Been a while since I last posted on my blog - the last month or so has been hectic for me, with the semester final examinations for my part-time Masters as well as travelling for business. Still, no excuses for slipping on my 2 posts per month commitment, so will try to make up for it in December.
Also, quick update: following my analysis of the various deposit accounts here, I went ahead and opened my DBS Multiplier account online, together with the DBS Live Fresh credit card. Now all I need to do is to redirect both my salary crediting and the CDP Direct Crediting Service to the Multiplier account, and I am all set to enjoy my interest rates :)
Back to my intended topic - good news for folks who have particularly enjoyed the SSB programme - MAS has announced three big moves for SSB on 17th Dec 2018:
- With effect from 1st February 2019, SSBs can be purchased using SRS funds, via the respective SRS operators (DBS/POSB, OCBC, UOB).
- With effect from 1st February 2019, the Individual Limit for SSBs will be increased from SGD100,000 to SGD200,000.
- In March 2019, MAS will be launching a "My Savings Portal" to allow investors to review their SSB portfolios, for both cash and SRS purchases.
SRS + SSB = Awesome Combo
These are really terrific news for anyone who utilizes SSBs in their portfolios. Firstly, SRS funds can finally be parked in an essentially risk-free instrument - a first. I will definitely be using this new feature of the SRS account to get both my tax breaks and risk-free rate (which was basically 0.05% p.a. in the SRS account).
A quick reminder - before you do any top-ups to your SRS accounts, please do fully understand the SRS scheme and evaluate how the SRS account can play a part in your portfolio or finances. Here's a good primer.
Individual Limit of SGD200,000
The increase in Individual Limit is great as well. Since SSBs can be considered as free cash flow (pro-rated interest payouts + redemption latency of 1 month), SGD100,000 is not difficult for working professionals with decent savings rates to hit. The increase in Individual Limit is certainly more than welcomed.
My Savings Portal
Lastly, a SSB portal to review holdings - yea, why not? Currently, investors have to log in into CDP accounts to review our SSB holdings, which is good enough an user experience. Hopefully this new portal encompasses all relevant information regarding SSBs, including purchase calendars, redemption calendars, payout calendars, historical rates, bond ladders, planning tools... At least that's how I would like the UX for such a portal to be - probably wishful thinking on my part :P
Looking forward to the implementation of these changes in February 2019. For more information on SSBs, the SSB website would be in itself a great resource.