What are the best SRS investment options available in 2024?
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What are the best SRS investment options available in 2024?

Jun 2024
Apr 2021
What are the best SRS investment options available?
  • Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) contributions should not just be set aside for tax efficiency, but can also be used to boost your long-term retirement savings by investing them. 
  • With the increase in retirement age and Singaporeans living longer, investors should give serious consideration to SRS to grow their nest egg. 
  • There are various ways you can invest the money in your SRS accounts, including investing in low-cost, globally diversified unit trusts through Endowus.
  • Our 100% Equity Portfolio has generated an annualised five-year return of close to 10% p.a. (as of 31 January 2024), even after accounting for fund fees.

The Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) helps to address the financial needs of Singapore’s future retirees. The SRS is a voluntary scheme that complements the CPF. Local tax residents can contribute varying amounts to SRS (subject to a top-up cap) at their discretion. 

The withdrawal age for the SRS is determined by the prevailing retirement age at the time we contribute our first dollar into our SRS account. 

From 1 July 2026, the retirement age will be increased to 64 years old from 1 July 2026, and it will further increase to 65 by 2030. Given these changes, it is highly advisable to begin contributing to SRS accounts. 

Following the scrap of the CPF Special Account for those aged 55 and above from 2025, coupled with the fact that Singaporeans are living longer, the SRS has gained attention as a viable option to grow our retirement nest egg.  

For middle and high-income taxpayers in particular, SRS account contributions provide attractive tax savings. However, with a low 0.05% per annum (p.a.) interest rate on SRS accounts and high inflation, SRS contributions should not just be set aside solely for tax efficiency, but can also be invested to boost your long-term retirement savings. 

There are various ways you can invest the money in your SRS accounts, including investing in unit trusts. 

As of December 2022, uninvested SRS money amounts to 21% of the SGD 6.3 billion scheme. That means this idle cash of SGD 3.4 billion is earning minimal returns and is susceptible to erosion by inflation.

Pie chart showing the breakdown of Singaporean's investment vehicles for their Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) accounts in 2022. Cash balance: 21%, Unit trusts: 11%, Insurance: 25%, Shares, REITs, ETFs: 26%, Others: 16%

In this article, we consider how you can invest with SRS, and what the best SRS investment options would look like.

Singapore Government Securities

Singapore Government Securities (SGS) are government bonds issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and are fully backed by the government. 

There are mainly two types of SGS offered:

  1. Treasury bills (T-bills): Typically have a maturity of 6 or 12 months 
  2. SGS bonds: Can have a maturity of 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or even 50 years 


T-bills are short-term SGS bonds issued at a discount to their face value, with investors receiving the full face value at maturity. 

Face (or par) value refers to SGD 100 in the principal amount of the T-bills applied for and the discount rate is the cut-off yield at auction. Interest is paid at maturity and it is the difference between the purchase price and the face value. 

For instance, if you were to apply for a 6-month T-bill that has a cut-off yield of 3.32% with SGD 1,000 in your SRS account, you would only invest SGD 983.45 upfront. After six months, you would receive the full $1,000 back to your account, which includes the interest. 

T-bills are AAA credit-rated and have a minimum investment amount of SGD 1,000. 

The 6-month T-bills are more frequently launched compared to the yearly ones. For 2024, there are only a total of four 1-year T-bills auctions versus 25 in total for the bi-yearly ones. 

T-bills have been popular amid the high interest rate environment. Here’s an overview of the past auction yields of 6-month T-bills, which have steadily hovered above 3% since the latter half of 2022: 

When investing in T-bills, the unique aspect is that the exact yield remains unknown at the time of subscription. The yield is determined  through the auction process, and you will only know the final yield once the auction concludes based on demand and supply dynamics. 

Trading T-bills in the secondary market is allowed. However, if you wish to sell before maturity, prices may fluctuate and could be above or below what you initially paid. 

SGS bonds

SGS bonds are mostly similar to T-bills, except for two differences.

Unlike T-bills, SGS bonds pay a fixed coupon every six months. Another difference as seen earlier is the maturity period, ranging from two to 30 years and beyond. 

Singapore Savings Bonds

Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) are also fully backed by the Singapore government and offer interest rates that progressively increase the longer you hold them, within a 10-year maturity. 

SSBs are very flexible in that you can get your investment capital back in full with no losses and you can choose to exit your investment in any given month, with no penalties. 

It also offers a low minimum investment amount of SGD 500, compared to SGD 1,000 for T-bills and SGS bonds. 

The below table shows a comparison of T-bills, SGS bonds, and SSBs. 

Product Available Tenor Minimum Investment Amount Maximum Investment Amount Type of Interest Rate Payment Interest Payment Frequency Secondary Market Trading Maturity and Redemption
T-bills 6 months or 1 year $1,000, and in multiples of $1,000 Up to allotment limit for auctions No coupon (issued and traded at a discount to the face value) At maturity At DBS, OCBC or UOB main branches No early redemption (investors receive the face value at maturity)
SGS bonds 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 50 years $1,000, and in multiples of $1,000 Up to allotment limit for auctions Fixed coupon Every 6 months, starting from the month of issue At DBS, OCBC or UOB main branches; on Singapore Exchange (SGX) through brokers No early redemption (investors receive the face value at maturity)
SSBs Up to 10 years $500, and in multiples of $500 S$200,000 overall Fixed coupon, increases each year Every 6 months, starting from the month of issue No Can be redeemed in any month, with no penalty (investors receive the face value plus accrued interest upon redemption)

*Note: The information provided is based on the most current data available and is subject to change. Please consult with your financial advisor or the respective financial institutions for the latest details.

