CPF top-ups number increases by 34% while total withdrawn amount drops by 20% amid COVID-19 pandemic

CPF top-ups number increases by 34% while total withdrawn amount drops by 20% amid COVID-19 pandemic

On Wednesday (21 October), Central Provident Funds (CPF) Board revealed that more than 198,000 top-ups, comprising cash top-ups and transfers that amounts to $1.81 billion were made by CPF members under the Retirement Sum Topping-Up scheme in the first three quarters of this year.

“This is a 34% increase in the number of top-ups and a 23% increase in top-up amount compared to the same period last year,” the Board said in its statement.

It was noted that between the period of January to September 2019, there was around 148,000 top-ups to the retirement scheme amounting to $1.74 billion.

Meanwhile as compared to the same period last year, the withdrawals from CPF members aged 55 and above have gone down, which the total amount withdrawn has declined by near to 20 per cent in the first three quarters of 2020.

The Retirement Income Group’s Group Director, Tan Chui Leng said that it is “encouraging” to see CPF members place their trust in the Group by either choosing to keep their savings or put in more money into their CPF accounts, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Such members can look forward to a stream of retirement payouts that they can count on even in uncertain times,” she added.

According to the Board, these top-ups to the Special or Retirement accounts would increase the members’ monthly payouts in retirement.

It said that the first-time toppers accounted for one third of those who did top-ups in the first three quarters of this year.

“The Board has also seen a growing number of first-time toppers who are below 35 years old, a sign that younger adults appreciate the value of growing their retirement savings early with attractive interest in CPF. Comparing the first three quarters of this year to the same period in 2019, the increase in number of first-time toppers below 35 years old was over 70%,” the statement read.

The CPF Board also encouraged the members to top up early to earn more interest on their top-ups while enjoying tax relief of up to $14,000 for next year’s Tax Assessment on their cash top-ups provided that they make their cash top-up before 31 December 2020.

CPF members are also encouraged to top up electronically via the CPF website or myCPF mobile app for greater convenience and faster crediting.

It was reported that Singapore ranked seventh in the Global Pension Index 2020, remaining at the top position in the Asia’s retirement system.

According to Mercer CFA Institute, the Global Pension Index’s report accessed 39 retirement income systems of the countries around the world through the category of adequacy, integrity and sustainability.

Of those, Singapore scored 74.1 for adequacy, 59.9 for sustainability and 82.5 for integrity, bringing the overall index to 71.2.

While the Netherlands came with the overall index of 82.6, taking the top position in the ranking, followed by Denmark which scored 81.4 and Israel which scored 74.7.

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