As part of Singapore’s comprehensive retirement funding landscape, the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) offers individuals an avenue to save for their retirement while enjoying tax benefits. Understanding the eligibility criteria and contribution limits of the SRS is crucial for those planning to invest in this retirement scheme.
To be eligible for the Supplementary Retirement Scheme in Singapore, individuals must fulfill the following criteria:
1. Singaporean Citizenship or Permanent Resident: The SRS is open to both Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents.
2. Foreigners who are resident in Singapore.
3. Age Requirement: Individuals must be at least 18 years old to participate in the SRS.
4. Not an Undischarged Bankrupt: Individuals who are undischarged bankrupts are not eligible to contribute to the SRS.
The SRS imposes contribution limits to ensure the sustainability of the scheme and to manage the tax benefits effectively. The current contribution limits for SRS are as follows:
1. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents: The current annual contribution limit for Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents is capped at $15,300.
2. Foreigners: Foreigners residing in Singapore are eligible to contribute to the SRS but have a higher annual contribution limit of $35,700.
Benefits of Investing in SRS:
Investing in the Supplementary Retirement Scheme offers several benefits, making it an attractive option for retirement planning:
1. Tax Savings: Contributions made to the SRS are eligible for tax relief, providing immediate tax savings. The amount contributed can be claimed as a deduction from taxable income, reducing the tax liability for the year.
Half of the withdrawals from your SRS account after the retirement age is also tax free if withdrawn within a 10 year period.
2. Flexibility in Withdrawals: Individuals can start withdrawing from the SRS at the age of 63, with the flexibility to choose the withdrawal amount and schedule. Withdrawals are subject to prevailing income tax rates, but the tax burden is typically lower during retirement due to a potentially lower income bracket.
Do note that the retirement age will increase in the future. However, the retirement age for the purposes of your SRS funds drawdown is determine the year that you set up your SRS account. Simply put in $1 in to lock in the retirement age.
3. Diversified Investment Options: SRS funds can be invested in a wide range of investment instruments such as stocks, bonds, unit trusts, and fixed deposits. This allows individuals to create a diversified investment portfolio aligned with their risk appetite and financial goals.
Investing in SRS:
To invest in the SRS, follow these steps:
1. Choose an SRS Operator: Select an approved SRS operator. These operators are financial institutions that facilitate SRS account openings and manage the investments and include the major banks: DBS, OCBC and UOB.
2. Open an SRS Account: Contact the chosen SRS operator to open an SRS account. Provide the necessary documents and complete the account opening process.
3. Make Contributions: Once your SRS account is active, you can start making contributions within the annual contribution limits. Note that the deadline for your contribution to be recognised as tax deductible for the year is 31 Dec. Each bank will have their own cut off time to process your contribution, typically the last working day of December. So do not assume that you can make the contribution on 31 Dec itself.
4. Select Investment Options: Make sure that you invest your SRS funds as the uninvested funds only earn 0.05% p.a. You can compare SRS insurance plans here.
The Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) in Singapore presents an excellent opportunity for individuals to save for retirement while enjoying tax benefits. Understanding the eligibility criteria and contribution limits is essential for those planning to invest in the SRS. By taking advantage of the tax savings and investing wisely, you can build a substantial fund to secure your retirement.