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Central Provident Fund

Key Information at a Glance

Ordinary Account: 2.5% (as of 1 Jul 2014)
Special Account: 4% (as of 1 Jul 2014)
Medisave Account: 4% (as of 1 Jul 2014)
Retirement Account: 4% (as of 1 Jan 2014)
Minimum Sum: $155,000 (from 1 Jul 2014)
Medisave Minimum Sum: $43,500 (from 1 Jul 2014)

For other information, such as employer and employee contribution rates, visit the CPF website.

Singapore’s social safety net comprises the following four pillars:

  1. Central Provident Fund: The Central Provident Fund (CPF) enables working Singaporeans to set aside funds for retirement
  2. Home ownership: Public housing helps Singaporeans own long-term assets that can be monetised upon retirement;
  3. Healthcare subsidies and the “3Ms”: The Medisave, MediShield and Medifund schemes provide a sustainable healthcare system for all Singaporeans.
  4. Workfare: The Workfare Income Supplement scheme and the Workfare Training Support scheme encourages older, low-wage workers to continue working, while helping to meet their retirement and medical needs.

Functions of the CPF

The Central Provident Fund is a mandatory social security savings scheme funded by contributions from employers and employees. The Government helps to supplement the savings of lower wage workers through schemes such as Workfare and top-ups to Medisave to senior citizens. The CPF is a key part of Singapore's social security system, and serves to meet our retirement, housing and healthcare needs.

Retirement

Working Singaporeans and their employers make monthly contributions to the CPF. These contributions go into three accounts:

  • Ordinary Account - primarily for retirement and housing needs
  • Special Account - primarily for retirement needs
  • Medisave Account - primarily for healthcare needs

At age 55, members may withdraw their CPF savings after setting aside the CPF Minimum Sum. The CPF Minimum Sum provides for basic needs in retirement. 

Members will receive monthly payouts from the CPF drawdown age. The drawdown age is currently 63, and is set to increase to 64 in 2015 and 65 in 2018 to keep pace with rising life expectancies.

Members turning age 55 in 2013 or later with at least $40,000 in their Retirement Account will be automatically included in CPF LIFE, The CPF LIFE is a national annuity scheme that allows members to receive a monthly income for life, starting from his drawdown age. Members from these cohorts who did not have $40,000 but who at their drawdown age have $60,000 in their Retirement Account will also be auto-included. Members with lower balances may opt into CPF LIFE up till age 80.

Healthcare

Monthly contributions to the Medisave Account help build up savings for healthcare needs. Medisave may be used to cover hospitalisation expenses for both members and their dependants. It may also be used for specific outpatient treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Medisave savings can be used to pay for premiums for MediShield, or Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plans. MediShield is a basic medical insurance scheme which helps its members with large hospitalisation costs at Class B2 or C wards. Members can also pay for ElderShield premiums with Medisave. ElderShield is a severe disability insurance scheme that provides insurance coverage to older CPF members who require long-term care.

The Medisave Minimum Sum is the amount you need to retain in your Medisave Account before any excess Medisave savings can be withdrawn at or after the age of 55, after meeting your CPF Minimum Sum.

Home Ownership

CPF is integrated with home ownership. Ordinary Account savings can be used to purchase a home under CPF housing schemes. A HDB flat may be purchased under the Public Housing Scheme, or a private property under the Residential Properties Scheme. CPF savings may be used for full or partial payment of the property, as well as to service the monthly housing payments.

Family Protection

The Dependants' Protection Scheme helps families to tide over the first few years in the event of an insured member's permanent incapacity or death.

The Home Protection Scheme prevents homes from being lost. This scheme is applicable to all CPF members who use their CPF savings to buy an HDB flat. Should the insured member become permanently incapacitated or die, the CPF Board will pay the outstanding housing loan based on the amount insured.

MediShield is a catastrophic medical insurance scheme to help one and their dependants to meet the high medical costs of prolonged or serious illnesses. Older CPF members can make use of ElderShield, an affordable severe disability insurance scheme that provides insurance coverage to those who require long-term care.

Asset Enhancement

CPF members may invest their Ordinary Account balance under the CPF Investment Scheme - Ordinary Account (CPFIS-OA), and their Special Account balance under the CPF Investment Scheme - Special Account (CPFIS-SA). Assets that can be invested in include Insurance, Unit Trusts, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Fixed Deposits, Bonds and Treasury Bills, Shares, Property Fund and Gold. Only monies in excess of $20,000 in the Ordinary Account and $40,000 in the Special Account can be invested.

Last updated on 30 September 2014 10:25:30