Unhappy with CPF LIFE? Here’s How You Can Increase Your Monthly Payouts for a More Secure Retirement

Participation in CPF LIFE is by default for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents born in 1958 and later who have at least $60,000 in retirement savings before reaching the age of 65.

You can use this CPF LIFE Estimator tool to get an idea of how much you might be receiving each month from CPF LIFE when you reach your Payout Eligibility Age (65 for those born in 1954 and later).

While many of us appreciate the lifelong nature of payouts, some might be dismayed to see how much (or little) we would actually be receiving. If you want to do something about this, read on to see what your options are.

Defer Payouts

Regardless of whether you’ve started receiving CPF LIFE payouts, you have the option to defer receiving payouts, up to the age of 70. For each year that you do so, your payouts would increase by 7%. In other words, if you deferred for a full five years from 65 to 70, you would have increased your monthly lifelong payouts by a substantial 35%.

Since CPF LIFE payouts are not automatically disbursed at your Payout Eligibility Age, members who have not started receiving their CPF LIFE payouts do not need to take any action for deferment. They simply can wait till their desired time before apply to commence payouts, or till their 70th birthday – whichever is ealier.

Those who already started receiving payouts, you can visit the CPF website to apply for deferment.

Monetise Your Residential Property

If you wish to sell your HDB flat or private property and move to a 3-room or smaller HDB flat, you can take advantage of the Silver Housing Bonus (SHB), which rewards you with up to $30,000 in cash for topping up your CPF Retirement Account with part of your property sale proceeds, up to $60,000.

For those who wish to continue living in the same HDB flat, you can use the Lease Buyback Scheme, which allows you to sell part of your flat’s remaining lease to HDB, and use the proceeds to top-up your CPF Retirement Account. You can also receive up to $30,000 in cash bonus under this scheme.

In both of these cases, the additional CPF funds in your Retirement Account can then be used to increase your CPF LIFE premiums, and consequently, your monthly payouts.

Make CPF Top-Ups or Transfers

Since your monthly payouts depend on your CPF LIFE premiums paid, you can increase the amount you would receive for life by topping up your CPF Retirement Account using cash, or transferring CPF monies from your Ordinary Account.

You can then apply to increase your CPF LIFE premium to boost your monthly payouts. The side benefit of making CPF top-ups is that you could also be eligible for income tax deductions, if you are drawing an income.

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