One of the popular types of investment is the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB). Even online, it is making a buzz. It is the most search investment option in Singapore. Its popularity continues to rise since investing in it so easy and can be an alternative to fixed deposits from banks. Also, we will be discovering why Singaporeans are adding SSB to their investment portfolios.
To give you a quick overview of the latest Savings Bonds. Let’s discover the latest savings bond rates.
Latest Singapore Savings Bonds Interest Rates (April 2021)
Singapore Saving Bonds have a maturity period of 10 years. For example, if you buy the April 2021 issue, it will mature in April of 2031. Please take note that SSB issued each month may have different interest rates.
Below you will see the “step-up” feature of the interest rate of an SSB. You will see that the interest rates you can earn increases each year. For example, if saving bonds stay until their maturity period, you will be receiving an annual interest return of 1.15%.
|Year From Issue Date||Interest (%)||Average Return Per Year (%)*
Source: MAS SSB Website
For example, if you’ll buy the current bond issue and invested $1,000, you can earn a total interest of $117 based on the SSB calculator. Let’s discover further what Singapore Savings Bonds are.
What are Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB)?
As defined by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB) is a special kind of Singapore Government Securities (SGS) having features that are ideal for most individual investors. There’s no need to become an accredited investor to start this investment.
Backed by the Singapore Government and launched in 2015, SSB is a type of low-risk fixed-income investment. It’s also ideal as a long-term investment. You may invest up to 10 years with incremental interests over time. Also, this is a type of flexible investment where you may opt to redeem at any month without having penalties.
If you are looking for an alternative to a bank’s fixed deposit, this is an ideal option. To buy this type of SGS, below are the requirements:
- You must be 18 years old or above.
- Having a bank account from one of three local banks in Singapore.
- Got an individual account for CDP securities.
- You may also buy using your Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account.
Take note that saving bonds are open to Singaporeans, PR, and foreigners.
How do Singapore Savings Work?
Based on MAS, the Government issued Savings Bonds to provide a type of long-term savings that can offer safer returns. It is ideal for Singaporeans who are wanting to save for the long-term. Also, take note that the more you save, the higher your returns are.
This type of investment complements the existing CPF system and other savings or investment options.
Additionally, MAS added that the Government is not issuing saving bonds in funding expenditures. The money can’t simply be spent or invested.
What are the Main Features of SSB?
Singapore Saving Bonds are known for their 3 main features. And these are the following:
- Safe Investment. A type of investment backed by the Government. Also, you can exit anytime, or you may pull out your investment even before its maturity date with no penalty. As soon as you redeem your bonds, you will get the principal amount plus its accrued interest – which means no losses.
- Long-term Investment. Each Singapore Saving Bond has a maturity period of 10 years. It means that the more you invest in 10 years, the higher your returns are since you will earn interest annually.
- The flexibility of Redemption. You may redeem your savings bonds even before their maturity period, and as mentioned, there’s no penalty involved. You may even get it within a month.
The Pros and Cons of Investing with SSB
Since we now know the three main features of Savings Bonds, let’s take a look at the whole picture of the advantages and disadvantages in investing with SSB.
|The Advantages||The Disadvantages
|Fully backed by the Government. On that note, the Singapore Government has an “AAA” credit rating, which tells us that there is a safer investment option in the market. ||Investment limit of up to $200,000 (an individual limit). If you have more money or a millionaire, you can’t invest more with SSB. However, you may consider to invest in SGS.
|No penalty for redeeming early. You can get your investment even before the maturity date. There’s no penalty involved.|
But remember that the longer you invest in it, the higher returns you can have. It is your choice on how long you’re planning to invest.
|Low returns compared to other types of investments. Compared to ETFs or REITs, it has much lower returns.
|Regular interest pay-out. Every 6 months, you can earn your interests. ||Issues a varying interest rates each month, it may be higher or lower.
|Low Starting Investment. You will only need $500 to buy for an SSB. This makes it ideal for all types of investors. It is simply a safer way of investing your money for a few years.||
Ready to Invest With Your First Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB)?
1. What are the Requirements?
Singapore Savings Bonds is open to individuals aged 18 years old and above. Before buying your first SSBs, you must have the following mentioned below.
- A bank account from any of the three local banks in Singapore (DBS/POSB, OCBC, or UOB)
- You also need to have a Central Depository (CDP) account. It must be linked to the bank account that you opted to start your investment or activate your Direct Crediting Service. This will make your interest payments earned to be credited directly to your chosen bank account.
2. How to Buy the Singapore Savings Bonds?
To give you an overview of how you can buy SSB, you may consider the following options below.
For Cash Applications:
- You may apply through DBS/POSB, OCBC, and UOB ATMs or their online banking. Application is also present in OCBC’s mobile banking
For SRS Applications:
- If you are a Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) investor, you may apply using the SRS operator’s online banking platform.
Take note that you can’t apply for Savings Bonds in Singapore in person in the bank counters. You will notice that you can apply via ATM, online banking, and mobile banking portals.
Make sure that when applying, you already prepared your CDP Account. Also, CPF funds can’t be used to purchase for SSB.
