SINGAPORE – Seventy thousand Central Provident Fund (CPF) members will receive about $40 million in matching grants from the Government in January next year for cash top-ups made to their Retirement Account (RA) in the first half of this year.
The top-ups and matching grants will increase their monthly retirement payouts, said the CPF Board on Wednesday (Aug 18).
They will get the grants under the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme, which was launched earlier this year to help seniors who have yet to meet the prevailing basic retirement sum save more for their retirement.
Every dollar of cash top-ups made to eligible members will be matched by the Government, up to an annual cap of $600. Anyone can make the cash top-ups to eligible members.
For a start, the scheme will run for five years, from this year to 2025. No application is needed, with eligible members notified in January via e-mail, SMS or post.
CPF Board said in January that 440,000 people are eligible for the matched top-ups.
They make up about 53 per cent of CPF members between 55 and 70 years old, the board said then.
Those who are eligible for the scheme must be within that age range and have less than the prevailing basic retirement sum – or $93,000 this year – in their retirement account.
Other criteria include average monthly income, annual value of their residence and property ownership.
The scheme was announced in the Budget last year. Then Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said at the time that it will help to encourage and augment family support for seniors with fewer means in retirement.
Having financial assurance in retirement can help Singaporeans age with confidence, he said, given that Singapore’s life expectancy at birth is close to 85 years, the longest in the world.
Eighty per cent of the 70,000 CPF members who will get matching grants for the top-ups made between January and June had received such top-ups for the first time.
Ninety per cent of the 70,000 had received top-ups of $600 or more and 40 per cent had gotten the top-ups from their loved ones, with the majority of the top-ups coming from their children.
Mr Jeffrey Lee, a tutor in his 20s, has been topping up $50 each month for both of his parents since the start of the year.
“My parents have little CPF savings in their RA, and the (scheme) will help them build up their retirement nest egg… every dollar counts when it comes to retirement planning. This is especially so for parents who have started saving later,” he said.
Ms Ong Woei Jiin, director of CPF Board’s retirement savings department, said: “For other eligible members who have yet to make top-ups, we strongly encourage them and their loved ones to do so as soon as possible, as these top-ups and matching grants will allow members to enjoy higher monthly payouts in retirement.”
Cash top-ups to the RA of CPF members who are eligible for the scheme will have to be made before the end of this year in order for them to receive the matching grant, which will be credited to them in January next year.
Members can top up their accounts via the CPF website or myCPF mobile app. They can go here for more details.
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