Singapore-based financial blog that aims to educate people on personal finance, investments, retirement and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) matters.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Save Money in Singapore Savings Bonds or CPF?

16:46 Posted by cheez , No comments

The Singapore Savings Bond (SSB)
It is a special Singapore Government bond, issued by the Singapore Government and sold to the public as a form of savings.
Introduced as another form of investment and savings plan for people living in Singapore

The Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF)
It is a compulsory savings plan for all Singaporeans and PR living and working in Singapore.
A portion of an individual's monthly income is channelled into their respective CPF accounts for different purpose; for buying a house, for retirement and for medical expenses,

Differences between CPF & SSB
Differences CPF SSB
Withdrawal No
Each year, you can only contribute to your CPF at max $37,740 - inclusive of both your compulsory contribution and your voluntary contribution.
Yes
You will get back the money next month
Contribution/
Investment Limit
Yes
Each year, you can only contribute to your CPF at max $37,740 - inclusive of both your compulsory contribution and your voluntary contribution.
Yes
You can buy at max $50,000 worth of bonds each month.
Holding Limit No
You can save as much money as you like in your CPF.
Yes
You can at max own $100,000 worth of bonds in total
Interest Rates Up to 3.5% on your Ordinary Account
Up to 5% on your Special, Medisave & Retirement Accounts (SMRA)
Up to 6% on your SMRA if you are above 55 years old
Interest rates are fixed
Less than 1% in your first year
Increases every year
Reaches 3+% in the 10th year
Interest rates depend on market conditions.
Interest Compounding Non-Compounding
ReturnsBeats Inflation
With inflation on average of about 3% per year compounding, CPF's SMRA account provides higher interest rates than inflation, meaning you do not lose your purchasing power over time
Probably will not beat Inflation
With an interest of 2+% per year over the long-term, it is less likely for SSB to beat inflation rates.
You are likely to maintain purchasing power or lose a little to inflation
PurposeSave for long-term
Save for Retirement
Save for medical expenses
Save for home payments
Save for short-term
Save for an expense that will occur in a few months or years time, like wedding, or home down payment

Recommended Post: Yes! CPF takes 20% of your salary, BUT...

Similarities between CPF & SSB
Similarities CPF SSB
Guaranteed Principal By the Singapore Government,
one of the remaining few AAA-rated countries.
Confirm can repay you back the money you put/save with them
Guaranteed Interest  By the Singapore Government,
one of the remaining few AAA-rated countries.
Confirm can repay you back the interest you have earned
Ownership It is your money, whether in CPF or in the Bonds,
the money is still yours
Risk Level Low Risk, or No Risk
By the Singapore Government,
one of the remaining few AAA-rated countries.
Confirm can repay you back the money you put/save/earn with them

Conclusion:
If you want to save for the long-term, go with CPF. It pays a higher interest over the long-term and ensures that your itching hands will not be able to squander it away.
But if you are just looking for a place to save before spending it (say on your home down payment), then save with SSB, it is less risker and provides a good enough interest to ensure you do not lose too much to inflation!

Recommended Post: How CPF Provide 5 Insurance to You

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