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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to PQ on appeals by Singaporean Adult Children to waive CPF repayment when they withdraw their names from flats co-owned with parents

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1919 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 6 JANUARY 2020
QUESTION NO. 3321 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

MP: Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) over the last five years, how many appeals have been made each year by Singaporean adult children to waive the CPF repayment by their parents when they withdraw their names from the flat co-owned with their parents; (b) how many of these appeals have been rejected; and (c) whether CPF Board will consider reviewing this policy to allow flexibility for the Singaporean adult children to exercise options that allow waiver of full lump sum repayment by their parents.

Answer

  1.  To ensure members’ retirement adequacy is not compromised, CPF savings used for the flat, including the interest that would have been accrued had the monies not been withdrawn, should be refunded to their CPF accounts upon the sale of the flat. This applies when a CPF member who co-owns a flat with his parent withdraws his name from the flat, as the transaction is akin to a sale.
  2. We recognise that many members initiate such ownership transfers as they are planning to purchase a matrimonial HDB flat. For such cases, allowance is given for the member to transfer ownership and make the required CPF refund six months after he has taken possession of his new flat. This transition period could stretch to a few years if the member is buying a Build-To-Order flat. Similar to flat purchases, the refund can be made using the parents’ CPF savings, or by taking up a HDB or bank loan if eligible. The monies refunded to the member’s account can also be used to pay for the new matrimonial flat.
  3. Over the last five years, CPF Board has received around 200 appeals annually on average to waive the CPF refunds, upon transfer of flat ownership. For members who are unable to make the CPF refund in time, CPF Board and HDB will work with them to explore their options, which will depend on the specific circumstances of their family. For example, they may have a sibling who can take over their share of the co-owned flat, or their parents may wish to right-size to a smaller flat that is within their budget.