Update on tax on Supplementary Retirement Scheme withdrawal

Cur­rently, an SRS mem­ber can with­draw up to $40,000 per year from his SRS account tax-free on or after reach­ing the pre­scribed retire­ment age, assum­ing that he has no other tax­able income. Over the max­imum with­drawal period of 10 years, he can with­draw up to $400,000 tax-free.
How­ever, if an SRS mem­ber passes away before com­plet­ing his SRS with­draw­als or made a full with­drawal on the grounds of ter­minal ill­ness, he would not be able to enjoy the full bene­fit from spread­ing out his SRS with­draw­als over a 10-year period. Hence, from year of assess­ment 2016, a tax exemp­tion of up to $400,000 would be gran­ted for SRS funds deemed with­drawn upon an SRS member’s demise or a with­drawn in full on the grounds of ter­minal ill­ness.

Next, from July 2015, SRS mem­bers will be able to apply to their SRS oper­at­ors to with­draw an SRS invest­ment by trans­fer­ring the invest­ment out of their SRS accounts (e.g. into their per­sonal Cent­ral Depos­it­ory (CDP) account), without hav­ing to liquid­ate their SRS invest­ments. This is only applic­able for the fol­low­ing types of with­draw­als, which qual­ify for the 50% tax concession:

  1. with­drawal on or after the stat­utory retire­ment age pre­vail­ing at the time of an SRS member’s first con­tri­bu­tion (cur­rently age 62);
  2. with­drawal on med­ical grounds;
  3. with­drawal in full by a for­eigner who has main­tained his SRS account for at least 10 years from the date of his first con­tri­bu­tion; and
  4. actual with­drawal made by an SRS mem­ber or his legal per­sonal rep­res­ent­at­ive (if he is deceased) from his SRS account, after the SRS invest­ment that is to be with­drawn had earlier been deemed with­drawn upon death or after the expiry of the 10-year with­drawal period.

All other with­draw­als from an SRS account, includ­ing pre­ma­ture with­draw­als, must be made in cash.

Singapore inflation in 2015

Infla­tion in Singa­pore fell 0.6% year-on-year in Decem­ber, com­pared to –0.8% in Novem­ber. Core infla­tion, which excludes the cost of accom­mod­a­tion and private road trans­port, rose to 0.3% from 0.2% in November.

Private road trans­port cost fell by 1.1% in Decem­ber, com­pared to the 1.7% decline in Novem­ber. Accom­mod­a­tion cost dropped by 3% in Decem­ber, same as the decline in Novem­ber. How­ever, over­all ser­vices infla­tion increased to 0.9% in Decem­ber, up from 0.7% in Novem­ber, due to a faster pace of increase in hol­i­day travel expenses and a smal­ler decline in tele­com­mu­nic­a­tion ser­vices fees. Mean­while, food infla­tion was down to 1.5% last month from 1.6% in Novem­ber, due to the mod­er­a­tion of increase in prices of pre­pared meals such as hawker food.

For the whole of 2015, infla­tion fell by –0.5%, down from 1% in 2014. This is the first decline since 2002. Core infla­tion eased to 0.5% in 2015, com­pared to the 1.9% in 2014.
Core Infla­tion is expec­ted to be between 0.5% and 1.5% in 2016 while over­all infla­tion is pro­jec­ted to aver­age between –0.5% and 0.5% in 2016, accord­ing to MAS and MTI.

Changes of CPF in 2016

CPF CELING
CPF con­tri­bu­tion ceil­ing will be increased from $5000 to $6000 with effect from 1 Jan 2016. This will help to boost another $170 from employer and $200 from employee for those earn­ing more than $6000 monthly salary and below 55 years old. Though the take-home pay for these employ­ees will reduce by $200, the sav­ings for retire­ment will be boos­ted by these extra savings.

CPF CONTRIBUTION RATE
The CPF con­tri­bu­tion rate for employee 50 years and above will be increased from 1 Janu­ary 2016.

  • Above 50 to 55, employer CPF rate will be increased from 16% to 17%, while employee CPF rate will be increased from 19% to 20%;
  • Above 55 to 60, employer CPF rate will be increased from 12% to 13%, with no change to the cur­rent employee CPF rate of 13%;
  • Above 60 to 65, employer CPF rate will be increased from 8.5% to 9%, with no change to the cur­rent employee CPF rate of 7.5%.

