CPF savings are your hard-earned money. There is no reason why you should stand to lose them for any reason. But what would happen if I die a sudden death, you ask? The CPF in Singapore allows you to nominate an heir – your spouse, parents, children, siblings – to receive your CPF monies in such a situation. You can not only nominate 1 or more persons, but also indicate how the amount should be split among each of them.
If you do not nominate anyone to receive your CPF savings, after your demise, the money will be transferred to the Public Trustee’s Office (PTO) and distributed among your family members as per the Intestate Succession Act or the Inheritance Certificate (for Muslims). The recipients will have to pay an administrative fee for this action.
Deciding A CPF Nomination:
Any member with a CPF account can nominate 1 or more persons to inherit their savings. The minimum age for making a nomination is 16 years, which is also the minimum age to be employed and get wages in Singapore.
If you nominate just 1 person, the entire CPF money will be bequeathed to that person. But if you nominate more than 1 persons, you can decide how the amount is distributed among them. For example, if you nominated 3 persons, they can receive 33%-33%-34% of the amount, or 30%-30%-40%, or 20%-40%-40%, or 15%-60%-25% and so on. The nomination can be reviewed periodically or changed when required, in case of circumstances such as marriage, divorce, child birth, death of nominee, etc. There is no limit on the number of times you can nominate a person or change your nominations.
So before making the nomination, you need to decide not just your nominee/s but also the percentage allocation of your total savings. You also need to provide the NRIC/Passport number, mailing address and email address of the nominee to the CPF.
Criteria for Choosing Nominee:
Anybody can be chosen as your nominee, but the following conditions apply:
- If the nominee is less than 18 years old at the time of your demise, then the Public Trustee’s Office will hold your CPF savings until the child turns 18.
- If you are nominating someone who doesn’t live in Singapore, the Board needs to be provided with the nominee’s full name, identity card/passport/social security number and address. In case of no identification documents, the date of birth needs to be mentioned. This is to ensure that the Board will be able to contact the nominee upon your death.
- If the nominee is an organisation or religious body, it should be capable of receiving money in its own right. For this, it has to be lawfully recognised as an entity, not dependent upon any of its members for receiving money, owning property or going to court. For example, nominees can be societies registered under the Societies Act (Cap. 311), companies registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50) and limited liability partnerships (LLP) registered under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act (Cap. 163A). You can also nominate a Trust Company but not a trust fund.
Types Of CPF Nominations:
When making your nominations, you can also choose the method by which you want your nominees to receive the payouts, based on their needs and convenience. The methods available are:
- Cash Nomination, where your nominee/s will be given the inheritance in cash as cheque or GIRO transfer.
- Enhanced Nomination Scheme (ENS) nomination, where the nominee/s will get the amount transferred to their CPF accounts. There are 2 ways to make this transfer – you can either choose the nominee’s Special Account and Retirement Account as priority, or their Medisave Account.
- In the first case, the amount will first be transferred to the Special and Retirement Accounts up to the limit of their Full Retirement Sum or Enhanced Retirement Sum, and the rest of the amount to the Medisave Account, up to the Basic Healthcare Sum limit.
- In the second case, the amount will be transferred to the Medisave Account first, up to the Basic Healthcare Sum limit, and the rest to Special and Retirement Accounts, up to their Full Retirement Sum or Enhanced Retirement Sum ceiling.In both the cases, the balance after filling all these accounts, if any, will be given to the nominee in cash. No credits are made to the Ordinary Account because the primary aim of nomination is to provide for the nominees’ medical and retirement needs. Your SingTel shares will also pass on to your ENS nominee, and the nominee can choose whether to transfer the shares to their CDP account or ask the CPF Board to sell the shares and deposit the money received from the sale to their CPF accounts. With a new ENS nomination, all previous nominations – in any format – except the Minimum Sum Scheme nomination will be revoked. If you want to cancel any ENS nomination, you can either make a new nomination or submit a Notice of Revocation of Nominations to the CPF Board.
- Special Needs Savings Scheme (SNSS) nomination, where parents can nominate their children with special needs and the beneficiaries will get the money in regular instalments every month. For nominating through SNSS, the person needs to be either a parent or guardian of the child, and should be either a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident. The nominee should be in a condition to need assistance in at least one Activity of Daily Living - washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, mobility and transferring – or should be attending or had attended a Special Education school. The application needs to be done through Special Needs Trust Co. (SNTC) The application can be downloaded from the SNTC website, filled up and sent to the Trust via snail mail, email or fax. The application must also contain the following documents:
- NRIC copy (front and back)
- Nominee’s NRIC and birth certificate
- School Certification Letter, Doctor’s Assessment Report or Functional Assessment Report
- You are free to choose different nomination methods for each of your nominees.
