As a government scheme ensuring Singaporeans with retirement adequacy, Central Provident Fund (CPF) is also a tool that Singaporeans can use to maximise their savings for retirement. Based on the CPF accounts, we can receive a base interest rate of 2.5% for Ordinary Account (OA) and 4% for Special Account (SA) and Retirement Account (RA).
There are two top-up methods for CPF: Retirement Sum Topping Up Scheme (RSTU) and CPF Voluntary Contribution. For this article, we would be focusing on using the RSTU scheme to top-up our CPF SA with cash.
RSTU is a scheme that enables us to make contributions to our personal or our loved one’s Special Account (SA) and Retirement Account (RA) via cash or CPF transfers. This is to encourage retirement savings for us and our family. For CPF transfers, we can transfer our OA to our spouse, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, siblings. For cash top-ups, we would be able to transfer to almost any recipients.
There are two main benefits to topping up with cash via RSTU. First, we can bring forward the compounding effects of 4% per annum of SA and RA by topping up early.
Second, we would be able to enjoy up to $7,000 in tax deductions for our personal cash top-up. On top of it, we can enjoy another $7,000 tax deductions if we top-up for our family member who meets the eligibility requirements. For the tax relief, do note that the total $14,000 would be subject to the maximum cap of $80,000 personal income tax relief of an individual.
Before topping up, it is important to note that the process is irreversible. Therefore, do make sure the RSTU cash top-up scheme is aligned with your overall cash flow and retirement strategy.
Now, here is a step-by-step walkthrough on how to top up your CPF account with cash via RSTU.
#1 Go To Payment Services On CPF Portal
At the CPF portal, from the services tab, go to “Enquiry & Payment Services”.
In the “Enquiry & Payment Services” tab, go for the first option “e-Cashier”. This allows us to make cash payments to CPF board.
#2 Fill In Your NRIC And Choose Payment Choice
Upon entering the “e-Cashier” page, we have to fill in our NRIC number. Choose the “member” option unless you are self-employed.
For individuals below the age of 55, our Retirement Account is not opened yet. Therefore, among the cash payment options, we would go with the last option which is to “Top up my own/receipt’s SA (Special Account) under the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme”.
Upon selecting our topping-up option, we would be brought to a page whereby the relevant terms and conditions are stated for our reading.
Based on the CPF portal, for cash payments, doing it via PayNow QR would be faster as it will be processed immediately compared to eNETS Debit which will only be processed on the next working day.
As we are topping up to enjoy the CPF interest rate, do note that the interest for CPF top-ups is only paid in the following month.
#3 Fill In Our Account Details Again And Confirm Final Amount For Top-Up
After confirming our top-up account, we have to fill in the recipient’s CPF account. In this case, whereby we are topping up to our own accounts, we have to fill in our own NRIC again.
Here, we have to fill in the recipient’s relationship with us. As this is a cash top-up, we could top-up for any CPF account if we have their relevant information. However, we will only enjoy the $7,000 tax relief for top-ups if the recipient is for ourselves or the eligible family members (spouse, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, siblings). Since we are not topping up for others for this article, we will be choosing the first option which is “Self”.
After selecting to top-up our own CPF account, we have to key in the amount we wish to put in. As disclaimed above again, the top-up amount is not allowed to be used for any CPF related usage other than for retirement pay-outs.
Do note that the top-up limit is as stated on the portal: Current FRS minus the sum of SA and SA withdrawn under CPF Investment Scheme.
#4 Confirm Payment Method And Save Receipt
After deciding on the amount we would like to top-up to our CPF SA, we will be brought to the confirmation page. Here, we would be notified that we may claim up to $7,000 tax relief if we are topping up to our own account.
For faster processing time, we would be going with PayNow. Once again, tick the terms and conditions box before proceeding to make payment.
Lastly, we would be brought to the page of receipt. The whole process of topping up would then be immediately reflected in our CPF account after we successfully transfer via PayNow.
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