3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022

3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022

January is the month where many people are interested in the CPF. I believe this is because we usually set our life / financial / career goals for 2022 at the start of the year. For those of you who have financial goals, I welcome you to Wealthdojo and hope that this website will be a good resource for you.

3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022
3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022

This article will only highlight 3 2022 CPF Policies updates. If you wish to look at all the other changes that was announced in Nov 2021, you can take a look here.

#1: Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) / Full Retirement Sum (FRS) / Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) Updates

The CPF retirement sum is a moving target because of inflation. This is to ensure that CPF payouts will be sufficient during our retirement years. For 2022, the amount in BRS, FRS and ERS are $96,000, $192,000 and $288,000 respectively. If you are turning 55 this year, these numbers will be relevant to you.

#2: Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) Updates

In 2022, the BHS will be $66,000. This is the estimated savings needed for basic healthcare for old age and is adjusted yearly until the age of 65. This will be fixed for the rest of your lives. If you are turning 65 this year, this number will be relevant to you.

#3: Increase in CPF Top Up Tax Reliefs Updates

You may enjoy tax relief of up to $8,000 if you may a top up for yourself and an additional $8,000 if you make a top up for your loved ones. However, the $8,000 tax relief cap is now shared between Special Account (SA), Retirement Account (RA) and the MediSave Account (MA).

This update has posted the most concerns and I believe this will affect a specific group of individuals which I will explain later.

To understand this, we have to take a step back and look at how top ups were done before 2022 especially MA Top-ups.

Before 2022, topping up MA is a popular tax relief option together with Retirement Sum Top-Up (RSTU). It depends on 2 factors.

  • The difference between the CPF Annual Limit ($37,740) and the CPF contributions made for the calendar year
  • The difference between the BHS and current MA balance

I will be illustrating using an example of Mr Goh (age 25) with a salary of $10,000 monthly with no bonus. As he is young, we can safely assume that his MA amount is way below the BHS. As the the Ordinary Wage ceiling is capped at $6,000 currently, his annual CPF contribution will be the following.

A: Annual CPF Limit: $37,740

B: Annual CPF Contribution: $6000*12*0.37= $26,640.

C: Eligible VC-MA Top-up amount: A – B = $11,100

D: Max RSTU Top-up limit before 2022 = $7,000

E: Total Eligible Tax Relief: C + D = $18,100

As you can see, it is slightly more complicated to calculate tax-reliefs previously.

After 2022, it is very simple. $8,000 tax relief cap is now shared between Special Account (SA), Retirement Account (RA) and the MediSave Account (MA). This means for Mr Goh, his eligible tax relief decreased by $10,100 ($18,100 – $8,000).

Now that we understand the theory behind it, let’s put things into context.

Personally, I think this will not affect most of us. This is because the median income for Singaporeans is $4,534 in 2020 including CPF contributions from employers. It is an income where tax is rather manageable (in my opinion) and you might not consider to contribute to CPF for tax purposes. I do understand that some of you might be attracted to the interest rates from CPF, feel free to contribute at your discretion.

The group that I believe will be affected are the high income young individuals. At that income level, you might be looking for ways to have tax-reliefs such as SRS Top-ups to reduce your taxes.

Final Thoughts

The journey of your financial freedom begins with the first step. Congratulations for reaching the end of the article. I hope to see and hear (write down your thoughts in the comments below) from some of you in 2022.

Take care.

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.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

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.

Will NOV 2021 CPF Changes Affect me

Will Nov 2021 CPF Changes Affect me?

Will NOV 2021 CPF Changes Affect me
Will NOV 2021 CPF Changes Affect me?

2nd Nov marks an important date for many of us. There are changes in the CPF act that will potentially affect us. Please view the original article here. I will help to interpret these changes to those that are affected and how these changes will affect them.

That is the lifeblood of Wealthdojo and I aim to share one Financial Tip a day from my Telegram Channel.

For Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) Members

If you born before 1958 or have less than $60,000 in your Retirement Account (RA) at age 65, you are probably be in this category. RSS was the main payout scheme prior to the CPF Life.

For the RSS, it will allow you to receive a monthly payout until your retirement saving is depleted. If you continue to work and contribute to your Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA), the money will sit in your respective accounts. To continue to receive payouts, you will have to apply to transfer money from your OA and SA to RA.

With the new changes, OA and SA saving will be automatically transferred to the RA. There is no need to apply to transfer the money.

I believe this is to make it easier for money to be received by RSS members. Previously, the application might have been a cumbersome process.

For CPF Life Members

As compared to RSS, CPF Life allows you receive monthly payout no matter how long you live.

If you are already receiving your monthly payouts and wishes to contribute more to your RA for higher CPF Life payout, you will have to apply for it.

With the new changes, your new contribution to the RA will be automatically transferred. There is no need to apply to transfer the money.