SGS and SSBs are seen as low-risk investments but compared to other investment options like stocks and low-cost unit trusts, they generally offer lower potential returns. 

Fixed deposits

Another option to consider would be fixed deposits, also known as time deposits. 

Singapore dollar options offer interest rates as high as 3.45% p.a. for a 3-month tenure while a 6-month US dollar fixed deposit rate can be up to 5% p.a.. 

It is important to note that some of the rates can be promotional for a limited period and may not be applicable for SRS savings. It’s best to check with the bank on this aspect. 

A caveat is that even though US dollar fixed deposit rates can be higher compared to the Singapore dollar counterparts, foreign currency risk should be considered. 


The "Supplementary Retirement Scheme" is meant for retirement preparation. Retirement investment is associated with building long-term income streams, making annuity products an intuitive choice. As the 10-year withdrawal period limit for your SRS account does not apply to annuities, this makes SRS annuity products even more attractive.

As of December 2023, 25% of SRS monies were invested in life insurance products, mainly single premium annuity/non-annuity plans, as well as endowment plans.

Yet, SRS insurance options are not favourable due to the following:

  1. Being "safer" investment products with some guaranteed returns, the insurer has to invest in low volatility, fixed income products, which typically yield lower returns
  2. It has larger investment requirements
  3. It has extended lock-in periods

Given the long investment horizon of most SRS accounts, if you need to commit to a long-term investment option, it is more prudent to invest in relatively higher return investments to grow your SRS retirement monies more meaningfully. But of course, it must be within your risk tolerance. 

Shares, REITs and ETFs

With a brokerage account, you would be able to invest in SGX-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, and other products. 

This is a popular SRS investment option because of the familiarity with Singapore stocks, and higher expected returns from REITs and stock investments.

However, there are some notable disadvantages of investing your SRS in income instruments such as REITs.

Firstly, you are limited to using local brokerages to trade, typically charging high minimum fees of SGD 25 or 0.28% of trading value, excluding Goods and Services Tax (GST). This means that you have to invest around SGD 9,000 per trade to make the most of your brokerage fees for your investments.

Secondly, due to the brokerage charges, you cannot invest small amounts cost-efficiently. This means that you are forced to:

  1. Make larger SRS contributions before you can invest
  2. Leave dividends or interest received from SRS investments in cash without being able to invest it efficiently.

Of course, there’s individual company risk as investors must be knowledgeable about the company’s business fundamentals and growth prospects before investing. 

To allow investors to diversify their investments instantly, ETFs may be a good option. Some popular Singapore-listed ETFs among SRS investors include: 

  • SPDR Straits Times Index ETF (ES3)
  • Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF (HST/HSS)
  • SPDR S&P 500 ETF (S27)

Unit trusts

Given the longer investment horizon for SRS monies, you would want to invest in a manner that gives you the highest return when you withdraw your SRS. Many SRS account holders have a long investment horizon till the age of 63 and beyond. This would mean:

  1. Investing — through a low-cost platform such as Endowus — into low-cost unit trusts to minimise loss of return through fees
  2. Allocating to riskier asset classes, such as equities, to maximise investment returns
  3. Being globally diversified across geographies and industries to minimise risk

Read more: The real difference between unit trusts and ETFs

While investing in unit trusts exposed to global markets can be a compelling strategy, ensuring that you have the lowest cost access to this SRS investment strategy and funds is key. Through a traditional fund platform or bank unit trust platform, you have to pay for:

  1. Higher cost retail share class funds, which can go beyond 1.75% in fund total expense ratio;
  2. A one-off sales charge, typically at 1% of your investment value;
  3. A recurring platform fee, at up to 0.35% p.a. of your investment value.

At Endowus, you can gain access to advised portfolios that are aligned with your risk tolerance. You pay only 0.4% p.a. for a portfolio of funds that are low in cost. 

Through the Endowus Core-Flagship Portfolio, you can get broad market exposure through low-cost funds that target long-term outperformance. 

Our Very Aggressive Portfolio, which consists of 100% equity allocation, has generated an annualised five-year return of 9.7% p.a. (as of 31 January 2024), even after accounting for fund fees. 

Even our Very Conservative Portfolio consisting of 100% allocation to bonds, has given investors a five-year return of 1.2% on an annualised basis, handsomely beating the SRS base interest rate of 0.05% p.a.

For do-it-yourself (DIY) SRS investors, you can pick from 140+ different funds (as of 17 March 2024) on the Endowus Fund Smart platform. 

Some exclusive, low-cost funds include the Amundi Prime USA Fund, the Dimensional Global Core Equity Fund, and the PIMCO GIS Global Bond Fund

You can learn more about Endowus SRS offerings here.

Pick your best SRS investment choice

We understand that selecting the right investment for your SRS account can be challenging due to the variety of options available, from low-risk options such as SSBs to higher-risk ones like stocks and REITs.  

As with any investment, you have to consider your own circumstances, such as risk tolerance and investment goals, before making a decision. You also have to consider the pros and cons of each option. 

For instance, fixed deposits offer a stable interest rate but have limited flexibility and potential for reinvestment risk

Conversely, low-cost unit trusts that you can invest in through Endowus may carry varying levels of risk. But, historically, they offer the potential for greater returns over the long term that beat inflation.

Leaving your SRS funds uninvested isn’t risk-free. Inflation is eroding your hard-earned money away. Therefore, the crucial step is to avoid settling for the low base interest rate of 0.05% p.a. and make your SRS funds work harder to maximise your retirement savings. 

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