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?
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.
Have a question?
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?
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.
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.
Have a question?
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?
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.
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.
Have a question?
In the event a CPF member passes on, what is the process for the next-of-kin for claiming their deceased loved ones’ CPF monies?
How long will it take to process the payout, and in what form will the payout take? Is it a transfer to the next-of-kin’s CPF account?
The first step would be to check with the CPF Board whether the deceased has made a CPF Nomination.
If they made a valid CPF nomination: the CPF Board will make the payout according to the instruction and type of nomination.
For Cash nomination (the default type), payment will be made via cheque or GIRO, while nominee(s) under the Enhanced Nomination Scheme (ENS) will receive the CPF savings due to them in their CPF accounts. There is also a Special Needs Savings Scheme (SNSS) Nomination which provides monthly disbursements.
The Public Trustee’s Office charges certain fees for handling and disbursing CPF moneies, as shown below:
|Amount of CPF Monies||Charge|
|For the first $1,000||2.400%|
|For the next $9,000||1.500%|
|For the next $240,000||0.750%|
|For the next $250,000||0.450%|
|For amounts in excess of $500,000||0.300%|
There is a minimum fee of $15, which will be taken from the CPF money and cannot be waived.
According to the Public Trustee’s Office website, they will distribute the money within 4 weeks from the date of receipt of the full set of documentation from beneficiaries.
Have a question?
Your article on grants and subsidies for lower and middle income families is indeed very informative.
I am one of those who are asset rich but cash poor and my hard earned savings is depleting thanks to the high cost of living in Singapore. I am 70 and not working but pay property taxes, GST, etc.
Are there any government grants and subsidies for those without an income, such as retirees?
The challenge faced by asset rich, cash poor Singaporeans is a serious and well-known one, and the government has been making efforts to adjust its policies to support this “sandwiched” group of Singaporeans.
For example, in the area of healthcare, it was announced that CHAS will expanded to cover all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income. This is one of the measures to help alleviate the cost of healthcare.
Other forms of ongoing support that retirees living in private property can receive include GST Vouchers, as well as Pioneer and Merdeka generation packages.
If you are facing difficulties with the cost of living, you can consider applying to ComCare, which provides cash assistance, and discretionary grants for daily essentials and medical bills.
At the community level, you can also look for your respective Community Development Council which administers localised assistance schemes.
With closer integration among the social service sector, regardless of which social service organisation you approach for help, you’ll be referred to the right schemes and organisations that can best serve your needs.
Have a question?
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?
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.