Retirement

What Are The Schemes Available To Support Retirees Who Are Asset Rich But Cash Poor In Singapore?

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?

DollarsAndSense Answers:

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.

Read Also: Guide To Grants & Subsidies For Middle-Income Households In Singapore

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.

Read Also: Complete Guide To The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)

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.

Read Also: How Is Your Financial Health? We Went For A “Financial Health Check” To Understand Areas For Improvement

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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?

Question: 

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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