Last Updated on by Tree of Wealth
Having a carefree post-retirement life is typically the goal for most people. However, affording the lifestyle they aspire to have in their golden years is a common worry for many.
Contrary to popular belief, planning for retirement can be made a lot easier, if a retirement savings plan is put in place early.
Most Singaporeans contribute a significant portion of their monthly salaries to the Central Provident Fund (CPF), which is important in achieving a comfortable post-retirement lifestyle.
While you might have already set aside a sizable amount in our CPF, voluntarily topping up your Special Account (SA) and Retirement Account (RA) can help you to grow your retirement savings.
Besides, you are also able to enjoy tax reliefs at the same time, which is killing two birds with one stone.
Here’s all you need to know about topping up your retirement savings in Singapore.
How topping up your retirement savings works
If you are below 55, you can top up your Special Account. Those aged 55 and above will make top-ups to their Retirement Account.
Top-ups can be made in both cash or CPF transfers, and all Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents can receive these top-ups. You are also able to make top-ups for your loved ones or employees.
You can also enjoy tax reliefs of up to S$6,000 per calendar for top-ups, starting from 1 January 2022.
However, you will not be able to transfer your CPF savings to your children or non-immediate family members.
According to CPF, this is because your children have a longer remaining lifespan, and have more time to build up their own retirement savings.
How CPF transfers work for those 55 and above
If you are 55 and above, your CPF savings will be transferred to your RA from your SA first, followed by your OA.
Transfer to your loved ones will be made from your OA first, followed by your SA and RA. However, using your RA funds for the transfer might render you unavailable to meet your Full Retirement Sum.
If that happens, a portion or all of the savings will be used to meet your FRS in the RA the next time you apply for a withdrawal from your OA and SA.
After you turn 55, you will not be able to make CPF transfer to your SA, as the RA was created to help you meet your retirement needs. Thus, all top-ups to increase your retirement payouts will have to be made to the RA instead of the SA.
However, you can transfer your OA savings to your RA to earn a higher interest rate while receiving greater payouts at the same time.
When to begin topping up your retirement savings
To benefit from the power of compound interest, it is best to start topping up your retirement savings as early as possible, even if you have just begun working.
You are also able to generate more interest if you top up your retirement savings in January, as compared to if you begin at the end of the year.
If you top up S$8,000 per year in January, you would be able to earn S$27,300 in interest after 10 years, as compared to S$22,700 if you were to top up in December. This chalks up to around 20% more interest.
Do take note that these calculations are based on the SA/RA interest rates of up to 6% per annum.
Cash top-ups received in the current month will begin earning interest in the following month, while CPF transfers received in the current month will begin generating interest in the same month.
However, if the top-ups were originally new contributions in the giver’s account, it will only begin earning interest in the recipient’s account from the next month.
Retirement should be a worry-free period, and looking into topping up your retirement savings account might be a viable method to ensure that your finances are adequately taken care of in your old age.
Many Singaporeans also choose to top-up their retirement savings on a voluntary basis as it allows them to generate more interest than leaving their cash in a savings account with the bank.
At the same time, consider having different streams of income during retirement time with a combination of endowment retirement plans from private insurers to complement CPF’s Retirement Schemes.
Read more on our review of Best Retirement Plans Singapore 2022 – The Ultimate Guide
If you have any queries/ considerations requiring professional advice, our licensed Financial Advisor partners will be more than happy to attend your queries, simply drop us a text below =)