5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF

Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a compulsory comprehensive savings and pension plan for working Singaporeans and permanent residents primarily to fund their retirement, healthcare, and housing needs in Singapore. It started in 1 July 1955 and just like our Integrated Shield Plans, there have been many changes over the years.

Like with most changes, some will appreciate it, others will not appreciate it as the “rules changed”.

Love it. Hate it. It is an asset class that we will have with us for the rest of our lives.

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF

To help you understand CPF, the opportunities and optimization better, I have put together a free webinar to share my knowledge on it. Limited seats only. Join us with the link here.

 

Fun Fact #1: You cannot use your CPF to pay for your house in the past

Before 1968, CPF cannot be used to pay for a house. In 1968, the government finally allowed the use of CPF for the downpayment and to service the monthly mortgage loan instalment. Fast forward to 2021, majority of the people around me are using their CPF to pay for their downpayment and their monthly mortgage loan servicing.

This liberation allowed Singapore to have one of the highest house ownership levels in the world. However, as more money is used for housing, the original intend of CPF to help us retire may have taken a back seat. There is also the cause of concern for accrued interest.

Most of you might be servicing your mortgage with your CPF and worry that you do not have enough money in your CPF for retirement. For that purpose, I use a CPF Projection Calculator for my clients. This allow me to accurately measure the amount my clients will have in their CPF at age of 55. So far, they have found this insightful.

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF Retirement Age 55

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF Retirement Age 55

 

Fun Fact #2: Special Account (SA) was started in 1977

To help you with retirement, the special account was created in 1977. Tons of literature has been written on the special account. Among my favorites are the following. If done correctly, the following opportunities will help you in your retirement.

  1. Transferring Ordinary Account (OA) monies to Special Account (SA) to have a higher interest (up to 5%)
  2. Retirement Sum Top Up Scheme (RSTU): Top up up to $7000 into your CPF for tax deductible benefits.
  3. CPFIA: Using CPF-SA to invest (with limitations)

However, it is worth noting that the higher interest that the SA earns is not guaranteed. The floor rate of 4% has been extended by the government until 31 December 2021. The SA and Medisave (MA) rates are reviewed quarterly. The 1M65 movement takes the assumption of these rates being at 4%.

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF Floor Rate

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF Floor Rate

 

Fun Fact #3: Medisave was started in 1984

Medical inflation isn’t new. Medisave was created to help you to pay for our healthcare cost. It is not hard to understand that one of the The Hidden Cost Of Retirement is Healthcare. With healthcare cost escalating at more than 10% per year, tons of measures have been implemented to help you pay for our healthcare cost.

Among which, you can use your medisave to pay for (part of) our integrated shield plans. There are some outpatient treatments that can be paid using medisave. You also have to set aside a Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) in your CPF. The BHS is adjust annually to keep up with inflation. This is one initiative to help with medical cost.

BHS 2021

BHS 2021

With the new co-payment medical plans now, you will have to plan for your retirement a little differently.

 

Fun Fact #4: Minimum Sum Scheme Was The First Version of CPF-Life

CPF is still about retirement. Before CPF-Life, there was the minimum sum scheme (MSS). However, as your life expectancy increase, you run a risk of outliving your MSS. Hence, the retirement scheme was updated/upgraded to become the CPF-Life. The retirement account (RA) is created at age 55. Your OA and SA monies will be transferred into the RA during then.

CPF Life Full Retirement Sum 2020

CPF Life Full Retirement Sum 2020

Assuming that you have $181,000 (FRS) in your Retirement Account (RA), you will get between $1390 to $1490 per month for the rest of your life starting from age 65. This will form part of your retirement cashflow. There are 9 options for you to choose from at age 55.

 

Fun Fact #5: There is a maximum amount of money you can put into CPF a year

You can’t just simply top up everything into your CPF. There is a maximum of $37,740 of mandatory and voluntary contributions that a person (employee or self-employed person) can make in a calendar year is subject to the CPF Annual Limit.