For People Who Top Up Their CPF

From 1 Jan 2022, tax reliefs will be provided to the giver who tops up the account. The cap for tax reliefs will be set at $8,000 for top up to your Retirement Sum Top Up (RSTU) and voluntary contribution to Medisave Account (MA) for employees.

If you wish to contribute cash top up to your loved ones’ account, the tax relief will be $8,000. This will bring the total to be $16,000 a year.

The top up limit for Medisave will just depend on Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) moving forward.

If you wish to reduce your taxes with tax reliefs, please be aware of the limits, run your numbers before contributing.

For People Making A Estate Claim From CPF

For un-nominated CPF-monies more than $10,000, all eligible beneficiaries must submit their information and supporting documents to the Public Trustee’s Office (PTO). This could be a long process.

For un-nominated CPF-monies less than $10,000, a beneficiary representative may be appointed to represent all eligible beneficiaries and make one consolidated claim for the dead CPF member’s un-nominated monies.

This representative must be an eligible beneficiary according to the rules of distribution under the Intestate Succession Act or the Administration of Muslim Law Act.

Preferably, you should do you CPF nomination. It is free and took less than 5 minutes for me.

Others

CPF will not retain unclaimed CPF monies after 6 months. No interest will be payable after that. I believe this is to encourage people to quickly claim from CPF.

 

Final Thoughts

Personally, I believe that the new changes are for the better. Certain policies are “smoother” and clearer. Hope it benefits you in the right way. Here’s a summary. In an event of a doubt, please refer back to the CPF Amendment Bill Highlights 2021 here.

Let me know what you think about the changes below.

If you wish to read more CPF, here are our top 5 most read articles.

3 Things To Know Before You Do CPF Shielding

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire

5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF

CPF Accrued Interest Trap: Can You Downsize and Retire?

5 mistakes people make using their CPF

 

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.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

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.

3 Things To Know Before You Do CPF Shielding

3 Things To Know Before You Do CPF Shielding

As the population gets financially educated especially when it comes to the usage of CPF, the idea of CPF-SA shielding is gaining traction. Some says it is a “loophole” and wants this to be closed. Personally, I think it is weird to call it that way. It is like calling investing a loophole because it helps you achieve financial freedom.

If you have read my articles before, you would be aware that context is very important for planning and today’s focus will be the 3 things to know before you do CPF-SA Shielding.

3 Things To Know Before You Do CPF Shielding
3 Things To Know Before You Do CPF Shielding (Beautiful Photo From NME)

What is CPF SA Shield?

At age of 55, your Retirement Account (RA) will be funded from your Special Account (SA) first and then your Ordinary Account (OA) to make up Full Retirement Sum (FRS).

Read More: 5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF

As SA gives 4% interest as compared to OA 2.5%, there is an interest (pun intended) to keep monies in SA. The idea of CPF-SA shielding is to fund your RA with more of your OA than SA by transferring your SA monies out temporarily.

So what can go wrong?

Read More: 5 mistakes people make using their CPF

Context. It is always about context. In my own opinion, not everyone should/can do shielding.

 

Context #1: Paying For Mortgage Using CPF-OA

Your CPF-OA contribution rate at age 56 is 12%. Using an salary of $6000 (Ordinary Wage Ceiling is $6000 anyway), $720/month goes into your CPF-OA. If your monthly mortgage is > $720/month, you might be using your previous CPF-OA contribution if you don’t want to use cash. (There is a whole literature on why you should use cash but we will leave it for another discussion).

When you do CPF-shielding, your CPF-OA balance drastically reduces and this might mean that you would need to use cash for your mortgage. This might adversely affect your cashflow in future.

 

Context #2: It Assumes You Know Where to Park your Money Temporary

There are several instruments that you can consider purchasing using your CPF-SA. Different investment carries different risk. It is most important to know your own risk profile or work with someone who can do that for you. Even money market funds carries it’s own unique set of risk. Please take time to understand the benefits and risk of your chosen funds.

To illustrate an example: Mr Suay bought $100,000 worth of Singapore Bond Funds using his CPF-SA to do shielding at the age of 54. Before Mr Suay could sell the Singapore Bond Funds, there was an economic crisis. Typically, volatility of bond funds are not high. However, because of the crisis, Mr Suay may see his Singapore Bond Funds be worth $90,000 now. Mr Suay may experience losses if he wishes to sell it and put it back into his CPF-SA.

And yes, there may be transaction costs involved. Please do the calculations to see if it is worth it.

Sidetrack: It is only when you know what the risk is, then you can learn how to manage those risk. It might be unwise to avoid risk altogether.

 

Context #3: If you are risk adverse

Every trained financial professional will be able to find out your risk profile by doing a questionnaire. If you happen to be a risk adverse individual, this might not be the best strategy for you.

It is okay to be risk adverse. I think everyone of you will have a different experience with money. There is nothing wrong planning your financial journey as a risk adverse individual. It just means the instruments that you will be using will be different from the rest. There is nothing wrong with that. You are uniquely you.

