Here's Why You Should Top Up $1 To Your Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) Account Today
 
699
shares

Here's Why You Should Top Up $1 To Your Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) Account Today

Kenneth Lou
699
shares

You have probably heard this piece of advice many times in our community or among your savvier circle of friends.

“Top up $1 to your account to lock-in your retirement age”

I promise you, when you get to the end of this article, you will understand fully what this means and how you can do this in the next 5 minutes (yes, it’s really that simple).

I will share my own example at the end of the article and run you through a step-by-step guide.

What is Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)?

The SRS started in 2001 and is part of the Singapore government’s multi-pronged strategy to address the financial needs of a greying population by helping Singaporeans to save more for their old age.

It literally means it’s a “supplement” to your retirement income, which for most people is the Central Provident Fund (CPF).

Think of this like an extra ‘savings/investment account’ which you can consider using for retirement planning.

Here are the main unique features of the SRS:

  • It is operated by three private sector banks (DBS, OCBC and UOB)
  • It is voluntary, unlike CPF (you can contribute any amount to SRS, subject to a cap of $15,300 yearly)
  • The contributions may be used to purchase various investment instruments
  • The day you first make your SRS contribution, it will lock in your retirement age (currently 62 years old)

TL;DR: Here’s Why You Should Contribute $1 to Start Your SRS Account Today

  • In the near future, 10 to 15 years, you will start earning more income
  • Thus, you would be looking for ways to reduce your taxable income
  • SRS is a very useful tool to consider, because every contribution to your SRS, you get to reduce your taxable income by $15,300 every year
  • Compared to CPF Special Account (SA) top-ups, it will only allow you a max of $7,000 for yourself and $7,000 for your family member
  • You can withdraw your SRS amounts before retirement age, but it will be subject to a 5% early withdrawal fee
  • Investment returns in your SRS are accumulated tax-free (long live, capitalism)

So it’s pretty simple, really…

If you are worried that the government could potentially increase the statutory retirement age from 62 to 65, and you could potentially be using the SRS as a tax saving tool in the near future, you should use that $1 to lock in the age first because if you withdrawal any later next time, there may be additional fees to pay.

It can be summed up in this simple screenshot I grabbed in the 29-page PDF book which I found on the SRS website.

SRS retirment age and tax savings singapore
Source: MOF website

What Is The Difference Between Topping Up SRS vs CPF SA vs Cash?

SRS vs CPF SA vs Cash

Here’s where things become quite interesting because people get confused with the first two, SRS vs CPF SA. I put in cash as good measure as people generally understand cash savings (sitting in your bank account).

 Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)Special Account (CPF SA)Cash (Savings Account)
Interest Rate0.05% p.a (savings)

6-7% p.a (invest)
4-5% p.a0.05 to 2% p.a
Yearly Contribution$15,300 (personal)$7k (personal)

$7k (family member)
Tax deductibleYesYesNo
Withdrawal Conditions62 years old (Retirement age)

If before, 5% fee
65 years old (default)

55 years old (if you have enough above basic retirement sum)
Anytime
How To StartOpen with DBS, OCBC or UOBAutomatically enrolled for Citizens or PRYour savings account

Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)

Here’s a quick analysis of this option.

Pros:

  • You can lock in retirement age at 62 years old
  • You can save more on tax every year with a higher contribution amount than CPF SA
  • You can withdraw if you need the money urgently before 62 years old (although at 5% fee)

Cons:

  • Your investments that you make with your SRS may yield good or bad results (depending on your decisions)
  • Thus investment returns are non-guranteed
  • The base rate of the normal savings in SRS is only 0.05%, like a normal bank account

CPF Special Account (SA)

Here’s a quick analysis of this option.

Pros:

  • Almost guaranteed 4 to 5% p.a returns (government rated)
  • Functions as a bond option in most people’s portfolio which maturity is at 55 or 65 years old
  • Automatically enrolled for most people who start contributing once they start work

Cons:

  • Can only contribute max $7k cash top up for personal and another $7k for family member
  • Cannot touch the money until 55 or 65 even when you really need it
  • Sorely for retirement planning only

Cash in bank

Here’s a quick analysis of this option.

Pros:

  • Earn up to 2% p.a if you are working and fulfil some requirements the banks set out for you (eg salary crediting, spending etc)
  • Can withdraw at anytime when you need the money
  • You actually can decide what to do with your money, save or invest (and earn up to potentially higher returns)

Cons:

  • Not tax deductible in any way
  • Expensive to hold cash at 0.05% p.a interest rate because inflation yearly is 1.9% or more
  • If you don’t invest your cash, it’s just going to rot away

Step-by-step guide to opening up your SRS account

I did it in less than 5 minutes on my iBanking site, which I am currently using DBS now. It is really simple and let me show you how you can do this as well.

Right now the SRS promotions are tied to transferring between $10k or more to your SRS account to get $50 vouchers. If you are not planning to do such a big transfer, you can start with just $1.

Step 1: Go to your iBanking website and login

Step 2: Top up $1 from your current savings account

Open SRS Step 1

Step 3: You have successfully opened up your SRS account

Step 3 Open SRS


Conclusion: Start Your SRS Today with $1

Hope this helps you make a super easy decision on how you can start right now.

If you need help, happy to answer your SRS questions in our Community QnA based on my own personal experience.

Whether you love or hate our content... WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU THINK!

About Kenneth Lou
Passionate about helping people make smarter financial decisions.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Lou here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!
Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
Comments
699
shares

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!