What Does CPF Nomination Cover?
The following components of CPF are covered under the CPF Nomination Scheme:
- The savings in Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts
- Unused CPF LIFE premiums
- Discounted SingTel shares
If you include CPF savings in your Will instead of appointing a nominee, it will not be considered as valid. CPF savings are not included in your estate, and creditors cannot claim any part of it to pay outstanding debts.
However, the components given below cannot be claimed under the CPF Nomination Scheme:
- Properties bought using your CPF savings
- Payouts from Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS)
- Cash and investments held under the CPF Investment Scheme-Ordinary Account (CPFIS-OA)
- Investments held under the CPF Investment Scheme-Special Account (CPFIS-SA)
All these will become part of your estate and will be distributed as per your Will or as per the relevant inheritance laws. If 2 people have nominated each other for their CPF savings – for example, husband and wife – and both of them pass away at the same time, then the older person among the 2 is considered to have died first. So the CPF monies of the elder person are passed on to the younger nominee’s estate and to the Public Trustee. Following this, the CPF inheritance of both the deceased persons is distributed among family members according to law. In case there is an additional nominee in either of your nomination lists, the fund will be divided as per the law and disbursed.
How To Make A Nomination:
Making a nomination for your CPF account is quite easy, and you can choose 1 of the 2 options available, as per your convenience.
- Visit the CPF office: You can visit any of the CPF service centres after booking an appointment through the CPF Appointment Service available on the website. At the office, the Customer Service Executives will help you fill out the CPF Nomination Form and sign as your witnesses.
- Snail mail: If you cannot visit the CPF centres, you can send it to the office via snail mail. To do this, first download the CPF Nomination Form from the website and fill it. Then sign the form in front of 2 witnesses. You can mail the nomination form to the CPF Office at the address given below:
Nomination Section (NOM)
238B Thomson Road,
#08-00 Tower B,
Singapore – 307685
Along with the Nomination Form, you also need to submit the NRIC/Passport copies of yourself and both witnesses. The nomination request will be processed by the CPF as per the following timeline:
|Particulars||Manual Transaction||Online Transaction|
|Request to view nomination details online||NA||4 working days|
|Making a nomination||4 working days upon receipt||NA|
|Request to revoke existing nomination(s)||4 working days upon receipt||NA|
You can revoke an existing nomination without adding a new nominee by submitting Form 3B (available on the CPF website) to the organisation.
If you are outside Singapore or are a foreign resident at the time of making a nomination, the nomination form needs to be signed by at least 1 Singaporean witness. It could also be a Singapore Permanent Resident, Notary Public or an Official from the Singapore High Commission or Embassy.
Nomination For Members Who Lack Mental Capacity:
If a person is certified as lacking mental capacity under the Mental Capacity Act, 2008, then all decisions regarding their nominations is taken by the court. If the person has appointed a nominee before losing their mental capacity, then that nomination will hold unless the nominee dies before the member. If the member outlives the nominee/s, then the CPF savings will go to the Public Trustee and be distributed among family members as per intestacy and Muslim inheritance laws, as applicable.
The CPF member or the Court may appoint a donee/deputy to function in lieu of the person certified under Section 4 of the Act. However, this donee/deputy may hold a Lasting Power of Attorney to do everything instead of the member and yet have to depend on the Court for major decisions. The donee cannot appoint a new nominee for the member, or revoke an existing nomination – only a Court can sanction this. The donee/deputy may approach the Court with a request for such decisions.
If a nomination is found to have been made when a member is lacking mental capacity as per the Act, the CPF Board will invalidate the nomination. The case can be taken to Court or settled as per the Public Trustee’s proceedings.
Checking Your Nomination Details:
You can check your nomination details any time online, or at one of the CPF service centres. Phone, email or third party requests will not be entertained.
- To check online, log in to your CPF account using your SingPass id and submit a request to view the information through ‘My Requests > Nomination Details’. You will received the link to view your requested information via email, and the information will also be available in your profile under ‘My Activities’. Wait for at least 4 working days before checking.
- To check in person, you can go to a CPF Service Centre with your NRIC identification proof.
If you have a new CPF account, the nomination details from your old account automatically gets updated to the new account; so you do not need to make a fresh nomination request. However, you are free to make changes if you want your nomination re-done. It is very important to make the right nominations as you would wish your savings to go to people you love.