Can I Change My CPF LIFE Plan (Standard, Basic, Escalating) Once I Started Receiving Payouts?

If I didn’t choose my CPF LIFE plan and the ‘default’ of Standard plan was chosen for me, can I still change to something else after payouts have started?

DollarsAndSense Answers:

According to the CPF Board, you have 30 days from the date of your CPF LIFE policy letter to make any changes to your CPF LIFE plan.

For members who opted-in to CPF LIFE voluntarily, can withdraw their enrolment into CPF LIFE, while other members can change from their current CPF LIFE plan to another.

CPF members are only allowed to change their plan once.

Those who wish to do so can submit a request on the CPF website after logging in, under Online Services -> My Requests -> My e-Concierge, and selecting CPF LIFE.

Read Also: [Beginners’ Guide] Understanding CPF LIFE And Your Monthly Payouts When You Retire In Singapore

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What Happens To Additional Funds In My CPF Ordinary Account If I Continue Working After The Age Of 55?

At the age of 55, monies in my CPF Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) will be transferred to my newly-created Retirement Account (RA).

What happens if I continue to work and make regular contributions to my CPF OA and SA?

Can my additional contributions be transferred to my RA to increase my CPF LIFE payout when I reach 65 and beyond? Will I be able to withdraw the additional funds at the age of 65?

DollarsAndSense Answers:

When you continue to work at the age of 55 and beyond, it is still mandatory for your employer and yourself to make CPF contributions, though at reduced proportions compared to your early years.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Your CPF Contributions In Singapore: Salary Caps, Contribution Rates And Allocation Rates

Contributed monies in your CPF OA and SA (and MediSave) will continue to earn risk-free interest. You can keep your OA funds if you wish to use it to service your monthly housing repayments, or withdraw the funds if you need it.

Alternatively, you can also make transfers from your OA/SA to your RA under the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme up to the current Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS), This allows you receive higher CPF LIFE monthly payouts for life.

To make transfers, you can visit login with SingPass at the CPF website and select “My Requests” and “Building Up My/My Recipient’s CPF Savings”.

Read Also: Retirement Sum Scheme, CPF LIFE, CareShield Life, ElderShield: Important Choices All Singaporeans Should Decide For Themselves

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Is It True That In The Event Of Death, Our Beneficiaries Don’t Receive Interest Earned By Our CPF Retirement Account?

I have a question regarding interest earned by my CPF monies after joining CPF LIFE. Is it true that our beneficiaries will NOT receive the interests accumulated and that this interest goes back to the common fund for other CPF LIFE annuitants?

DollarsAndSense Answers:

Recently, there has been some confusion online on this issue, with some Singaporeans feeling shortchanged.

First of all, we need to understand what happens to our CPF Retirement Account (RA) monies:

At age 65 onwards, our RA monies will be used to “buy” into the CPF LIFE annuity scheme as premium payment. This money is pooled in the Lifelong Income Fund, which is used to provide payouts to all CPF LIFE members.

At no point in time did the CPF Board give any indication that interest earned by monies in your CPF Retirement Account goes into your account and can be left to your beneficiaries.

This has been how the CPF Board has always explained bequests for members on the CPF LIFE Scheme:

In fact, this is one of the differences between the Retirement Sum Scheme and CPF LIFE. In the old Retirement Sum Scheme, interest is paid into our Retirement Account Balances, and this amount is gradually drawn down during our retirement until nothing is left, and payouts stop.

Read Also: CPF LIFE VS Retirement Sum Scheme: What’s The Difference?

The key thing to remember, is that the original promise of CPF LIFE is still upheld. If we pass on early, our beneficiaries will be receiving at least the amount we put into CPF LIFE, minus the payouts we already received. If we outlive our initial Retirement Account balances, we will still be assured of monthly payouts for as long as we live.