In addi­tion, for CPF mem­bers aged 55 and above from 1 Janu­ary 2016, the first $30,000 from the CPF accounts will earn extra 1% per annum, on top of the cur­rent 1% extra interest on the first $60,000 of their total CPF sav­ings. That is,

 

 

Total CPF balance

Interest Rate
If in Special/Retirement/Medisave Accounts If in Ordin­ary Account
First $30,000 6% 4.5%
Next $30,000 5% 3.5%
Remain­ing bal­ance above $60,000 4% 2.5%

This trans­lates to extra $300 sav­ings per year for the next 10 years before CPF Life pay­out starts at 65. Assum­ing the yearly $300 interest earned goes into the Retire­ment Account which earns 4% interest, this trans­lates to $3,745 after 10 years. With higher amount in CPF Retire­ment Account, CPF mem­bers can expect higher pay­out from their CPF Life.

SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT SCHEME
The caps on con­tri­bu­tion to the vol­un­tary retire­ment sav­ings scheme, Sup­ple­ment­ary Retire­ment Scheme (SRS) will be increased from 1 Janu­ary 2016. For Singa­por­ean and Per­man­ent Res­id­ent, the cap will be increased from $12,750 to $15,300. The cap for for­eigner will be increased from $29,750 to $35,700. This will help to increase the per­sonal income tax sav­ings, as the amount put into SRS will enjoy tax relief. Moreover, retire­ment cash­flow will be improved when SRS money is allowed to be with­drawn without pen­alty from age 62 onwards.

25,000 Singapore Residents to pay extra 30% MediShield Life premium

Nation-wide hos­pit­al­iz­a­tion plan, MediShield Life, will be imple­men­ted on 1 Novem­ber 2015. Min­istry of Health has already iden­ti­fied 25,000 Singa­pore Cit­izens and Per­man­ent Res­id­ents with ser­i­ous pre-existing ill­nesses who will have to pay extra 30% extra premium for the next 10 years to cover the pre-existing ill­nesses. After which, they would pay the same premi­ums as their peers. If you belong to this group, you will receive a let­ter with details about your new MediShield Life cov­er­age, premi­ums and sub­sidies, includ­ing the Addi­tional Premi­ums. The vari­ous sub­sidies for MediShield Life premi­ums will also apply to Addi­tional Premiums.

If you cur­rently not insured with Medishield, you will also receive the let­ter soon to inform you on the premi­ums and sub­sidies. For oth­ers, you will only receive the let­ter one month before your plan is due for annual renewal from either the CPF Board (cover under MediShield) or your private insurer (cover under Integ­rated Shield Plan) with details about your premi­ums and sub­sidies for the MediShield Life com­pon­ent of your Integ­rated Shield Plan.

The broad cat­egor­ies of ser­i­ous pre-existing ill­nesses are:

Broad cat­egor­ies Indic­at­ive examples (not exhaustive)
Can­cer Lung can­cer, colorectal can­cer, breast can­cer, stom­ach cancer
Blood dis­orders Parkinson’s dis­ease, Mus­cu­lar dys­trophy, Amyotrophic lat­eral scler­osis (ALS)
Heart or other cir­cu­lat­ory sys­tem diseases Heart attack, Coron­ary artery dis­ease, Chronic ischaemic heart disease
Cerebrovas­cu­lar diseases Stroke
Res­pir­at­ory diseases Chronic obstruct­ive pul­mon­ary disease
Liver dis­eases Alco­holic liver dis­ease , Chronic hep­at­itis, Fibrosis or cir­rhosis of liver
Autoimmune/ Immune Sys­tem diseases Sys­temic lupus eryth­em­atosus, Human Immun­ode­fi­ciency Virus/ Acquired Immune Defi­ciency Syn­drome (HIVAIDS)
Renal dis­eases Con­gen­ital heart dis­ease, Con­gen­ital renal dis­ease, Bil­i­ary atresia
Psy­chi­at­ric conditions Schizo­phrenia
Chronic con­di­tion with ser­i­ous complications Hyper­tens­ive heart dis­ease, Hyper­tens­ive kid­ney dis­ease, Dia­betes with kid­ney com­plic­a­tions, Dia­betes with eye complications

Those whose pre-existing con­di­tions are less ser­i­ous or are well-controlled, such as well-controlled dia­betes, or hyper­ten­sion with no com­plic­a­tions, osteoarth­ritis, pre-cancers, fibroids or cysts or those who were hos­pit­al­ized due to a one-off event, such as an acci­dent or dengue are not sub­jec­ted to the 30% addi­tional premium.

