3 Questions to Help You Choose Your CPF LIFE Plan

When it comes to CPF retirement planning, an important decision you must think about and make is, which CPF LIFE plan will be the most suitable for you.

If you are not familiar with CPF LIFE, it is basically an acronym for CPF Lifelong Income For The Elderly Scheme which is a life annuity scheme that provides you (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) with a monthly payout for as long as you live starting from your payout eligibility age unless you’re exempted. This life annuity scheme is a contract between you and CPF to guarantee yourself lifetime regular income that will be paid to you by CPF.

What Are The CPF LIFE Plans Available For Me?

There are three CPF LIFE plans for you to choose from:

  1. The LIFE Standard Plan
  2. The LIFE Basic Plan
  3. The LIFE Escalating Plan

The plans differ in terms of the monthly payout you would receive and the bequest to your beneficiaries. Bequest means the money you leave that will be given to your beneficiaries. Benefiaries are the people you have nominated to receive your CPF savings after your death. If you have not made any nomination, CPF will pay the bequest to your next-of-kin in line with the intestacy laws of Singapore.

Standard Plan

Basic Plan

Escalating Plan

Monthly Payouts

Higher payouts

Lower payouts

Monthly payout starts lower than Basic Plan but increases by 2% yearly


Any unused annuity premium (without interest) and RA savings, will be paid to your beneficiaries upon your death


  1. Bequest amount differs across plan type and age of death.
  2. As with all CPF LIFE plans, payouts may be adjusted to account for long-term changes in interest rates or life expectancy. Such adjustments (if any) are expected to be small and gradual. 

How Do I Choose My CPF LIFE Plan?

For a start, you need to understand what factors are important to you and what are the outcomes you want so that you are able to choose the most suitable plan accordingly. Below is a simple diagram that may assist in your consideration:

CPF Life Plan

CPF Life


Take note that choosing the most suitable plan for yourself can be a difficult decision to make. You have to take into consideration not just the amount of payout you will be receiving from age 65 considering you do meet the requirements of the CPF LIFE plan you chose, but you must also consider how long you believe you possibly could live up to depending on various factors of your life.

If you believe that you do require assistance at this moment, feel free to contact us so that we can help you figure out what is the best option for yourself.

However, if you do understand the complexity of making the choices, let’s move on.

How Much Will My CPF LIFE Payout Be?

The payouts from CPF LIFE are based on factors which includes how much CPF Retirement Account (RA) savings you used to join CPF LIFE,  age, gender, the LIFE plan you applied for, CPF interest rates and mortalitiy rates.

The table below will allow you to estimate the monthly payout you will receive based on the Retirement Sum you have set aside for CPF LIFE  based on the different plan choices:

Retirement Account Savings at 55

Your Lifetime Payout (Based from age 65)

Standard Plan

Basic Plan

Escalating Plan (Initial Amount – Payouts increase be 2% yearly)

Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) $85,500

$720 – $770

$680 – $700

$550 – $610

Full Retirement Sum (FRS) $171,000

$1320 – $1410

$1240 – $1290

$1010 – $1110

Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) $256,500

$1910 – $2060

$1810 – $1870

$1470 – $1620

Note: These monthly payouts are estimates and computed as of 2018. Payouts may also be adjusted to account for long-term changes in interest rates or life expectancy. Such adjustments (if any) are expected to be small and gradual.

The CPF LIFE Payout Estimator can help you to estimate your monthly LIFE payout and the bequest for the different plans depending on your Retirement Account savings.

It’s easy to simply choose the plan that many of the people you know is on but like all personal finance decisions, you should be opting for the plan that suits you the best. Every option has it’s pros and cons and if you do require assistance to help you figure this out, Contact Us Now. We will be ready to help. However if you do not make a decision by the time you aare 70, you will automatically receive payouts under the Standard plan.

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