Best Short & Long Term Endowment Plans in Singapore (2023)

SingSaver team

SingSaver team

Last updated 12 January, 2023

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With savings accounts and fixed deposits offering higher interest rates, some insurers are taking their cue with short-term endowment plans as an alternative way to grow your savings. Mid to long-term endowment plans on the other hand, can help you save for significant milestones.

Traditionally, endowment plans are a savings/insurance hybrid product, typically recommended as a way to save for your child’s education, your retirement, or some other fixed milestone. Recently, there has been a new crop of short-term endowment plans. Instead of taking a decade or more to reach maturity, these endowment plans mature in just two to six years.

Here's a look at these two different types of endowment plans available.



Best short-term endowment plans

Endowment plan Min. single premium Policy term Returns
GREAT SP Series 9 S$10,000 2 years 3.38% p.a. (guaranteed)
Tiq 3-Year Endowment Plan S$5,000 3 years 3.95% p.a. (guaranteed)
HSBC Life Online Endowment S$10,000 3 years 3.90% p.a. (guaranteed)
NTUC Income Gro Capital Ease S$5,000 3 years 1.48% p.a. (guaranteed)
Manulife Goal 12 S$10,000 2 years 5.07% (guaranteed upon maturity)
AIA #Wealth Savvy S$5,000 3 years 3.0% p.a. (guaranteed)

What is a short-term endowment plan?
Should you get a short-term endowment plan?

Best mid/long-term endowment plans

Endowment plan Premium term Policy term Returns (per annum) Capital guaranteed (upon maturity)?
Singlife MySavingsPlan 10 to 25 years 10 to 25 years -Up to 4.75% p.a.non-guaranteed returns Yes
GREAT Prime Rewards 3 Single premium 15, 20 years -Receive total annual income of up to 1.47x of the single premium (non-guaranteed). Accumulate the annual income at a non-guaranteed interest rate of 2.50% p.a. and receive up to 1.75x of the single premium (non-guaranteed) Yes, from the end of the 5th policy year
Tokio Marine Nest Egg (GIO Cashback) 5, 10, 15 or 20 years 10, 15, 20 or 25 years - Up to 3.8% p.a. non-guaranteed returns
- Enjoy guaranteed yearly payouts from the 2nd policy anniversary for either 8 or 10 years
- Flexibility to withdraw yearly cash benefit or reinvest to earn interest
Yes

What you need to know about mid to long-term endowment plans?
Should you get a mid to long-term endowment plan?


Short-term endowment plans

In light of low bank interest rates, even newbies to finance are getting curious about short-term endowment products. With decent returns, short commitment periods and simple mechanics, short-term endowment plans are indeed a viable alternative to savings accounts or fixed deposits.

Although provided by insurers, endowment plans are fundamentally savings plans to help you hit a target amount at a later date (e.g. your nest egg). After paying the premium, you wait for the funds to mature, then cash out a larger amount than you’ve put in. 

Sounds simple enough, but the terminology around endowment plans can be confusing to those new to insurance. Let’s break them down.

Premium: This is the amount you pay for (put into) your endowment plan. It can either be a single premium (one-time lump sum payment) or staggered over several months or years. Single premiums are typical of short-term endowment plans. 

Policy term: The time it takes for the endowment plan to mature. Conventional plans can stretch over 10 years, 15 years, 20 years or even up to a fixed age (e.g. 75 years old). But short-term endowment plans have a maturity period of two to six years. Note that you may not get the guaranteed returns or even your capital if you terminate your endowment plan early.

Capital guaranteed upon maturity: Some endowment plans are ‘capital guaranteed’ upon maturity. This means that, when you reach the end of the policy term, you will definitely get back at least the money you initially put in. However, there is no such guarantee if you terminate your plan before the end of the policy term.

Maturity benefit: Expressed as an annual percentage (e.g. 2% p.a.), this is how much return you will get on your initial investment upon the end of the term. Some endowment plans have only guaranteed returns, while other types may break down the returns into guaranteed and non-guaranteed components. 

Participating or non-participating: Endowment plans typically involve the insurer putting your premiums into a ‘participating’ fund, akin to an investment done on your behalf (although you do not get to select the investment portfolio). If the fund performs well, a participating policy allows you to get a share of the profits (the non-guaranteed return), whereas you do not get anything above the guaranteed return for a non-participating policy.

