TLDR CPF LIFE

CPF Lifelong Income For The Elderly, a.k.a. CPF LIFE, is an annuity scheme for all Singaporeans that provides you with a monthly payout for as long as you live. As long as you are born after 1954, you can choose to receive your monthly payout when you turn 65 years old.

When you turn 55 years old, the balance in your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) are combined to form the Retirement Account (RA). If the total balance excees the Full Retirement Sum (FRS), the excess will remain in your OA.

As of today, you can find the required dollar amounts of the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS), Full Retirement Sum (FRS), and Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) from 2004 till 2022:

55th birthday in the year of Basic Retirement Sum Full Retirement Sum Enhanced Retirement Sum
2004 $40,000 $80,000 $120,000
2005 $42,250 $84,500 $126,750
2006 $45,000 $90,000 $135,000
2007 $47,300 $94,600 $141,900
2008 $49,800 $99,600 $149,400
2009 $53,000 $106,000 $159,000
2010 $58,500 $117,000 $175,500
2011 $61,500 $123,000 $184,500
2012 $65,600 $131,000 $196,500
2013 $69,500 $139,000 $208,500
2014 $74,000 $148,000 $222,000
2015 $77,500 $155,000 $232,500
2016 $80,500 $161,000 $241,500
2017 $83,000 $166,000 $249,000
2018 $85,500 $171,000 $256,500
2019 $88,000 $176,000 $264,000
2020 $90,500 $181,000 $271,500
2021 $93,000 $186,000 $279,000
2022 $96,000 $192,000 $288,000

The numbers increase every year and will be adjusted accordingly by the government in line with inflation and other economic factors when your time comes.

You can withdraw the RA savings (excluding top-up monies, interest earned, and any government grants received) above your BRS from age 55, if you have sufficient charge on your property. The CPF charge is considered sufficient if it can restore your RA up to your FRS upon the sale/transfer of the property.

If you own a property but do not have sufficient CPF charge, you can still withdraw your RA savings above your BRS by pledging your property. The pledge does not affect your ownership of the property. It simply means that if you sell your property later, the amount pledged will be returned to your CPF account, in addition to the total amount of CPF savings you have used towards the property plus the interest you would have earned on those savings. This is to ensure that your retirement payouts are restored.

There are three CPF LIFE plans you can choose from: Basic, Standard, or Escalating. The Standard Plan offers higher level monthly payouts, while the Basic Plan offers lower level monthly payouts so that you can leave a larger bequest for your loved ones. Under the Escalating Plan, monthly payouts are lower in the initial years, and will increase by 2% yearly.

If you do not choose a plan by the time you reach 70, you will be automatically placed on the Standard Plan.

After your death, CPF will refund all your unused annuity premium, if any, into your RA. It will then be paid to your beneficiaries along with your other remaining CPF savings. Do note that, any interest earned on your annuity premium is pooled together in the Lifelong Income Fund with the interest of all CPF LIFE participants, as such, the interest earned on your annuity premium will not form part of your bequest.

If you would like to learn more about CPF LIFE, I’d recommend checking out the FAQs or writing to them directly for clarification.

2020-03-31

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