Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) strategies

Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) is part of Singapore government’s effort to address the retirement needs of Singaporeans and is meant to complement Central Provident Fund (CPF).

Over the years, SRS had grown in popularity in Singapore as contributions surged from $0.16billion in 2001 to an explosive $8billion in 2017. During this period, the number of account holders also increased 10 fold, surging from 11,890 to 140,695. Given that so many people had jumped into the bandwagon, it is worthwhile to examine the merits of the supplementary retirement scheme.

While both SRS and CPF are retirement schemes, they work differently and address different financial needs. CPF focuses on housing, healthcare and retirement needs while SRS is a scheme that provides tax relief, investment and saving opportunities.


Generally speaking, SRS is a scheme that Singaporeans and foreigners should consider in the early years of their careers because it comes with many benefits and flexibility. In this article, I will share my strategies and insights on how to leverage SRS to boost your retirement income. I would also highlight the best possible way to exit the fund.

SRS for retrenchment hedge

Firstly, contributions to CPF is mandatory while SRS is purely voluntary. You can choose to contribute to your SRS anytime and as often as you like. For Singaporeans, you may choose to contribute up to $15,300 to your SRS account while the maximum limit for foreigners is $35,700. In addition, contributions to SRS qualify you for dollar-for-dollar tax relief. But note that there is a $80,000 personal income tax relief. So if the total personal income tax relief have already exceeded this cap limit, your contributions would not entitle you to more tax relief.

Unlike CPF, one of the best things about SRS is its flexibility. You can only withdraw from your CPF account at the age of 55. If you are retrenched before 55 and have no income for months or years, you still cannot withdraw from your CPF. You are only eligible to withdraw your CPF monies (before 55) if you are dead, terminally ill, mentally incapacitated or decided to leave Singapore permanently.

On the other hand, there is no restrictions on the eligibility for SRS withdrawals. You can choose to withdraw your SRS savings anytime you wish, subject to the 5% penalty. If you withdrew your SRS savings before the statutory retirement age, 100% of the withdrawal will also be subject to tax. So if you had been retrenched for some time and had no income for the whole of that year, you may consider to [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]

Lost your Password?

In a bid to raise financial literacy and reward SG Wealth Builder members, I am pleased to launch the Best SGX stock research campaign. Winner of this contest gets to receive cash prize of $1000!

The rationale for launching this activity is to level the playing field for retail investors, who often lack access to quality SGX stock research, especially homegrown SME stocks. Through this SGX stock research campaign, I hope to raise interest in SGX stocks among local investors, and at the same time, encourage members to share ideas and showcase their analytic skills. The winning entry will be published in this blog for learning purposes.

The winning SGX stock research article must cover a stock that is listed in Singapore Exchange (SGX) and should be engaging and interesting to read. From a story-telling perspective, you can share your best or worst SGX stock investments and what valuable lessons that can be gleaned. Ideally, the article should also contain data to back up the thesis and provides insightful analysis.

Winning prize: $1000 


  1. This campaign is open to existing SG Wealth Builder Members only. If you are not a member, please sign up here. Email subscribers are not eligible.
  2. Each SG Wealth Builder member is entitled to submit one article only.

Submission details:

  1. Each article must be at least 1000 words in Microsoft Word document. Must not be published at any platform before. Any article found plagiarism would be automatically disqualified. You do not need to provide infographic or images but if you do, they must carry the applicable licenses.
  2. Email your submission to from 1 April 2019 to 31 May 2019. Late submission will not be entertained.
  3. In your document submission, you must provide your member userid or email address.
  4. The winning entry will be announced on 7 June 2019 and the winner will be notified through email. He/she must give the consent for the article to be published in this blog in order to receive the cash prize.
  5. In the event of a lack of quality submissions, there may be no winner. However, under such circumstances, consolation prizes may be given for entries that do not meet the evaluation criteria.

Not a member yet? You may sign up to become a member of SG Wealth Builder. The full benefits and privileges of SG Wealth Builder Membership:

  1. Access to the latest premium articles of SG Wealth Builder
  2. Email notifications of latest blog articles
  3. Participate in SG Wealth Builder campaigns
  4. Request for coverage on stocks, insurance and other personal financial topics
  5. Comment in articles and Wealth Forum

SG Wealth Builder Membership

You may sign up for the SG Wealth Builder Membership for only $15 per month. As a member, you can access all the articles, including the premium ones.

Note: After payment is made, you will be prompted with registration form to create your user-id and personal password.

[wlm_paypalps_btn name=”SG Wealth Builder (Annual renewal)” sku=”7BB4D00C52″ btn=”pp_pay:l”]

4 thoughts on “Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) strategies

  • April 14, 2019 at 8:59 am


    On this SRS withdrawal optimum amount of $400k, is that based on contribution value or it includes capital gain from investments? Wanted to know if capital gain via share investment becomes taxable via withdrawal if exceed 20k per year.


  • April 14, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Hi Ryan,

    Based on my understanding, investment gains are exempted from tax in SRS. However, if the yearly SRS withdrawal exceeds $20,000, the additional amount will be subject to income tax. This is because the first $20000 of personal income is tax free.


  • February 7, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Hullo Gerald

    Thanks for all your informative interesting articles.
    Wish I had the time to read them all much earlier!

    Recently I was surprised to read on IRAS website that SRS savings will all be regarded as withdrawn 10 years after retirement age. Is this correct? Does that mean that the entire sum will be subject to income tax?

    I have neglected to withdraw any money so far, as I didn’t realise the tax implications, and I will reach 72 next year. So I am wondering how best to “save” myself from a large tax bill. About half of my SRS balance is from capital gains and dividends from equities.

    Any comments or advice would be most appreciated.

  • February 7, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    Dear Elsie,

    You have a happy problem! Regarding your query, you are still tap on the 10-year SRS withdrawal (e.g. up to $40,000 withdrawal per year without incurring income tax or 5% penalty tax). This is because the intent of IRAS policy is to encourage SRS holders to withdraw on or AFTER retirement age (for your case, its 62). You can refer to Example 2 in IRAS website under “Withdrawal on or after prescribed retirement age”. If you still have doubts, its best to write in to IRAS to confirm. Hope this clarifies and Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Leave a Reply