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Here’s How Much You Can Withdraw From CPF From Age 55

profileXue Miao

There has been a lot of emphasis on the importance of retirement planning.

And the earlier we start, the better.

For most of us, our CPF savings form an integral part of our retirement income.

Source: Gfycat

A lot of us are aware of the monthly payouts that we will be able to get from CPF LIFE after we turn 65 years old.

But some might not be aware that we are able to withdraw some after turning 55 years old.

Depending on the amount of CPF savings you have in your account, you’re able to withdraw a portion of these savings as a lump sum from 55 years old onwards.

TL;DR: How Much Can I Withdraw From CPF At 55 Years Old?

How Much Savings Do You Have In OA & SA?How Much Can You Withdraw?
With PropertyWithout Property
$5,000 or lessEverything from SA & OA
Between $5,000 and Full Retirement Sum (FRS)$5,000 and any RA savings above the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS)$5,000
More than FRS$5,000 or excess savings from SA and OA above FRS, whichever is higher, and any RA savings above the BRS$5,000 or excess savings from SA and OA above FRS, whichever is higher
Note: The excess money that can be withdrawn excludes top-up monies, interest earned and any government grants received

What Happens to My CPF When I Turn 55 Years Old?

As a CPF member, we have three main CPF accounts: Ordinary Account (OA), Special Account (SA), and MediSave Account (MA).

When an individual turns 55 years old, a Retirement Account (RA) will be created.

The interest rates for the respective CPF accounts are as follows:

 Ordinary Account (Until 31 Dec 2021)Special and MediSave Accounts (Until 31 Dec 2022)Retirement Account (Until 31 Dec 2022)
Interest Rate Floor2.5% p.a.4% p.a.4% p.a.

To enhance the retirement savings of Singapore, Singapore also pays additional interest for the different CPF accounts.

For members below age 55:

  • Extra 1% interest (up to 5%) on the first $60,000 of our combined CPF savings, with a cap of $20,000 from OA

For members age 55 and above:

  • Extra 2% interest (up to 6%) on the first $30,000 of our combined CPF balances, with a cap of $20,000 from OA
  • Extra 1% interest (up to 5%) on the next $30,000 of our combined CPF balances

For your RA, savings from your SA and OA up to the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) will be transferred to the RA.

Your savings from your SA will first be transferred to your RA, and if it is not enough, savings from your OA will be transferred to your RA to form the retirement sum.

(Which is also why some people are also utilising the CPF Special Account shielding hack…)

How Much Are the CPF Retirement Sums?

Here are the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS), Full Retirement Sum (FRS) and Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) for individuals who are turning 55, up to 2022.

55th birthday in the year ofBasic Retirement SumFull Retirement SumEnhanced Retirement Sum
2017$83,000$166,000$249,000
2018$85,500$171,000$256,500
2019$88,000$176,000$264,000
2020$90,500$181,000$271,500
2021$93,000$186,000$279,000
2022$96,000$192,000$288,000

So… How Much Can I Withdraw From CPF at 55 Years Old?

How much you can withdraw from your CPF depends on the combined balances in your OA and SA.

1) If You Have Reached Full Retirement Sum (FRS)

If you’ve reached the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) when you turn 55 years old…

After setting aside the FRS, any excess in your OA and SA can be withdrawn.

You can choose to withdraw this excess amount or $5,000, whichever is higher.

If you own a property with sufficient charge or pledge, you can choose to set aside the BRS in your RA instead of the FRS.

This means that you will be able to withdraw any excess balance in your OA and SA above the BRS.

To better illustrate this, let us have an example.

John just turned 55 years old in 2021.

He has $200,000 in his OA and SA.

This is how much he can withdraw from his CPF accounts:

 Without PropertyWith Property
Amount in OA and SA at age 55$200,000$200,000
FRS in 2021$186,000
BRS in 2021$93,000
Amount that can be withdrawn from OA & SA
(Excess money after setting aside FRS in RA)
$14,000 ($200,000 - $186,000)$14,000 ($200,000 - $186,000)
Amount that can be withdrawn from RA0$93,000 ($186,000 - $93,000)
Total amount that can be withdrawn$14,000$107,000

Do note that the excess money that can be withdrawn excludes top-up monies, interest earned and any government grants received.