Insurance coverage: A small portion of the money you put into an endowment plan goes into insurance coverage. For short-term endowment plans, this is quite minimal. For example, you might get insured 101% or 105% of the premium paid in the case of death or total permanent disability.

Tranches: Endowment plans, especially short-term and/or single premium plans, are not available forever. They are instead issued in ‘tranches’, similar to Singapore Savings Bonds issues. Each tranche contains a limited number of policies. Tranches with attractive returns close quickly, and you’ll have to wait for the next if you miss it.

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Best short-term endowment plans in Singapore

If you have a lump sum of money you wish to grow in the short term, but do not want to take on the risk of investing it, here are four short-term endowment plans to consider.

GREAT SP Series 9 [Tranche Closed]

With the costs of everyday items going up a lot faster than our pay cheques, getting smarter with your cash is crucial to reaching your short-term goals. 

For instance, if you’re planning to visit the Swiss Alps or African safari, now’s the time to put your hard-earned cash to work.  

In the midst of rising inflation, Great Eastern’s SP Series 9 is a breath of fresh air.

With a short-term commitment of 2 years, the single premium plan offers guaranteed returns of 3.38% per annum upon maturity. That means a $100,000 investment will return you S$3,380 in interest after Year 1 and a total of S$106,844 when the plan matures.  

GREAT SP Series 9 also provides coverage against Death and Total and Permanent Disability. 

Minimum premium: S$10,000 is the minimum investment for this endowment plan.

Policy term: Two years. It has a Death and Total And Permanent Disability benefit of 105% of the premium, or the surrender value of the policy, whichever is higher. A medical examination is not required.

Maturity benefit: GREAT SP Series 9 is a non-participating endowment plan that offers guaranteed returns of 3.38% p.a. upon maturity.

Current tranche: The current tranche has closed.

Tiq 3-Year Endowment Plan [Tranche Closed]

Looking for an easy way to save and earn more interest?

With the highest guaranteed maturity returns* of 3.95% p.a., Tiq's 3-Year Endowment Plan is a single premium, non-participating life insurance savings plan that anyone between the ages of 17 and 70 can purchase regardless of their health condition. 

The best part? There is no limit to how many policies you can purchase. The Tiq 3-Year Endowment Plan is available to Singapore residents (NRIC/FIN) and foreigners with a work permit/employment pass/social pass.

Minimum premium: S$5,000. You can make payment online via your DBS/POSB bank account, PayNow or FAST transfer.

Policy term: Three years. During this term, you are insured 101% of the premium in the event of your death. 

Maturity benefit: With a guaranteed return of 12.3% p.a. after three years, it's a pretty attractive guaranteed return in the short-term endowment plan crowd. In case you’re curious, the maximum premium size is S$1,000,000. 

Current tranche: The current tranche has closed.

*Disclaimer: Compared to similar online single premium 3-year endowment plans available for subscription, as at 3 November 2022. This comparison does not include information on all similar products. Etiqa Insurance does not guarantee that all aspects of the products have been illustrated. You may wish to conduct your own comparison for products that are listed in www.comparefirst.sg.

 

HSBC Life Online Endowment [Tranche Closed]

hsbc-life-logoPlanning ahead for your child's education? Or perhaps you're considering a property purchase or renovation in the next couple of years. The HSBC Life Online Endowment offers guaranteed returns to uplift your savings, ensuring you're on track with your short-term financial goals.

Minimum premium: S$10,000. You can login with your SingPass to submit your application and make a cash payment via PayNow QR.

Policy term: Three years. During this term, you are covered for death or terminal illness of 110% of the Single Premium.

Maturity benefit: You will enjoy a guaranteed maturity benefit with a guaranteed yield of 3.9% p.a. at the end of the three years.

Assuming you apply for the maximum single premium of S$100,000, you will be able to receive a lump sum of S$112,162 at the end of three years.

Current tranche: The current tranche is open. Visit HSBC Life to apply. 

NTUC Income Gro Capital Ease [Fully Subscribed]

If you need help saving some cash for a large purchase like a house or a car in the near future, the NTUC Income Gro Capital Ease offers guaranteed returns.

Minimum premium: S$5,000. You can make a cash payment via PayNow QR, e-GIRO (for DBS/POSB customers only) or use your SRS funds.

