information accurate as at 12/4/2019