 

Final Thoughts

I believe that are merits of doing CPF-SA shielding if done well. The most important consideration is to see if this strategy makes sense to you. The context of the strategy is very important. It may not be applicable to some out there especially if they fall into #1, #2 or #3 as explained above.

If you wish to find out if CPF-SA shield is applicable for you, please do reach out to me.

Till then, take care!

Read More: CPF Accrued Interest Trap

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.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

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.

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire
Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire

CPF remains one of the main cornerstone of wealth management in Singapore. There are tons of information regarding the CPF on the web and I’m happy to see that CPF is having a purposeful outreach to the retirees and even the younger crowd. I do notice a better acceptance of the CPF during my 9 years in financial services and I do hope this trend continues.

Previously, I have spoken about 5 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF. This stems from 5 mistakes people make using their CPF that I have written in the last year. One of my friend then asked me why not write about the best advice that I will give with regards to CPF.

I have reservations about using the word “advice” because this assumes that I understand the situations, the profile, the life stage and risk tolerance, etc about that individual. Hence, this article is not about best advice but perhaps best decisions you can make if it fits your situation.

If you wish to find out more, I’m organising a CPF webinar on 29th April 2021. Limited seats only. Click here to join us.

 

#1: Transfer money from OA to SA

This is a pretty easy one. Currently, the floor rate of CPF-OA is 2.5% and the floor rate of CPF-SA is 4%. You would want to put more money into an account with higher interest with all things kept constant.

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire Compounding Effect
Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire Compounding Effect

For the same $20,000, you would have $68K in your CPF-OA and $142K in your CPF-SA after 50 years. This is a difference of $73K. However, I do acknowledge that some might need to use the monies in the OA for your housing loan or downpayment. If you do not have “extra” monies in your CPF-OA, you can consider to transfer it to your SA.

Please note that this process is irreversible.

 

#2: CPF-SA Shielding

At the age of 54, you might want to consider CPF-SA shielding. In a nutshell, it means keeping your monies in your CPF-SA account to get a higher interest. This is because at age of 55, the formation of your RA (retirement account) starts from your CPF-SA and than your CPF-OA.

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire CPF SA No Shielding
Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire CPF SA No Shielding

This is an example of no shielding. All your CPF-SA ($150K) will be transferred in the creation of you CPF-RA account leaving $0 in your CPF-SA after age of 55.

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire CPF SA Shielding
Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire CPF SA Shielding

With CPF-SA shielding, you temporarily transfer out you CPF-SA into a “safe” investment. $40,000 is left in the CPF-SA due to the rules of the CPF. At age 55, during the creation of the CPF-RA account, only $40K is transferred from CPF-SA and the rest will be transferred from CPF-OA. You then transfer the monies back to your CPF-SA which is giving 4% interest.

Remember that the crust of this is to keep your monies in the higher interest account.

 

#3: Upgrade your Medishield Life to an Integrated Shield Plan

I cannot emphasize more on the importance of medical insurance. With the new adoption of the co-payment structure of our medical plan, you can also interpret it as medical costs are getting more and more expensive.

It is important to get a medical plan that suits your needs especially during retirement age where the chances of hospitalisation are a lot higher. Having a strong medical plan is a risk management to help you remain a CPF millionaire.

 

#4: Choosing The Appropriate CPF-Life Option

Big shoutout to families here. Do you know that you can increase the amount of money you leave behind to your loved ones if you select the appropriate CPF-Life option?

Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire CPF Life Bequest
Top 5 CPF Decisions To Be A CPF Millionaire CPF Life Bequest

If you don’t select the CPF-Life option, it will be a standard plan. Let’s look at the difference between the standard plan vs the basic plan.

Difference Between Standard Plan and Basic Plan Monthly: $124 (taking the lower estimate)

Difference Between Standard Plan and Basic Plan from Age 65 to 83: $26,784

The reason I’m using age 83 is because that is the accepted mortality age in Singapore at the moment. This is means that we are expected to live until age 83 (life is short isn’t it). For an extra $124 a month (the cost of one meal a month), your family might lose out potentially $84,368 (because $111,152 – $26,784) worth of bequest. This “extra” bequest may help your loved ones become a CPF Millionaire.

I hope this word gets out to more families out there.

 

#5: Using cash to pay for your mortgage

CPF was set up years ago as a retirement vehicle. In 1968, the government finally allowed the use of CPF for the downpayment and to service the monthly mortgage loan instalment. This means that less will go into your intended retirement (not taking accrued interest into account).

Using more cash to pay for your mortgage will leave more money that will be compounded for your retirement so that you can become a CPF Millionaire.

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

The decisions above serves as a guide and shouldn’t be taken as advice. The main emphasize is to consult an expert to see if any of the decisions above serves you. Most of the decisions circle around keeping the monies in the higher interest account (which is CPF-SA) at the moment to let it compound for the future.

Wishing you all the best to be a CPF Millionaire.

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.

 

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.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

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.

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.