You will need to open with a minimum of $500 and subsequent multiples of $500. As of the moment, you can invest up to $200,000. And, there will be a $2 transaction in every application, which is non-refundable. Also, once you have submitted your application, it can’t be canceled.
3. When to Apply?
Each month, there is an issuance of the new bond. To know when you can apply this month, you may check here, or you can check the MAS’ issuance calendar.
Take note that the application period for each month opens from 6 pm on the 1st business day. It closes every 9 pm on the 4th last business day. Operating hours are from 7 am to 9 pm, from Monday to Saturday (except Public Holidays).
4. How to check the results of your application?
Each month, MAS has allotted new saving Bonds for applicants on the 3rd business day. It is called allotment day. You can check the application results on their website after 3 pm on allotment day.
Issuance of savings bonds is on the 1st business day of the following month. If you have invested through cash, you will receive a notification from CDP in your email. It will contain the amount of SSB allotted to you. Also, you may check online via CDP online service or through calling 6535-751.
If you are an SRS investor, you can receive notification from the SRS operator through email. You may also check the amount of saving bonds allotted to you with your SRS operator.
You may also keep track of your Saving Bonds through your My Savings Bonds portal.
What will happen if the total amount you applied exceeded the amount offered?
In this case, you may not get the amount you have applied for in full.
Instead, you will get a refund for the excess amount. You can get it at the end of the 2nd last business day of the month. Then, it will be credited to the bank account that you use for the application.
5. When you can receive the Interest Payment?
Your first interest payment can be received 6 months after the bond is issued. You may receive interest payment through:
- For cash applications, you may receive it through your Bank Account that is linked to your CDP account
- For SRS applications, you may receive it via SRS Account
The interest payments can be reflected via the following:
- CDP Statements for cash applications
- SRS statements for cash applications
How to redeem Singapore Savings Bonds?
Redemption refers to the process of returning your Saving Bonds to the government as it matures or before its maturity period in exchange for getting your principal investment plus all the interests gained.
You may redeem your saving bonds as it matures or before it matures. Below are the guides when you redeem it on its maturity or before it matures.
Redeeming at Maturity
Every Savings Bond has a maximum maturity period of 10 years. It means that after 10 years you can get your principal plus all the accrued interests you earned.
For cash applications, your earnings will be automatically credited to your chosen bank account which is linked with your CDP account. You may receive it via your SRS account for SRS applications.
When redeeming at maturity there’s no transaction fee involved.
Redeeming before Maturity
What if you’ve decided to redeem your Saving Bonds before it matures? In that case, you are free to redeem it, and there’s no penalty involved.
To redeem, you may submit your redemption request by the closing date via the following:
- For cash investments, you may redeem it through DSB/POSB, OCBC, and UOB online banking or ATMs or with OCBC’s mobile app.
- If you are an SRS investor, you may redeem your Saving Bond using the online channel of your SRS fund.
What you need to take note of when redeeming early:
- Opens every 1st Business day of the month at 6 pm
- Closes every 4th last business day of the month at 9 pm
- Business hours: 7 am to 9 pm every Monday to Saturday (except Public Holidays)
- You may redeem more than one bond each month in multiples of $500.
- A transaction fee of $2 for each redemption request
Please take note that as soon as you create a redemption request you can’t change or cancelled it.
After Your Submission Request
You can receive the requested amount along with its interest on the 2nd business day of the following month.
For cash investment, you will receive it on your bank account linked to your CDP account. For SRS investors, you can receive it on your online SRS account.
How much interest you can get?
In Singapore, Saving Bonds earns their interest every six months. So, if you have decided to redeem it when there is a scheduled payment of interest, you can receive the accrued interest plus the amount you requested.
What if you are going to redeem before the scheduled interest payment? In that case, you will only receive a pro-rated or accrued interest. It means that you will get the interest you have earned but have not yet paid.
For example, you have bought your saving bonds in January, which means that it will have a scheduled interest payment in June, and you will be earning $8. So, if you invested $500, you are supposed to get on the 2nd business day of July the following:
- $500 as your redemption amount
- $8 as your interest
However, if you decided to redeem it in March, you will receive your redemption amount and accrued interest on the 2nd business day of April. In that case, it will be:
- $500 as your redemption amount
- $4 as your accrued interest
The $4 accrued interest is the interest you’ve earned from January up to March.
Where in this is the given formula from MAS in computing the actual amount of accrued interest shown below:
For the full guide on redeeming your Savings Bonds, you may refer here.
Are Singapore Savings Bonds worth buying?
If this is your first time buying Singapore Savings Bonds, I know that you’ll be asking if buying savings bonds is worth it. When you want to add Singapore Savings Bonds to your investment portfolio, it is simply ideal for those investors looking for a safer long-term investment option.
If you are looking for a low-risk investment that can help you balance your risky investments or want to grow your money, Savings Bonds are ideal for you. Just remember that the interest rates may vary, and the returns are not as high as before.
However, it’s one of the most flexible investment options. There is no lock-in period. You may redeem it even it stays for a month with no penalty involved.
Singapore Savings Bonds work like a bank savings account or fixed deposits. It is not an ideal option if you want to invest more than $200,000. If you opted to take some risk, stock trading can be a viable option.