First Singapore Savings Bond

The first Singa­pore bond was opened for applic­a­tion on 1st Septem­ber 2015 and will close on 25 Septem­ber 2015, 9pm. The total amount for this alloc­a­tion is $1.2 billion.

You can apply in mul­tiples of $500 up to $50,000 through DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB ATMs, or through DBS/POSB’s Inter­net Bank­ing portal. You will also need to have the indi­vidual CDP Secur­it­ies account linked to any of your bank accounts as CDP is the cus­todian for Sav­ings Bonds and it will pro­cess the applic­a­tions, interest pay­ments and redemp­tions. You may visit CDP’s webpage for inform­a­tion on open­ing your CDP Secur­it­ies account.

The alloc­a­tion will be con­duc­ted on 28th Septem­ber 2015 and the bonds will be issued on 1 Octo­ber 2015. The interest will be paid on 1st April and 1st Octo­ber every year till matur­ity date on 1 Octo­ber 2025. The interest for 1st year is 0.96% p.a., and 1.09% p.a. on second year. It will increases to 3.70% p.a. on the 10th year. So if you hold for 10 years till matur­ity, the com­poun­ded interest rate is 2.63%p.a.

Singa­pore Gov­ern­ment will issue the Singa­pore Sav­ings Bond every month. The applic­a­tion period is always 1st of the month till the 4th last busi­ness day of the month. Alloc­a­tion of the bonds will be con­duc­ted on the 3rd last busi­ness day of the month and res­ults will be pub­lished on its web­site after 3pm. Should the total amount of applic­a­tions exceed the amount on offer in a par­tic­u­lar month, you may not get the full amount you applied for. The excess cash will be refun­ded to you by the end of the 2nd last busi­ness day of the month. Sav­ings Bonds will be issued on the 1st busi­ness day of the fol­low­ing month. You will be noti­fied by CDP via mail of the amount of Sav­ings Bonds allot­ted to you. You can also check your hold­ings online through the CDP Inter­net ser­vice or by call­ing CDP at 6535–7511. The total amount of Sav­ings Bonds held across all issues can­not be more than $100,000.

You will receive the first interest pay­ment 6 months after the bond is issued. Interest will be auto­mat­ic­ally paid into the bank account that is linked to your CDP account. Interest will be paid every six months after that, on the 1st busi­ness day of the month. The interest pay­ments will be reflec­ted in your CDP statements.

There is a $2 trans­ac­tion fee for any trans­ac­tion such as applic­a­tion and redemp­tion of the bond.

You can redeem in mul­tiples of $500 on the 1st busi­ness day of each month till the 4th last busi­ness days of the month without pen­alty. Redemp­tion pro­ceeds will be paid by the end of the 2nd busi­ness day of the fol­low­ing month. If you redeem before the sched­uled interest is paid, you will receive a pro-rated amount, which is the interest you have earned but have not been paid.

Vivocash: whole-life endowment plan that gives you cash benefit till you are 100 years old!

Dear All,

NTUC Income has just launched Vivoc­ash, a limited-premium but whole-life endow­ment plan that gives you cash bene­fit from end of 5th year till you are 100 years old!

Vivoc­ash, is a reg­u­lar sav­ings plan that provides yearly cash­flow from the end of 5th year till you are 100 years old! Not only it offers bet­ter interest rate, it provides pro­tec­tion against death and Total per­man­ent Dis­ab­il­ity (Lost of sight, two legs etc.) regard­less of your cur­rent health. It is 100% guar­an­tee to be accep­ted with no under­writ­ing required. You will be covered for 105% of the net premium paid for the first 5 years and 120% of all net premium paid from the sixth year onwards!

