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CPF Inheritance: How It Works, Tips & More!

Updated: May 13, 2022

Before we talk about how to pass on your CPF or how to inherit CPF from a kin, let's get some basic facts right.


What is CPF?

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is Singapore’s social security system that helps Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents set aside funds for retirement.


What are the CPF accounts that I can pass on or inherit from?

In the context of inheritance, CPF has 5 components that you need to care about:

1. Ordinary Account (OA) - Used for retirement, housing and investment

2. MediSave Account (MA) - Your healthcare savings account used for hospitalization expenses and approved medical insurance. You can use MediSave to cover premiums for MediShield Life and other approved medical and long-term care insurance.

3. Special Account (SA) - For old age and investment in retirement-related financial products

4. Retirement Account (RA) - For monthly retirement payouts (Age 55 and above)

5. CPF LIFE - A national longevity insurance annuity scheme that gives you a monthly payout for as long as you live, mitigating some risk associated with living too long and potentially outliving your economic assets.


There is also Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) that complements CPF savings but that's not technically CPF.


Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to receive our deep dive into CPF LIFE, SRS and how to milk and optimize your retirement plans.


When you start working, you will start contributing to OA, MA and SA. At age 55, an RA account will be created for you. Before you turn 65, you need to decide on your CPF Life options.



What happens to your CPF savings after you pass away?

First thing to know about CPF inheritance is that your will does not cover your CPF savings. You will need to nominate who to get your CPF.


But because CPF doesn't form part of your estate, your CPF savings are protected from creditor claims on any outstanding debts.


What does your CPF nomination cover?

Your CPF nomination covers OA, SA, MA, RA, unused CPF Life premiums and discounted Singtel shares. We'll share more on how your CPF gets distributed with and without nomination in later sections.


What does your CPF nomination NOT cover?

Your CPF nomination does not cover properties bought using your CPF savings, payout from Dependents' Protection Scheme (DPS) and investments made under CPF Investment Scheme.

  • CPF savings used for property

For property held under joint tenancy, your share will pass on to the surviving joint owner(s). For property held as tenants-in-common, your share will form part of your estate and be distributed based on your will or if you don't have a will, based on intestacy law. There is no need to refund the CPF savings used to purchase the property.


Here's more information on distribution under the will and without a will


  • Payouts from DPS

If you were insured under this scheme, CPF will inform the insurer and if a DPS nomination has been made, the insurer will send the claim application details to the assigned nominee(s). If no nomination has been made, the details will be sent to your correspondence address. Your family also can make a claim directly by submitting an application to the insurer.


  • Investments in CPF Investment Scheme

The investments will form part of the estate and be distributed based on will or intestacy law. Administrators or executors of the estate can claim investments and cash balances from the product provider or agent bank.



How Is CPF distributed after I pass away?

With CPF nomination,

  • CPF savings will be distributed to the nominee(s) in the proportion stated;

  • CPF will get in touch with your nominee(s) to facilitate the distribution of your CPF savings;

  • Your CPF savings will be distributed to the nominees in cash;

  • Nominee to decide if discounted Singtel shares should be transferred to nominee's CDP account or sold.


Without nomination,

  • The CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee for distribution according to intestacy law for non-Muslims, or Muslim inheritance laws for Muslims;

More information on Muslim inheritance laws

  • CPF Board will either transfer discounted Singtel shares to deceased's securities account, the estate's securities account or sell the shares as instructed by the executor/administrator.



Some points to note:

  • Marriage revokes your CPF nomination

If you get married, existing CPF nomination will be revoked and you will need to renominate

  • Divorce DOES NOT revoke your CPF nomination

If you get divorced, your existing CPF nomination remains. If you have nominated your ex-spouse, your ex-spouse will still get your CPF savings. So remember to change your nomination if you prefer someone else getting your CPF inheritance after the divorce.

  • What if my CPF nominee die before me?

If there are any deceased nominees (people you choose to inherit your CPF savings), you can either adjust the share allocation to the surviving nominees or include new nominees.


If you do nothing, the deceased nominee’s share will be distributed to the surviving nominees in the same proportion specified in your nomination.

  • What if a nominee pass away before he/she could receive the CPF inheritance?

The CPF inheritance will be paid out as cash and distributed as part of the deceased nominee’s estate.



Why and How to Nominate your CPF?

Nominating your CPF allows you to decide who gets your CPF savings. You can do it online and it's FREE! Nominate your CPF here.

Things to prepare before you nominate your CPF?

  • Decide who you want to nominate and in what proportion

  • Decide who the two witnesses should be and tell them about your intent

The two witnesses will need to confirm that you have made your nomination willingly. Your witnesses cannot be your nominee or an organization.

  • Decide if you want anyone to access your CPF account information after you die

By default, CPF will only tell your nominees how much they will receive. The nominees won't know how much CPF savings you have in total or who else you have nominated to receive your CPF. Not even your kin can ask CPF for your account information and/or nomination decisions unless you give explicit authorization.


If you decide to give your nominees or someone else access, you can do so by completing the section “Instruction to Disclose my CPF Information” in the nomination form. CPF Board will, upon request, disclose your CPF statement of account and nomination details to the authorized person.

  • Get ready the following information

  1. Your Singpass

  2. Your nominees' full name (as per NRIC/FIN), NRIC/FIN number, mailing address, email

  3. Your two witnesses' full name (as per NRIC/FIN), NRIC/FIN number, mailing address, email and/or Singapore registered-mobile number

Once you are ready, head here to nominate!



How to Claim the CPF of a Deceased Family Member?

First, report the demise of a CPF member.


If the deceased was a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, you don’t need to inform CPF Board. CPF board will be notified by the relevant public agency and CPF board will contact the nominees.


If deceased was a foreigner with a CPF account, you need to report the death to CPF Board.

More information here.

 


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Immortalize is a Last Mile Of Life marketplace, helping people find the right providers to do all their life, death, estate and legacy planning and execution all on one platform.


If you find figuring out who, how and actually nominating your CPF, doing your will and lasting power of attorney too much work, outsource the work to Immortalize Prime, your personal last mile of life assistant!





 

FAQ


How is CPF money distributed after death?

With nomination, it will be distributed based on your nomination. Without nomination, it will be distributed based on intestacy laws.


Can I make a will to direct who will inherit my CPF monies?

No. You can only nominate if you want to decide who to receive your CPF monies. Your will does not cover your CPF assets.


Will nominated CPF be distributed in cash or to CPF accounts?

CPF monies will be distributed in cash to the nominees. Discounted Singtel Shares can be sold and transferred in cash or transferred to the nominee's CDP account.


Does my estate need to refund the CPF savings used to buy property after I pass away?

No, there is no need to refund the CPF savings used to purchase the property. The property or sale proceeds will be distributed as part of your estate.


 

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article or site should be construed as providing legal advice or advice of any sort. The information provided are general in nature and may become inaccurate over time. Please consult a professional for advice.


For any issues or queries, please contact j@immortalize.io



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