2) If You Have Reached Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) But Not Full Retirement Sum (FRS)

If you have reached BRS but not FRS and do not own a property, the maximum you can withdraw from your CPF account is $5,000.

However, if you do own a property with sufficient property pledge, you’ll be able to withdraw any excess balance in your OA and SA after setting aside the BRS (as mentioned above).

Let’s have an example for this as well.

Sally has just turned 55 years old in 2021 as well.

She has $120,000 in her OA and SA.

 Without PropertyWith Property
Amount in OA and SA at age 55$120,000$120,000
BRS in 2021$93,000
Amount that can be withdrawn from OA & SA$5,000$5,000
Amount that can be withdrawn from RA0$22,000 ($120,000 - $5,000 - $93,000)
Total amount that can be withdrawn$5,000$27,000

Similarly, do note that the excess money that can be withdrawn excludes top-up monies, interest earned and any government grants received.

3) If You Have Less Than the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS)

Even if you don’t have enough to set aside your BRS or FRS, you can still withdraw up to $5,000 from your OA and SA.

If you have $5,000 or less, you will be able to withdraw all your SA and OA savings.

Important Note: You Cannot Withdraw Top-Ups Done Under the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme (RSTU) At 55 Years Old

Source: @NRDC | Giphy

One of the ways we can build up our retirement savings for ourselves and our loved ones is through the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme (RSTU).

Here’s a quick look at the top-up limits and CPF accounts the money goes to.

AgeAccountTop-Up LimitRetirement Sum
Below 55 years oldSpecial AccountUp to current Full Retirement Sum
- Including nett SA savings under CPF Investment Scheme
Full Retirement Sum is currently $186,000
55 years old and aboveRetirement AccountUp to current Enhanced Retirement Sum Enhanced Retirement Sum is currently $279,000

As the purpose of this scheme is to build your retirement savings and increase your monthly retirement payouts, the top-ups are solely meant for CPF LIFE.

This means that any top-ups done under RSTU will not be able to be withdrawn at age 55 as a lump sum, but will be part of the monthly payouts by CPF LIFE when you turn 65 years old instead.

This means that any excess savings that can be withdrawn based on the different situations listed above will exclude such top-ups.

Here’s an example to illustrate this:

Jerry is 55 in 2021 and has $280,000 in his OA and SA.

Out of which $80,000 was done in top-ups via RSTU.

Here’s how much he’ll be able to withdraw as a lump sum.

 Jerry, 55 years old with property
Amount in OA and SA at age 55$280,000 (includes $80,000 top-up via RSTU)
FRS in 2021$186,000
Amount that can be withdrawn from OA & SA
(Excess money after setting aside FRS in RA)
$280,000 - $186,000 = $94,000
Amount that can be withdrawn from RA$13,000 ($186,000 - $93,000 - $80,000)
Total amount that can be withdrawn$107,000

How Much Should I Choose To Withdraw From My CPF?

The less you set aside in RA, the less the payout from age 65 onwards.

If you do not withdraw from your CPF accounts at age 55, your CPF savings will continue to grow and earn up to 6% in your accounts.

When Can I Start Withdrawing My CPF Money?

CPF members can submit their online application six months before their 55th birthday, or anytime thereafter.

Payments will be received by PayNow or GIRO.

Payments through GIRO will be made within 1 week of receiving your application.

For applications made before age 55, payment will be made within 1 week after turning 55.

How Can I Withdraw CPF BEFORE 55 Years Old?

We saw how we can utilise our CPF savings at both ages 55 and 65.

Wondering whether there’s any possibility of withdrawing our CPF savings BEFORE 55 years old?

According to CPF, the CPF savings of a member can be withdrawn based on other grounds, which include:

  • Withdrawal due to reduced life expectancy
  • Withdrawal on grounds of leaving Singapore and West Malaysia permanently
  • Withdrawal by Malaysians residing in West Malaysia

How Does CPF’s Withdrawal System Compare To Other Countries?

Source: Gov.sg

The Melbourne-Mercer Global Pension Index showcases the different pension systems around the world.

The pension systems that were surveyed typically allowed members to either make a full lump sum withdrawal, through annuity payments or withdrawals in phases.

The approach that CPF uses is a combination of a lump-sum withdrawal and also monthly retirement payouts.

This is to ensure that our pension system is still flexible while meeting retirement needs.

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A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
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