• CPF LIFE (Retirement Scheme) – Lifelong Income For the Elderly

    What is the CPF LIFE Retirement Scheme?

    The CPF LIFE Retirement Scheme provides Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents with lifelong monthly payouts after retirement.

    Entry Age: 65 to 70 years OR between payout eligibility age and 80 years.

    CPF LIFE – Who is it for?

    If you are a Singaporean Citizen or Permanent Resident who was born in 1958 or after, you have to join CPF LIFE upon meeting the minimum balance requirement in your Retirement Account (RA).

    Table 1: Minimum Balance Requirement in RA to join CPF LIFE

    Entry Age: 55 years from January 1, 2013 to April 30, 2016 Entry Age: 55 years starting May 1 2016 onwards
    Amount in Retirement Account: SS$40,000 upon reaching payout eligibility age. Amount in Retirement Account: SS$60,000 upon reaching payout eligibility age. Amount in Retirement Account: SS$60,000 upon reaching payout eligibility age.

    If you are born prior to 1958, you are still eligible to join CPF LIFE:

    • You can apply to the Central Provident Fund to join CPF LIFE.
    • You can apply at any point in time between the payout eligibility age and 80 years.

    How does it work? CPF LIFE Monthly payouts:

    When you reach the Monthly Payout Eligibility Age i.e. between 65 to 70 years, you can choose to apply to start receiving monthly CPF payouts from your Retirement Account savings by:

    • Downloading the Postal Mail Form: There are 2 ways to apply –
      • In Person:
        • Download the form – “FORM LID-APP(1):Application for CPF LIFE”.
        • Fill up the form.
        • Visit any of the CPF Service Centres, submit the form along with your NRIC.
      • Mail:
        • Download the form – “FORM LID-APP(1):Application for CPF LIFE.
        • Fill up the form.
        • Mail it to the Central Provident Fund Board.
    • Online – my CPF:
      • Login using your SingPass.
      • Go to “My Requests” and submit the online application.

    Purchasing Extra CPF LIFE Annuity:

    If you are an existing member of CPF LIFE and want to purchase extra CPF LIFE Annuity using the additional top-up to your Retirement Account:

    • Download the form – ““FORM LID-APP(1A):Application for Additional Annuity under CPF LIFE.
    • Fill up the form.
    • Mail it to the Central Provident Fund Board.

    CPF LIFE – Payouts under Different Plans

    Payouts for CPF LIFE are made under 2 plans:

    • LIFE Standard Plan:
      • Higher Monthly Payouts.
      • Lower Bequest.

    This scheme is suitable for you if you want high monthly payouts for the rest of your life. The amount that you leave behind for your beneficiaries upon your demise will be relatively lesser.

    • LIFE Basic Plan:
      • Lower Monthly Payouts.
      • Higher Bequest.

    This scheme is suitable for you if you wish to leave behind a significantly large sum for your beneficiaries upon your demise and are satisfied with lower monthly payouts for the rest of your life.

    Note: If you wish to get an estimate of your payout under either of the aforementioned plans, you can do so by using the CPF LIFE Payout Estimator available on the official CPF website.

    How will the CPF LIFE Payouts be provided?

    The CPF LIFE payouts you receive will depend on your savings in your Retirement Account. You can maintain savings in your Retirement Account based on 3 different schemes namely BRS, FRS and ERS. These are the levels of retirement sum that you can set aside for when you retire.

    What is BRS, FRS and ERS?

    • BRS – Basic Retirement Sum. The CPF Board will tell you exactly how much this amount is in advance so you can plan your retirement better.
    • FRS – Full Retirement Sum. This amount has been set at 2 times the BRS. (FRS = BRS x 2).
    • ERS – Enhanced Retirement Sum was introduced and is available starting January 2016. This amount has been set at 3 times the BRS. (ERS = BRS x 3).

    Calculating your payout under CPF LIFE:

    You can use the CPF LIFE Payout Estimator to calculate your payouts under this scheme.

    Table 2: CPF LIFE Payouts under Different Plans

    Savings in your Retirement Account at 55 years
    If a property is owned and Retirement Account savings have been withdrawn above Basic Retirement Sum (subject to availability of sufficient CPF property pledge/charge) BRS or Basic Retirement Sum: SS$80,500
    If no property is owned and Retirement Account savings have not been withdrawn above Basic Retirement Sum FRS or Full Retirement Sum: SS$161,000 (FRS = BRS x 2)
    If more savings are put into CPF LIFE ERS or Enhanced Retirement Sum: SS$241,500 (ERS = BRS x 3)

    CPF LIFE - Standard Plan Scheme Payout

    To better understand how the payouts under CPF LIFE work, please find below an illustration of what your payouts will look like under the CPF LIFE Standard Plan scheme when you reach your payout eligibility age.

