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22 Mar 2021 

SOURCE: CPF Board

Planning for retirement can be challenging, as it's not possible to predict lifespan and how long your savings should last. Save too little and you may have insufficient funds to cover monthly expenses over the span of your retirement, yet save too much and you might compromise on fully enjoying life with your hard-earned savings. 


As life expectancy of Singaporeans increases at the same time, many may find their savings depleted with many more years to live. However, with CPF LIFE, you can have the assurance of lifelong monthly payouts no matter how long you live, even after your savings run out.

Here are three moves to get you started with retirement planning, and help you optimise CPF LIFE to complement your retirement needs.

Infographic on the three moves to achieve checkmate for your retirement.

Move 1: Ask yourself what kind of retirement income you need

 

There are three CPF LIFE plans available – Escalating, Standard and Basic Plan. Deciding the kind of retirement lifestyle you want is key to choosing the right CPF LIFE plan for you.

 

If you are worried about things becoming more expensive as the years pass, you need a retirement income that increases every year. The Escalati​n​g Plan has this feature. It provides monthly payouts that increase by 2% every year to help protect you against rising prices.

 

If you prefer to keep your expenses within a fixed budget even if it means you can afford to buy less as things get more expensive in the years ahead, the Standard Plan offers stable and level monthly payouts.

 

If you don't mind starting with lower monthly payouts which will be progressively lower later on, then the Basic Plan is good enough.

 

In all three plans, you will enjoy payouts no matter how long you live. Your retirement savings will be used to pay the CPF LIFE premium for your CPF LIFE plan. These premiums will enjoy attractive and risk-free CPF interest rates. When you pass away, any remaining CPF LIFE premium balance will be given to your beneficiaries, together with your remaining CPF savings. As such, you and your loved ones will always get back the premium that you have put into CPF LIFE.


Move 2: Based on your desired monthly payout, estimate the CPF LIFE premium you need

 

After deciding on the CPF LIFE plan that best suits your retirement needs, figure out the amount of monthly payouts you want for retirement.

 

Consider a rough spending benchmark of at least two-thirds of your last drawn monthly wages. For example, if your pre-retirement wages is $2,000, you could aim to have around $1,300 in CPF LIFE monthly payouts to cover basic expenses post-retirement. 

 

You can then use the CPF LIFE Estimator to find out the amount of CPF LIFE premium required to achieve your desired monthly payout under your selected CPF LIFE plan. 

For example, to receive a monthly payout of $1,430 - $1,530, you will need $280,200 in your Retirement Account (RA) at 65. A considerably lower sum of $186,000 is required if you set aside the amount in your RA at 55. This is because CPF interest rates of up to 6% p.a.* will help you grow your savings through compound interest.


Move 3: Consider making CPF top-ups or deferring your monthly payouts

 

If you don’t have the required premium to achieve your desired monthly payouts, there are ways you can work towards a higher monthly payout.

 

You could consider cash top-ups or CPF transfers to your Special Account (if you're below 55) or RA (if you're above 55) and grow your savings at an attractive interest rate of up to 6% per annum*.

 

If you do not have immediate needs, you can choose to defer your CPF LIFE payouts to grow your savings further. Instead of starting your payouts at age 65, you can start it anytime up to age 70. For each year that you defer, your payouts will increase by up to 7%. This means you'll get up to a 35% increase in payouts if you choose to start your payouts at 70!

 

And there you have it — three easy moves to start planning and securing your retirement goals with CPF LIFE! 

 

Read more about CPF LIFE

 

*Includes extra interest. Members who are below 55 years old are paid an extra interest of 1% per annum on the first $60,000 of their combined balances. Members who are 55 years old and above are paid an extra interest of 2% per annum on the first $30,000 and 1% per annum on the next $30,000 of their combined balances. Terms and conditions apply. 


Information accurate as at 22/03/2021.