I refer to the letter entitled "Annuity conumdrum if I die early" by Lim Boon Hee (Today, 27 September).
Under the CPF Minimum Sum Scheme, a retiree is allowed to invest the minimum sum of $90,000 in a life annuity plan at age 55 and to receive the annuity payment from age 62.
Mr Lim asked what happens if the annuitant dies before age 62 (without receiving any payment) or at age 65 (after receiving only a part of the $90,000). Will the annuitant lose part or all of the $90,000?
Under the annuity plan now offered by NTUC Income, we will refund back the balance of the $90,000 with interest up to age 62, after deducting any payment that has been received by the annuitant. If death occurs before age 62, we will refund back $90,000 with interest. If death occurs after age 62 and the annuitant has received $20,000 (say), we will refund back $70,000 with interest earned up to age 62.
The annuitant will only lose the interest after age 62. This interest is left in the annuity fund to benefit the annuitants who live longer. The life annuity will continue to be payable for the lifetime of the annuitant, even if the annuitant lives beyond age 90 or 95 years.
If the retiree leaves the money in the CPF to earn interest at 4% per annum and takes out the monthly sum allowed by CPF, the minimum sum will be fully used up by age 82. After age 82, the retiree will have no further source of income.
With longer life expectancy, many people are expected to live beyond age 82. We can see many people around, who have lived beyond that age.
About 28,000 people have invested in a life annuity from NTUC Income. They realise the benefit of this type of insurance product. They do not wish to take the risk of living too long, and running out of money. We provide about 65% of all life annuity in Singapore.
If the retiree wish to leave behind some money for their family, they probably have a property and perhaps other savings or assets.
Tan Kin Lian
Chief Executive Officer
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