The Central Provident Fund or CPF is a pension scheme mandated by the Singaporean government designed to provide financial security and peace of mind for every Singapore citizen and Permanent Residents for life. It provides a strong foundation for retirement, home ownership and healthcare protection.
The Central Provident Fund is separated into the following accounts: the Ordinary Account (OA), Medisave account and the Special Account (SA).
1. The Ordinary Account – these can be used to purchase houses, fund education, insurance and investing. These have a risk-free return of 2.5% interest rate.
2. Medisave Account – these are used to pay for healthcare, dental care and may be used for MediShield Life premiums and medical insurance premiums.
3. Special Account – these are used for financial needs after retirement and may be used to invest in retirement needs. These have a risk-free return of a 4.0% interest rate.
Those employed (self-employed included) and their employers make CPF contributions through deductions in salary and distributed to the three accounts. CPF marks ages 55 and 65 as milestones through the Retirement Account and the CPF Life.
At the age of 55, a Retirement Account (RA) is created. The funds from your OA and SA savings up to the Full Retirement Sum will be transferred to your RA account and has an interest rate of 4.0% to 6.0% for 10 years, up until the age of 65 years old.
At 65 years old, there is an option for CPF Life. CPF Life is an annuity scheme where all who enter will be given a lifelong monthly payout.
CPF savings were designed to provide you with a strong foundation for your retirement so you can have peace of mind in your golden years.
CPF allows you to save for your retirement and empowers you to secure your life goals through monthly contributions throughout your working life. Through CPF, owning a home can be affordable. It can even manage your basic healthcare sum and meet the costs of your healthcare needs.
Once you have come to understand how CPF works, you’ll be able to make the most of the benefits of growing your savings for both yourself and your parents.
Retirement Account savings has high risk-fee returns in which those who are 55 years old and above can earn up to 6.0% interest on their retirement savings. Topping off your parents’ RA accounts guarantees them better returns on capital each year up until they reach the age of 65 years old. This has long term benefits wherein during their retirement should they ever opt for CPF Life as they can enjoy increased monthly payouts for the rest of their lives.
Those who cash top-up accounts of family members or dependents get to enjoy tax relief in return under the Retirement Sum Topping Up Scheme (RSTU).
However, it takes into account the totality of your contributions that were made to other CPF accounts. This means at most you can top off $7,000 to your parent’s retirement savings with $3,500 per parent per year.
This amount was raised to $8000 per calendar year starting January 1 2022. Any amount beyond $8000 will not be given additional tax relief.
The first step to maximizing the CPF savings is awareness of the status of your current funds. You can easily access your CPF account and your loved ones’ CPF account information using SingPass. To better manage your CPF savings, it’s best to keep your contact details updated and subscribe to the latest news regarding CPF.
The following are four ways that can help you maximize your parent’s CPF.
CPF RSTU allows you to top up your parent’s Special Account or Retirement Account (whichever is applicable) through cash or a CPF transfer from your own CPF savings. However, to ensure you have sufficient savings for yourself, this can only be done if your CPF balance has exceeded the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS).
For more details on the Basic Retirement Sum (along with the Full Retirement Sum and Enhanced Retirement Sum), you may visit the CPF website.
Do note that the money deposited is strictly for retirement purposes only and cannot be withdrawn in cash or be used for other purposes such as investment, education or housing.
MRSS is a savings scheme that started in 2021 and it was designed to help seniors who have not reached their BRS build their retirement savings. Through this scheme, every dollar of cash-top-ups (up to $600/year) made to RA of members will be matched by the government.
Topping off your parents’ accounts in this scheme, along with government support, aids your loved ones in maximizing the payout they will receive in their retirement years. This also attracts interest rates of up to 6% per year which will be beneficial to your parents’ financial stability in the long run.
This applies to seniors who meet the following criteria:
– aged between 55 to 70
– has RA savings is below the BRS
– has an Average Monthly income of up to $4000
– whose Annual Value of Residence of up to $13,000
– owns not more than one property
For more details, visit the MOM website.
The annual limit of CPF contributions is $37,740. If your loved ones’ CPF contributions have not reached this annual limit, you can make a voluntary contribution to boost their CPF funds.
For parents who are fit and healthy, and still able or wish to continue working, they can still do so until their retirement at 70 years old. Senior Citizens who are 55 years old can withdraw a lump sum of $5,000 from their CPF accounts. This increases to 20% when they reach the age of 65.
To make the most of your parents’ CPF accounts, try to avoid withdrawing money if it isn’t necessary. The higher the sum in their accounts means higher interest earned as well. Eventually, they will be saving more with CPF as this will accumulate to a lifetime of higher payouts should they opt for CPF life.
Yes, so long as you have reached the Basic Retirement Sum on yours, which ensures you have sufficient money for your retirement.
Once you have saved up for retirement you can easily help your parents with theirs. There following are three ways you can top up your parents’ CPF savings.
CPF Mobile App
You may top-up via the web or the CPF Mobile App. The mobile app can be found in both the Apple App Store as well as on Google Play Store. The QR codes for the app are found in this PDF from the CPF Board website.
1. Log in to the app using your SingPass and use the Navigation bar to select ‘Services’.
2. Select ‘SA/RA Top-Up’ and upon reading the notice that appears on screen, press ‘Continue’.
3. Select ‘Cash Top-Up’ and follow the instructions to complete the application form.
Three options for payment will appear:
If you select PayNow QR: it will generate a QR code for you. Save the QR code to your device and upload it into your PayNow participating bank’s app and authorise the payment.
If you select eNETS: You will be redirected to a payment gateway where you will be prompted for your internet banking details and authorization of the payment.
If you select OCBC Pay Anyone: You will be redirected to the OCBC Pay Anyone app for your authorization of the payment.
CPF Online Services
Log in to the CPF website with your SingPass so you can top up online. Here is the link to their e-Cashier
GIRO allows you to make small and regular monthly Top-ups:
For DBS/POSB or OCBC users, you may apply for a GIRO arrangement and set up a Standing Instruction.
For those who are not, you can fill up this GIRO application form and follow instructions on how to submit it.
No. All cash top-ups made under the Retirement Sum Topping-UP scheme are irreversible. All CPF contributions in the SA and RA are locked in for the long term and earn an interest rate of 4%.
Topping up your parents’ CPF contributions helps them gain higher monthly payouts when they finally retire. This provides not only financial comfort and support but also peace of mind so they can enjoy their golden years not worrying about money.
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