And it is the pooled interest earned from the Lifelong Income Fund is what makes this valuable feature possible.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Understanding The “Benefit Illustration” Of CPF LIFE Payouts

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Do I Earn Interest On My CPF Monies Once I Start Receiving CPF LIFE Payouts?


When I turn 65 and start to draw monthly payouts from CPF LIFE, does my remaining monies in my CPF Retirement Account still generate interest?

DollarsAndSense Answers:

First of all, we need to understand what happens to our monies when we enroll into the CPF LIFE scheme at the age of 65 (assuming we don’t voluntarily defer our payouts).

If you choose the CPF LIFE Standard or Escalating plan, all of the monies in your CPF Retirement Account (RA) is withdrawn and paid as premiums to purchase your CPF LIFE annuity plan. Your RA would now be empty.

It is important to note that even after your CPF LIFE policy has commenced, you are still eligible to earn interest on all your CPF accounts, namely, the Ordinary Account, Special Account, MediSave Account and Retirement Account.

However, the lump sum that you paid to purchase your CPF LIFE annuity plan is now pooled together with other Singaporeans in the CPF Lifelong Income Fund, and any interest on those monies is used for making sustainable payouts for years to come.

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I Have Set Aside The CPF LIFE Full Retirement Sum. What Happens To The Rest Of My Monies And Earned Interest If I Pass On One Year After Receiving My CPF LIFE Payouts?


I have set aside the FRS amount of $171,000 for CPF LIFE at age 55. What happens to the rest of my monies and interest rate if i pass on one year after receiving my CPF LIFE payouts?

DollarsAndSense Answers:

Firstly, we have to note that there are three plans for CPF LIFE. They are the Full Retirement Sum (FRS), Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) and Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS).  The FRS refers to the amount that Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents are required to aside aside at 55. This will go into our Retirement Account (RA), and eventually into CPF LIFE, our life annuity scheme that provides monthly payouts for as long as we live, when we turn 65.

The FRS is not a static sum either. Those turning 55 in 2018 will have to set aside an FRS of $171,000. This amount will increase 3% in the each of the next two years, to keep up with inflation. There isn’t a figure for how much it will increase beyond 2020, but we should assume it will continue increasing in line with inflation figures.

Read Also: Here’s What Your CPF Full Retirement Sum Might Look Like When You’re 55

Year Cohort FRS
2018 $171,000
2019 $176,000
2020 $181,000

Example of the scenario in the question:

If we are 55 today, $171,000 will be put into our RA to set aside for our CPF LIFE payouts. We can opt to put in half this amount ($85,500) by pledging a property that we own to go on the Basic Retirement Scheme (BRS), or double this amount ($256,500) if we choose to opt for the Enhanced Retirement Scheme (ERS).

Once on the FRS, our monies will continue to compound. According to the CPF website, here’s the interest rates we will receive.

Balances in Special, MediSave and Retirement Accounts Interest rate (p.a.)
First $30,000 6%
Next $30,000 5%
Amounts above $60,000 4%

This means we may have close to $266,000 in our RA when we turn 65. Once we enter CPF LIFE, we can choose whether we would like to go on one of three plans:

# 1 Standard Plan

# 2 Basic Plan

# 3 Escalating Plan

Read Also: CPF LIFE Escalating Plan: What You Need To Understand About The Latest CPF LIFE Plan Before Opting For It

Assuming we are turn 65 today, have $266,000 in our RA and opt for the Standard Plan, we will receive a monthly payout of close to $1,350.

What happens if we pass away 12 months later? Will all our CPF LIFE monies be gone? The short answer is NO. Here’s what will happen.

After 12 months, we would have withdrawn close to $16,200. If we were to pass on, our beneficiaries will receive no less than the amount we initially put into the plan. This means $266,000 – $16,200 = 249,800. This means the family members of  anyone who passes on early in life does not get shortchanged by CPF LIFE.

If the person lives to a ripe old age of 85, he or she will continue drawing $1,350 every month, and ultimately have received $324,000. This is more than what he or she would have put in.

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