Vivoc­ash covers:

  • Death and Total Per­man­ent Dis­ab­il­ity (TPD before age 70) – 105% of net premium paid for first 5 years and ter­minal bonus, 120% of net premium paid from 6th year onwards plus any of the accu­mu­lated cash bene­fits and cash bonuses and a ter­minal bonus.
  • Acci­dental Death and TPD (before age 70) – addi­tional 100% of the sum assured, in addi­tion to the death/TPD benefit.
  • Retrench­ment Bene­fit – 2% of the sum assured is pay­able if poli­cy­holder is unem­ployed for at least 3 months and after 6 months policy start date. This bene­fit can be claimed once.

This is how Vivoc­ash works.

  1. You save a fixed sum of money to NTUC Income for 5,10, 15 or 20 years.
  2. At the end of fifth year, NTUC Income will return up to 4.25% of the Sum Assured (called cash bene­fit) to you till you are 100 years old. You can choose toa) Spend it.b) Save with us at cur­rent 3.5% per annum interest in deposit account issued by Income
  3. At any point in time, you can with­draw the money from the Deposit account.
  4. On the 20th and 30th policy year, you will receive addi­tional 4% of the Sum Assured for your spending.
  5. If insured sur­vives till 100 years old, the policy will pay centen­nial matur­ity bene­fits of 120% of all net premium paid plus ter­minal bonus.

For example,

Michael, age 40, is plan­ning for his retire­ment. He signs up for Vivoc­ash, pay­ing yearly premium of $9,424 for 10 years with sum assured of $80,000. At age 45, he will receive $3,400 yearly cash bene­fits till 100 years old. He will receive addi­tional $3,200 at 60 and 70 years old. He will also receive centen­nial matur­ity bene­fit of $139,491 if he sur­vives till 100 years old.

Vivocash illustration

Vivoc­ash illustration

 

Note : The above pro­jec­tion is based on NTUC Income achiev­ing 4.75% invest­ment rate of returns.

$1,000 cashback for Singaporean fresh graduate

Good news to the recent local gradu­ates! You will get $1,000 cash­back if you apply for any reg­u­lar premium policy with annual premium of at least $2,000 from 20 July 2015 till 31 Decem­ber 2015.

You must be a Singa­pore Cit­izen and gradu­ated from any of the Singapore’s Insti­tute of Tech­nical Edu­ca­tion, Poly­tech­nics, or Uni­ver­sit­ies, from gradu­ation year of 2012 or later.

But do note that this pro­mo­tion is applic­able to the first 6,600 applic­able policies issued by NTUC Income. The $1,000 cheque will be mailed to the poli­cy­holder within 45 days, one year after the policy is issued and one year premium has been fully paid.

NTUC Income temporary underwriting guidelines and Mooncake Fiesta

Pro­mo­tion One: Higher Non-medical limit
You can now insure yourselves with higher sum assured without hav­ing to go for med­ical checkup. The higher non-medical limit for the two age groups are as follows:-

Age Last Birthdate Sum Assured for Cur­rent Non-medical limit Tem­por­ary Sum Assured for Non-medical limit till 30 Septem­ber 2015
16 to 45 $600,000 $1,000,000
46 to 50 $350,000 $500,000

Please note that the aggreg­ate sum assured will be based on the cur­rent applic­a­tion together with those policies pur­chased over the last 3 years.

Pro­mo­tion Two : Waiver of extra premium up to 50% on Extra Mor­tal­ity
Applic­a­tions will be waived up to 50% load­ing Extra Mor­tal­ity for those sub­stand­ard cases due to declared med­ical con­di­tions. Apply now till 30 Septem­ber 2015 in order to be eli­gible for this wavier.

