You can transfer your savings from your Ordinary Account (OA) to your Special Account (SA) to earn a higher rate of interest on your savings. Also, this transfer is ideal if you are not or will not use savings from your OA for your housing loan.
Interest earned on savings in SA is up to 5%. The interest rate is based on one of the following:
- 4% p.a. OR
- An average of 12 month yield of 10YSGS or 10 year Singapore Government Securities + 1%.
The higher of the above 2 will be the interest for your Special Account savings. Also, your savings will earn an additional 1% interest when your combined CPF Balances reach its first S$60,000 out of which up to S$20,000 worth savings come from your Ordinary Account.
Table 1: Different between interest earned in Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA)
|Ordinary Account (OA)||Special Account (SA)|
|Min. interest earned: 2.5% p.a. for balance above S$20,000||Min. interest earned: 4% p.a.|
|First S$20,000 accumulated: Additional 1% interest p.a.||First S$60,000 accumulated (includes up to S$20,000 from OA): 5% interest p.a.|
When to make the transfer from your OA to SA?
You can transfer savings from your OA to SA up to the Full Retirement Sum or FRS. The total amount in your SA cannot exceed the FRS after making the transfer. The savings also includes any amount you have previously withdrawn from CPFIS-SA or CPF Investment Scheme-SA. The FRS for 2016 is S$161,000. If the savings in your Special Account has already reached this limit, you are not eligible this transfer.
Are you eligible to transfer funds from your OA to SA?
You are eligible to transfer funds from your OA to your SA under the following circumstances:
- You are below 55 years of age.
- Your SA has not reached the FRS limit.
Why are 55+ year old members not eligible to transfer funds from OA to SA –
There are 2 reasons why members who are aged 55 and above are NOT eligible to transfer savings from their OA to SA.
The first reason is that once you turn 55, you are eligible to set aside up to the FRS limit in your Retirement Account (RA). This is because when you turn 55 years old, a Retirement Account will be created automatically on your behalf and savings from your OA and SA will be transferred to your RA for your monthly payouts when you reach your PEA.
The second reason is that the interest rate earned on savings in the SA and RA are currently the same. The main reason to transfer funds to your SA is to enjoy higher rates of interest. But if you are enjoying the same interest rate in your RA as you are in your SA, there is no reason to make a transfer.
Transferring funds from OA to SA
Maximum Amount of Transfer – The difference between the current FRS (S$161,000) and the total savings in your SA including withdrawals made under CPFIS-SA is the maximum amount you can transfer from your OA to SA.
What you need to know about the transfer of funds from OA to SA:
- Once you make the transfer from your OA to SA, this transfer cannot be reversed. This is because, firstly, the savings in your SA are primarily meant to build up your savings for your retirement. Secondly, the transfer is voluntary and you are expected to plan the use of your CPF savings carefully before you decide to make any transfers.
- Once you make the transfer from your OA to SA, you will be able to enjoy the higher interest rate starting from the same month.
- If after the transfer, your SA has reached the FRS limit, a part of your future CPF contributions will continue to be credited into your SA to save more for your retirement.
- You will not be able to transfer funds from your SA to OA. This is because the savings in the SA are meant to serve you after your retirement.
Transferring funds from your OA to SA is highly beneficial as your savings in SA will earn a higher interest rate maximizing your funds for when you retire and start receiving your monthly payouts. As an added advantage, you also have the flexibility to transfer your funds any time before your 55th birthday.