Policy term: Three years. During this term, you are covered for death or total permanent disability (TPD) during this time.

Maturity benefit: With a guaranteed yield at maturity of 1.48% p.a. at the end of the three years, you will enjoy a guaranteed maturity benefit of 104.51% of the single premium.

Assuming you apply for the maximum single premium of S$200,000, you will be able to receive a lump sum of S$209,020 at the end of three years.

Current tranche: The current tranche is closed. Visit NTUC Income for updates.

Manulife Goal 12

Manulife Goal 12 is a short-term endowment plan is ideal for those seeking a short commitment period of just two years.

Minimum premium: Single premium of S$10,000, payable via cash or SRS.

Policy term: Two years. During this term, you are insured 101% of the premium in the event of your death.

Maturity benefit: Apart from the guaranteed 5.07% return upon maturity, you may also enjoy a potential maturity bonus of 0.61% of your single premium.

For example, if you bought a S$10,000 policy, you can cash out up to S$10,507 with a non-guaranteed maturity bonus of $61 upon maturity of your endowment plan, bringing your potential total maturity value to S$10,568.

Current tranche: This Manulife endowment plan is currently open. As there is no online application available, you need to speak to a financial consultant or apply at a bank branch.

 

AIA Wealth Savvy [Tranche Closed]

aia-logo

AIA Wealth Savvy is an endowment plan that provides guaranteed returns of 3% p.a. in 3 years.

Interest rate: 3% p.a. *guaranteed interest
Premium term: Single premium
Policy term: 3 years
Withdrawal/payouts: The endowment ends in 3 years, after which you will receive 100% of your capital plus returns earned
Minimum investment: S$5,000, up to a cap of S$30,000 per transaction. Apply online with cash or Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS).

*Guaranteed returns and capital guaranteed are only applicable if the policy is held to maturity. A surrender charge will be applicable, and the surrender value payable will be less than total premiums paid in the event of early termination before maturity.

What this plan is good for: One of the most accessible plans with a fairly affordable investment starting point of S$5,000, the AIA Wealth Savvy endowment offers a high guaranteed return of up to 3% p.a. upon maturity.

Another plus point is the possibility of earning up to 4.25% p.a. when you purchase any qualifying plan) under AIA #Wealth Savvy Bundle Campaign (2.0) 2022 on or before 30 November 2022. Your guaranteed returns for AIA #Wealth Savvy will be boosted to 4.25% p.a. at the end of year 3.

You can also get this plan without having to undergo any medical examinations. All online applications for the basic plan will be accepted.

Lastly, this policy features coverage against death. Your family will receive an additional 10% payout of the insured amount on top of the death benefit should an accidental death happen in the first policy year. The death benefit is the higher of the insured amount (the single premium paid at the policy inception) or the cash value.

Available till 30 November 2022 or when the tranche closes for subscription.


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Should you get a short-term endowment plan?

Endowment plans can be attractive short term alternatives to savings accounts, fixed deposits and even Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs).

In today’s climate, the options for growing your money risk-free are extremely limited. With endowment plans, your capital is guaranteed, the returns beat that of banks, and you also get a little bit of insurance coverage as a bonus.

But, however short the policy term, an endowment plan is still a commitment. Only park cash that you absolutely will not need in the next two or three years here. Should you need to terminate your policy early, you may lose money. 

There are also trade-offs to locking up your funds. If interest rates were to rise within the next few years, you might not be able to take advantage of a good savings or fixed deposit promotion since your cash is parked in the endowment plan.

Low risk low returns investment vehicles

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What you need to know about mid/ long-term endowment plans

  • Regular premiums: You contribute regular premiums towards the endowment plan for the entire premium term. 
  • Interest rates/returns: Interest rates are an indication of how much you can expect at the end of the policy term. However, the returns are not guaranteed and this means that the actual benefits payable will vary based on the market conditions and future performance of the participating fund.
  • Long term commitment: Unlike short-term endowment plans that mature in two to three years, long-term endowment plans can have a policy term that ranges between 10 to 25 years.
  • Early termination: Terminating the policy before it matures could be costly as the surrender value, if any, could be zero or less than the total premiums paid.

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Best mid/long-term endowment plans in Singapore

Here’s a look at five of the best mid/long-term endowment plans available. 