Pro­mo­tion Three : Moon­cake Fiesta
For new applic­a­tion of any NTUC Income insur­ance plans from 1 July 2015 to 31 August 2015, you will receive 1 box of tra­di­tional Halal cer­ti­fied moon­cake from Con­corde Hotel that con­tains 4 pieces of lotus, single yoke moon­cakes.
The cri­teria are as follows:-

Type of plan Min­imum premium Eli­gib­il­ity after ful­filling min­imum threshold
Reg­u­lar premium with 5 years pay­ment term $20,000 yearly No cap
Reg­u­lar premium with 3 years pay­ment term $33,334 yearly No cap
Reg­u­lar premium with at least 10 years pay­ment term $10,000 yearly No cap
Single Premium $100,000 lump sum No cap

Please note that the policy has to be issued by 7 Septem­ber 2015 in order to be eli­gible for this pro­mo­tion. Policies that are issued dur­ing the qual­i­fy­ing period but free-looked, lapsed or sur­rendered before 7 Decem­ber 2015 will res­ult in non-qualification and each box will be charged at $50.

Orange Health — Get $50 rewards for health screening

NTUC Income is reward­ing you with $50 Cap­it­aMall vouch­ers for exist­ing poli­cy­holder of IncomeShield/Enhanced IncomeShield;  or $50 dis­count off the 1st year premium for new sign-up of Enhanced IncomeShield if you meet the accept­able ranges of read­ings from the fol­low­ing 4 health indicators:-

  • Height and weight exam­in­a­tion to determ­ine your BMI
  • Blood pres­sure reading
  • Lip­ids pro­file (total cho­les­terol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides)
  • Fast­ing blood gluc­ose level test

You just need to book appoint­ment (for 21 years old and above) with NTUC Income part­ners, Unity Phar­macy or Health­way Med­ical at a spe­cial rate of $15 (inclus­ive of GST). Book­ing of appoint­ment at www.income.com.sg/OrangeHealth slots must be made at least 14 days prior to the health screen­ing date.

Accept­able ranges of readings

No Tests Items meas­ured Accept­able ranges
1 Height and Weight (to cal­cu­late BMI) BMI range • 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2
2 Dia­betes Mel­litus Profile Fast­ing Glucose • 3.9 – 6.0 mmol/L
3 Blood Pres­sure Reading Systolic Dia­stolic • 90 to 140 mmHg • 60 to 90 mmHg
4 Lip­ids Profile Total Cho­les­terol Trigly­cerides HDL-cholesterol LDL-cholesterol Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio • < 5.2 mmol/L • < 2.26 mmol/L • > 1.03 mmol/L • < 3.36 mmol/L • < 4.51

 

New Short-term savings plan LP Revosave (3-pay-10)

NTUC Income has just launched a new short-term sav­ings plan, LP Revosave (3 pay 10) with the fea­ture of allow­ing you to with­draw cash­back (5% of Sum Assured) from the end of 2nd year onwards.
This plan provides a very good altern­at­ive to sav­ings in a bank. Not only it offers bet­ter interest rate, it provides pro­tec­tion against death, Total per­man­ent Dis­ab­il­ity (Lost of sight, two legs etc.) regard­less of your cur­rent health. It is 100% guar­an­tee to be accep­ted. You will be covered for 105% of the premium paid-to-date through­out the term.

This is how LP Revosave (3 Pay 10) works.
1) You save a fixed sum of money to NTUC Income for 3 years.

2) At the end of second year, NTUC Income will return part of the premium back (called cash­back) to you. You can choose to
a) Spend it.
b) Save with us at cur­rent 3.5% per annum interest in deposit account issued by Income

3) At any point in time, you can with­draw the money from the Deposit account.

The policy will mature in 10 years’ time.
Sample : Male age 40 years old with Sum Assured $25,000

Pay­ment Term Monthly Sav­ings Yearly Premium Yearly Cash­back (From 2nd year onwards) Total Premium Paid Total Cash upon matur­ity (Non-withdrawal) Total Cash upon matur­ity (With yearly withdrawal)
3 years $861.50 $9,940 $1,250 $29,820 $39,382 $37,671

($1250 yearly plus $27,671 upon maturity)

Com­par­ison between SP SAIL and LP Revosave (3 Pay 10)
Single Premium Plan SP SAIL with lump sum sav­ings of $29,820, the matur­ity amount is $38,577 after 10 years. So if your inten­tion is to with­draw the matur­ity amount after 10 years, LP Revosave will give bet­ter returns. Moreover, you have the flex­ib­il­ity to with­draw 5% of the Sum Assured from the end of second year. SP SAIL does not have this flexibility.