Estimating Your CPF Life Payout in Future (For Those Under 55)

Love it or hate it, for many Singaporeans, CPF is an inevitable part of our retirement. Knowing how much CPF Life would pay out is thus an important piece when it comes to planning our financial lives after we stop working.

CPF does have an estimator tool for CPF members to estimate their CPF Life payouts. Unfortunately, this tool is currently only for those aged 55 and above. What about younger CPF members who is looking to plan for retirement?

Estimating the payouts for younger CPF members

My guess to why the tool isn’t available to younger CPF members is that there is still quite a lengthy amount of time for those under 55 to their CPF Life payout age which is currently set at 65. Lots of things can change over the decades, and fairly or otherwise, CPF is known to morph quite a bit. The latest change even caused some consternation amongst some members so I doubt the people in charge are too keen on projecting amounts very far in the future for fear of potential unhappiness if those amounts are not realised.

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Still, a rough gauge is better than having zero idea at all, which is why I used Excel to build an estimator tool. You can download it here from my Telegram channel. To be perfectly clear, this is entirely an estimator tool and is intended to give an approximation of what one can expect to get in future. I will not be liable for any loss, financial or otherwise, as a result of using this tool.

The tool is in its infant stage but should be serviceable to providing some idea on what we can expect to get in future provided we hit the Full Retirement Sum (FRS). I intend to add more features and customisation in future as well as to improve the estimations when I have the time.

This tool is also going to be part of a retirement planning calculator that I plan to release in the near future, so stay subscribed for updates.

Using the tool

I suggest leaving the FRS increment at 3.50% p.a. since it seems that it’s the average rate of increase of the FRS for the next few years. Overall inflation in Singapore averaged at about 2.08% p.a. over the past 20 years or so (according to MAS), so I think 3.00% p.a is a safe figure. You can tweak both figures based on your own outlook.

After inputting your age, you will see the different payouts according to your gender as well as whether it is the Basic or Standard plan.

For a more meaningful feel of what your payout will look like, “Dollar Value in 2024” shows you what the CPF payout will be worth currently based on the inflation figure you have chosen.

I’m 36 years old now, so my CPF Life Payout in future is estimated to be S$3,172 per month for Standard plan based on an FRS increment of 3.5% p.a. That is roughly S$1,346 per month in today’s dollars based on a 3% p.a. inflation rate. If my retirement lifestyle requires around S$3,000 each month, I better find ways to supply the remaining S$1,654 to meet the shortfall.

CPF Life generally provides for a basic level of income during retirement

After toying around with the estimator, while the payouts increase with the FRS, their dollar value today remain generally at around S$1,200 to S$1,400. This is perhaps no surprise if we assume that FRS increases at around 3.50% p.a. with inflation around 3% p.a. and they more or less cancel each other out.

CPF Life therefore gives a very basic level of income during one’s retirement and we have to supplement it with other sources of retirement savings. Again, this is a topic I am going to explore in greater detail as I am building a retirement calculator that will look beyond just CPF, so stay subscribed for more updates.

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