    Table 3: Payouts under CPF LIFE Standard Plan

    Savings in your Retirement Account at 55 years 65 years of age: Lifelong Monthly Payout under CPF LIFE Standard Plan
    BRS: SS$80,500 SS$660 to SS$720
    FRS: SS$161,000 SS$1,220 to SS$1,320
    ERS: SS$241,500 SS$1,770 to SS$1,920

    Note: The payouts have been estimated according to 2016 CPF LIFE Standard Plan parameters.

    CPF LIFE – Choosing my CPF LIFE plan

    When you turn 55 years of age, you are automatically enrolled into CPF LIFE. This scheme will provide you with payouts for the rest of your life. If you are not enrolled into the scheme, you can apply to join the scheme by writing to the CPF Board upon reaching the payout eligibility age and before you turn 80. You can either choose to opt for CPF LIFE that will provide you lifelong payouts or choose to stay on the Retirement Sum Scheme that will provide you payouts for approximately 20 years.

    • Upon nearing your payout eligibility age, the CPF Board will write to you explaining your available options and choices you would need to make regarding your payouts.
    • You can choose your CPF LIFE plan when you want to start receiving your monthly payouts under this scheme.
    • Each plan under CPF LIFE is a combination of the monthly payout amount and the bequest amount for beneficiaries. You can choose the plan with a combination that best suits your requirements.

    CPF LIFE – Increasing monthly payouts

    • You can make additional top-ups to your Retirement Account to receive higher monthly payouts until you reach the top-up limit.
    • You can make top-ups through cash or CPF top-ups or both.
    • The top-up limit is until the amount reaches the Enhancement Retirement Sum which is 3 times the Basic Retirement Sum.
    • You can use your top-ups to purchase additional CPF LIFE annuity to receive higher payouts.
    • You can also choose to opt for payouts under CPF LIFE later, up to 70 years of age. Your payouts can increase up to 7% for each year deferred.

    CPF LIFE – Receiving monthly payouts

    • You will receive your monthly payouts under this scheme on the 4th business day of every month.
    • The payout will be made directly into your bank account using Inter-Bank GIRO (IBG).
    • If you have closed your bank account and IBG is not successful, the payout will be made to your CPF Ordinary Account.

    CPF LIFE – What is bequest and how does it work?

    Bequest refers to the amount that you leave behind for your beneficiaries after your death.

    • Upon your demise, all unused annuity premium along with any amount in your Retirement Account savings will be refunded to your beneficiaries.
    • Refunds will first be paid into your CPF Account. This will then be paid to your beneficiaries along with the remaining savings your CPF Account.

    CPF LIFE – Receiving Bonus

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • You are a Singaporean Citizen
    • You are born from 1958 – 1962.
    • You have a minimum amount of SS$40,000 in your Retirement Account at 55 years.
    • The bonus that you receive will depend on your annual AI or Assessable Income and AV or the Annual Value of your house.

    Table 4: CPF LIFE Bonus Payout

    Assessable Income (AI) CPF LIFE Bonus Amount
    In case of AV (Annual Value) of property is SS$9,600 or lower In case of AV (Annual Value) of property is between S$9,600 and S$13,000
    S$27,000 or lower S$1,900 S$1,500
    S$27,000 and up to S$60,000 S$1,500 S$1,050

    Note: The figures in the table above are for members who have turned/will turn 55 years in 2016.

    • The payment under CPF LIFE Bonus will be made to your Retirement Account.
    • You are eligible for CPF LIFE Bonus even if you do not have S$40,000 in your Retirement Account at 55 years. You will need to inform the CPF Board regarding the same before you turn 56.
    • Note that if you have lesser than S$20,000 in your Retirement Account before you turn 56, your bonus will be reduced proportionately.

    CPF LIFE – Leaving the scheme after joining

    You can choose to leave CPF LIFE under the following circumstances:

    • Medical condition because of which:
      • You are unfit for employment of any kind permanently.
      • Your life expectancy has been reduced severely.
      • You are terminally ill.
    • You are leaving or have left Singapore and West Malaysia permanently and are not coming back to live or for work.
    • You have left Singapore permanently to live in West Malaysia because you are a Malaysian citizen.
    • If you are already receiving pension or monthly payouts under any other personal annuity schemes, you can apply for exemption to the CPF Board from setting aside any retirement amount for your Retirement Account.

    What happens to the amount in CPF LIFE after exiting the scheme?

    • A refund of your savings will be issued. The refund amount will be the unused annuity premium balance without the interest.
    • In an event that your savings have been paid out in monthly payouts under the scheme, refund of the same will not be made.
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