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Written Answer by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on CPF LIFE payment

Notice Paper No. 520 Of 2017 for the sitting on 06 February 2017
Question No. 382 For Written Answer

MP: Mr. Leon Perera

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) from 2011 to 2015, in what proportion of cases were CPF Life payments not made by the 4th working day of each month; (b) in such cases, on what day of the month was the payment subsequently made, with the breakdown of percentage by days; (c) whether the Ministry will consider requiring that earlier payments be made in the event that the 4th working day of the month falls on the 6th or subsequent calendar day of the month so as to alleviate cash flow difficulties that seniors may face in such cases.

  1. Monthly CPF LIFE payouts are paid directly into members’ bank accounts by Inter-Bank GIRO on the 4th working day of each month, or to the CPF Ordinary Account if they do not have a bank account. 
  2. The earliest that CPF LIFE payments can be made is the 4th working day of the month because (a) CPF Board credits interest on the 1st working day and deducts the monthly payments on the 2nd working day to enable members to earn interest on the full CPF LIFE monies during the preceding month; and (b) the banks require 2 working days to clear and credit the payments into members’ bank accounts.
  3. From 2011 to 2015, 99.98% of CPF LIFE payouts were paid out by the 4th working day. Payouts which could not be disbursed within the 4 working days were exceptional cases which required further verification. For example, for members who are mentally incapacitated, CPFB may need more time to check if there are new court orders issued to ensure that members’ payouts are paid out to a third party who is legally authorised to manage the member’s monies. 
  4. CPF LIFE payments are only made after the 6th calendar day in months where a public holiday and a weekend occur in the first week of the month. From 2012 to 2015, only 133 out of a total of 1.7 million payments were made after the 7th calendar day.