"It's too early to worry about retirement!"
Many have this mindset because they think that retirement is still a long way off. But the future is always uncertain and starting early does you no harm. While there are many retirement plans out there that provide rather attractive benefits, let's zoom in on one scheme that some of us might have heard of – CPF LIFE.
So… What is CPF LIFE?
To put it simply, CPF Lifelong Income For the Elderly (CPF LIFE) is a scheme that provides you with monthly income for as long as you live. You will be placed on CPF LIFE if you are a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident born in 1958 or after, and have at least:
- $40,000 in your Retirement Account when you reach 55 years old, or
- $60,000 in your Retirement Account when you reach 65 years old
When you turn 55 years old, CPF will create a Retirement Account for you. It will contain your retirement sum, made up of the combined balances of both your Special and/or Ordinary Accounts. Once you reach 65, you can choose to start your monthly payouts under CPF LIFE.
These monthly payouts can be utilised in any way you want. You can use the money for daily expenses, pursue that hobby that you never had a chance to try, or even save for a rainy day!
Sounds good, right?
How much will I get in monthly payouts?
As everyone has different needs in retirement, you should think about how much you would need for your basic needs in retirement and then set aside the corresponding retirement sum. For members turning 55 in 2016, the three tiers of retirement sum and corresponding monthly payouts are as follows:
Basic Retirement Sum (BRS):
Full Retirement Sum (FRS): $161,000
The FRS is 2 x BRS
Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS): $241,500
The ERS is 3 x BRS
|Monthly Payout from age of 65|
$660 – $720
|$1,220 – $1,330||$1,770 – $1,920|
These payouts are estimates based on CPF LIFE Standard Plan parameters in 2016.
What if I do not have enough in my Retirement Account to meet the retirement sums?
Even if your Retirement Account (RA) savings were to fall between these figures, don't worry! Regardless of how much you have in your RA, you will still receive monthly payouts. In fact, the numbers above are not fixed amounts. Rather, they serve as reference points to help determine the payouts that you will receive on a monthly basis once you reach the age of 65.
If the FRS is double that of BRS, why aren't the FRS monthly payouts doubled as well?
This is due to the progressive interest rates of your CPF savings. Let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
From age 55, your RA savings will continue to earn interest: the first $30,000 will earn an interest of 6%*, and the next $30,000 will earn an interest of 5%. The remaining monies, regardless of amount, will earn an interest of 4%.
This helps those with lower retirement sums to eventually accumulate more in their RA by the age of 65, therefore achieving a higher level of monthly payouts.
CPF LIFE aims to provide a lifelong income for you and help you to retire with peace of mind. Visit the links below to learn more about CPF LIFE today!
*Applicable to those aged 55 and above in January 2016
(note: the BRS/FRS/ERS and CPF LIFE figures in this article are based on 2016 information. The figures are adjusted every January. Please click for the latest figures for the former and latter)