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

I personally like the CPF scheme because it really helps a lot of people including myself plan for our retirement seriously. I contribute to my SA every single year so that I can make use of the tax incentive and also hit my FRS in the years to come. Having enough in my medisave gives me the confidence to pay my integrated shield plans yearly and usually the interest on my medisave pays for my shield plan.

To each his own. Love it. Hate it. It is an asset class that we will have with us for the rest of our lives.

If you would like to benefit from CPF more, I have put together a free webinar to share my knowledge on it. Limited seats only. Join us with the link here.

 

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

There were only two things certain in life Death and Taxes

How Much Is My Income Taxes [2021 Edition]

It is the tax season for 2021. If you had an income in 2020, filing of your income tax starts 1st March 2021. You will NEED to file it by 18 April 2021 (e-filing) or 15 April 2021 (paper filing). If you don’t, it could lead to a fine or even a court summon. Don’t say you have not been warned.

We don’t really talk about taxes in 6 Levels Wealth Karate Methodology. In a simple gist, taxes are bittersweet to me. On one hand, I don’t like to pay taxes as it is an expenses to me. On the other hand, if I pay higher taxes, it would mean that my income is higher! I’m just glad that in Singapore, we have a really attractive tax program and we pay significantly lesser taxes as compared to people in other countries. Without going too deep into that, here’s how how much to pay for your income taxes in 2021.

 

Do you need to pay taxes or not?

Yes. You only pay income taxes if your chargeable income is greater than $20,000. Some income are chargeable and some are not. Fun fact: your winning from your TOTO/4D is not a chargeable income. Check out the full list here.

If your chargeable income in 2020 is above $20,000, you will be taxed with the progressive income tax system. Singapore follows a progressive income tax system. This means that the higher your income, the more you pay in taxes. The resident tax rates are as follows.

How To Reduce My Income Taxes Resident Tax Rates

How To Reduce My Income Taxes Resident Tax Rates

However, this does not show the effective income taxes for your income. When I first saw this table, I thought that if I earn $80,000, my tax bracket would be 7% or $5,600. This is untrue.

How To Reduce My Income Taxes Effective Income Tax Rates

How To Reduce My Income Taxes Effective Income Tax Rates

If you are earning $80,000, you will be paying $3,350 in taxes which means my effective income tax rates are 4.19%. Personally, I think it is quite fair. With the same $80,000, you would be paying $23,571 or 29.46% effective income taxes in USA.

 

Is it automatic?

If you received a letter/SMS/form that tells you to file your income tax, you will have to log in and file it yourself. This sms below is one that I received from IRAS. Typically, most of my income have already be pre-filed as I’m a self-employed working with AIA.

Income Tax 2021 Filing

Income Tax 2021 Filing

 

If you received a letter/SMS/form that tells you NOT to file your income tax, you don’t have to do it. But please verify if your information is correct and accurate.

If you didn’t receive anything from IRAS, you will still need to file a tax return if your:

  • annual net business income exceeded $6,000, OR
  • annual income (inclusive of rental income) was more than $22,000 last year

 

Tax Deductibles

Since 2020 is over, you can’t really do much changes into your deductibles. You can start planning for 2021 instead. In Singapore, we have a list of deductibles given to encourage social and economic objectives such as filial piety, family formation and the advancement of skills.

Income – Deductibles = Chargeable Income

As mentioned above, you will pay taxes on your chargeable income. This means that deductibles will play a big role in the taxes you are paying.

IRAS has created a personal income relief checker to see how much deductible you are allowed. These deductible includes SRS Top Ups, CPF cash Top Ups, just to mention a few. There is a maximum of $80,000 tax reliefs.

 

Final thoughts by Wealthdojo

There were only two things certain in life Death and Taxes

There were only two things certain in life Death and Taxes

Co-incidentally, these two can be well managed by proper financial planning or using insurance tools to achieve your financial goals. This article is meant to be a general article on how to pay taxes in Singapore. If you would like to know more, just comment on this post or contact me and I would love to have a conversation with you on the above.

Stay healthy. Stay Safe and pay your taxes.

Thank you for your contribution to nation building.

 

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

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The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.