Singlife MySavingsPlan

Singlife Logo - Red on White - Horizontal

Singlife MySavingsPlan offers a great flexibility with their premium and policy term, while guaranteeing 100% of your capital if you hold the policy till maturity.

  • Interest rate: Up to 4.75% p.a. non-guaranteed returns 
  • Premium term: 10 to 25 years
  • Policy term: 10 to 25 years
  • Withdrawal/payouts: Get 100% capital guaranteed when you hold the plan till maturity, with no early cash withdrawal option.

What this plan is good for: This plan offers a wide range of both premium and policy terms, from 10 to 25 years. It also guarantees that your capital will be returned 100% in the form of a lump sum payout when you hold the policy till maturity. You also stand to earn potential bonuses upon maturity, though this is not guaranteed. Application for this policy is hassle-free, with no medical check-ups required. 

What are the downsides to this plan: The maturity bonuses are not guaranteed and there is no option for you to withdraw the cash early. Riders available are also limited, not covering critical illness, although a cancer premium waiver is available.

GREAT Prime Rewards 3

For those who are planning to receive additional income for retirement, the Great Eastern GREAT Prime Rewards 3 is an attractive option. In additional to the annual payout after year 5 of the policy term, this endowment plan also pays a lump-sum benefit upon completion of the policy term, death, terminal illness, or total and permanent disability. You can choose either cash or your CPF Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds to purchase the policy.

Premium term: Single premium
Policy term: 20 years
Accumulation period: Optional, 3 or 5 years
Withdrawal/payouts: Choose between 10, 15, 17, or 20 years

What this plan is good for: Retirement income. This plan offers guaranteed payouts each year and you can choose from four payout terms – 10, 15, 17, or 20 years. Your capital is guaranteed after 5 years, and you can choose to let it accumulate more interest for 3 or 5 years.

These payouts will be provided annually, and may be used for a variety of your needs, such as to supplement your income or your retirement funds.

What are the downsides to this plan: It does not cover pre-existing conditions, critical illnesses, and hospitalisation. The cost of entry is on the slightly higher side, starting from S$10,000. Returns are not guaranteed and may change according to market conditions.

 

Tokio Marine Nest Egg (GIO Cashback)

The Tokio Marine Nest Egg (GIO Cashback) is an endowment plan that offers guaranteed acceptance and guaranteed capital if held to maturity.

  • Interest rate: Up to 3.8% p.a. non-guaranteed returns
  • Premium term: 5, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Policy term: 10, 15, 20 or 25 years
  • Withdrawal/payouts: Flexibility to withdraw the guaranteed yearly payouts from the second policy year for either eight or 10 years, or reinvest to earn interest. You also enjoy 100% capital guaranteed when you hold the plan till maturity.

What this plan is good for: This plan offers a wide range of premium payment terms, including a short five-year premium term. While providing guaranteed yearly cash benefits from the second policy year, it also provides some form of liquidity, giving you the option to withdraw this yearly cash benefit or reinvest it to earn interest. 

Your capital is also guaranteed upon policy maturity, ensuring that every dollar you contribute as premiums will be returned. You will also be able to purchase this plan without requiring any medical underwriting.

Lastly, this plan features coverage against death. In the event that this occurs, a lump sum of 105% of the total annual premiums paid, accumulated reversionary bonuses, and any accumulated guaranteed yearly cash benefits plus interest will be paid out.

What are the downsides to this plan: Addition of riders such as Cancer Waiver Rider or (Enhanced) Payer Benefit Rider may require you to undergo full underwriting.

If you are looking for cancer insurance, you can also check out these best cancer insurance plans in Singapore


Should you get a mid/long-term endowment plan?

A long-term endowment plan can be an option for those that are looking to set aside money for their child’s education, or to prepare for their retirement. These endowment plans are also great for those that require discipline to help them save money for the future. 

However, do keep in mind that long-term endowment plans require years of commitment, regularly paying the premiums for the entire premium term. You could lose some of your capital should you choose to terminate the policy before maturity. 

As an alternative way to grow your wealth, you can also consider starting your investment journey with a regular savings plan, or using one of the many robo-advisors in Singapore.


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Disclaimer: Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. As buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment, an early termination of the policy usually involves high costs and the surrender value, if any, that is payable to you may be zero or less than the total premiums paid. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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Guide To Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) And Tips To Maximise It

 

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