SINGAPORE — The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released information on the Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) latest tranche which has a total average return per year of 2.88 per cent with a first-year interest rate of 2.74 per cent.
The bond, to be issued on 1 March 2024, has a tenor of 10 years, and the allotment size is S$800 million.
MAS said investment amounts start at S$500 and are issued in multiples of S$500. The total amount an investor can hold at any one time cannot exceed S$200,000.
Application for this month's SSB offering is now open and will close at 9pm on 26 February. The upcoming interest payment will be on 1 September 2024, while subsequent payments (until maturity) will be paid out every six months on 1 March and 1 September.
The operating hours for application submission are from 7am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday (excluding public holidays).
Here's a guide to investing in SSB:
What is Singapore Savings Bond?
The Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) is an investment vehicle, a bond fully backed by the Singapore government. This is why it's considered nearly risk-free (you can always get your investment amounts back), very flexible (you can exit any time without penalties), and requires only a minimum capital to start (you can start investing at S$500).
With a 10-year holding period, SSB is a long-term bond offering a step-up interest rate system. It means that the longer you invest in it, the higher the interest income you'll enjoy.
Who can buy SSB?
SSB is open to individuals — Singaporeans, Permanent Residents (PRs) or Foreigners — aged 18 and above. Qualified individuals must have a bank account with one of the three local banks (DBS, OCBC and UOB) and an individual Central Depository (CDP) Securities account.
How to buy or apply for SSB?
The first step is to apply through DBS/PSOB, OCBC, UOB ATMs or internet banking, or OCBC's marble application to buy SSB.
Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) investors can apply through their respective SRS Operator's internet banking portal. You cannot apply for SSBs in person at the bank.
The allotment results will be announced after 3pm on the last third last business day of the month and can be viewed on the MAS website.
If you're successful, you'll be notified by the Central Depository (CDP) by mail while SRS investors will be notified by the SRS operator.
If you're unsuccessful or have an incomplete application, any excess money will be automatically refunded by the end of the second last business day of the month.
Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to start investing in SSB.
What is the maximum limit for savings bond in Singapore?
The total amount of SSBs you can hold at any one time cannot exceed S$200,000.
Can I withdraw SSB anytime?
Each SBS has a term of 10 years. At the end of that period, your principal and the last interest payment will be automatically credited to the bank account linked to your CDP account (for cash application), or to your SRS account (for SRS applications).
However, you can still withdraw your investment in any given month before the bond matures. There are no penalties for exiting your investment early.
To redeem, submit a request by the closing date through DBS/PSOB, OCBC and UOB internet banking or ATM, and OCBC's mobile application (for cash investments). Meanwhile, SRS investment redemption requests can only be made online through your respective SRS Operator.
Is SSB worth it?
SSB is one of the safest investments to hold because it is backed by the Singapore government. Conservative investors with a lower risk appetite can consider investing in SSBs.
The risk of losing your money is near zero, so SSB can also be a good way for investors to diversify their investment portfolios.
Moreover, the SSB is also one of the easiest and most accessible investment bonds to invest in with a minimum investment amount of S$500 up to S$200,000.
However, in comparison to other investment vehicles such as stocks or unit trusts, SSB returns are significantly lesser.
SSB is also non-transferable and cannot be traded or pledged as collateral.
Only in certain situations, such as the death of the bondholder, can the SSB be transferred to the rightful beneficiaries under the bondholder’s will or Singapore's intestacy law.