Matched Retirement Savings Scheme (MRSS) – $3,000 Extra for Your CPF?

Introduced in Budget 2020, the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme (MRSS) has rolled out starting from this year, 2021, and will last until 2025. If you are an eligible person between 55 to 70, or have parents who are in that age range and are eligible, you can top up your/your parent’s retirement account and get dollar-for-dollar contribution up to $600 each year.

Eligibility

Age55 to 70 (both inclusive)
Retirement Account (RA) Savings​Less than the current Basic Retirement Sum (BRS)
The prevailing BRS for 2021 is $93,000
Average Monthly Income​Not more than $4,000
(covers a majority of senior workers)
Annual Value of Residence​Not more than $13,000
(covers most HDB flats)
Property Ownership​Own not more than one property
Source: CPF website

Eligible persons will be informed at the start of each year, and they can also check their eligibility at the CPF website.

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Benefits and analysis

If one tops up at least $600 a year for 5 years, the total amount the government would match is $3,000. As a Retirement Sum Topping Up (RTSU) top-up, there is also a dollar-for-dollar tax relief of up to $7,000 per year.

This scheme is targetted at seniors who have not met their CPF Basic Retirement Sum, and I have my reservations whether such individuals would be able or willing to give up cash liquidity for more CPF Life payouts in future. The tax savings for them will also be relatively low since they need to earn less than $4,000 a month to qualify.

If you’re a working adult with aged parents, however, particularly if you have a higher income and your parents depend on you for retirement, I think you may find this compelling enough to start topping up your parents’ CPF for the following reasons:

  • topping up your parents’ CPF builds up their CPF Life payouts in future, reducing your future financial burden of supporting them;
  • the matched contribution from the government and the relatively good interest rate in their CPF further amplifies the amount you put in;
  • you enjoy tax relief on the amounts topped up (subject to your recipient’s eligibility and your personal income tax relief cap).

CPF uses an example of someone who is 55 now in 2021, and puts aside $600 a year for the next 5 years. With the government matching the contributions, plus CPF interest, the $3,000 he/she has set aside would now be $8,300, or $45 more in monthly payouts for life, by age 65.

Are you going to top up for yourself/your parents?

I immediately thought that this was a no-brainer for my parents, but unfortunately (or to be more optimistic – fortunately), they aren’t eligible owing to the annual value of their residence.

If you have eligible parents, or are eligible yourself, will you take advantage of MRSS? Let me know in the comments or Telegram group!

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