While contributions are made to CPF accounts in order to maintain savings for the future, there are occasions when withdrawals need to be made. Not every circumstance will afford you the opportunity to go in for a 100% withdrawal. Withdrawals, in fact, will depend on the individual circumstances or occasions. Such occasions can be classified as normal withdrawals and withdrawals under special circumstances.
Types of withdrawals
The two broad classifications of normal and withdrawal under special circumstances, can be understood to mean that certain withdrawals will be permitted as a part of one of the many CPF schemes, and these can be considered normal withdrawals. The special circumstances would be those that are not always necessitated by a scheme but by your own personal circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at these withdrawals to understand them better.
- Normal withdrawals: Since the purpose of CPF is to provide for your financial needs, especially home loan payments and post retirement needs, most normal withdrawals come under the purview of various schemes. It should be noted that with the exception of withdrawals at 55 years old, other withdrawals mentioned here won’t mean money coming to you directly. You can instead use the savings to pay for these specific needs. Some examples of such normal withdrawals are:
- Withdrawals for home loan payments: Money that has been put aside in an ordinary account can be used to pay for the instalments for the payment towards private properties or HDB flats.
- Withdrawal for investments: The savings in an ordinary or a special account can also be used to fund investments in schemes approved for such investments by CPF. Such investments can range from fixed deposits to bonds to even gold ETFs.
- CPF withdrawal at 55 Years old: When a member of CPF attains the age of 55 years they are allowed to withdraw their savings in the CPF account provided they have set aside an amount towards the basic retirement sum or the full retirement sum.
- Withdrawals for education: In some cases, parents can use the savings in the CPF account to fund their child’s education as long as it is for a course, in an institution, approved by CPF.
- Withdrawals under special circumstances: The withdrawals under special circumstances refer to those situations where the withdrawal may be permitted in its entirety due to exigent circumstances. Some examples of such circumstances are:
- When a CPF member dies: If a member of CPF pass away the savings in their CPF account will be distributed amongst the next of kin or the nominees. In such a case the entire account will be liquidated.
- On medical grounds: In case you are rendered medically unfit to continue working or are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you will be allowed to withdraw the savings in your CPF account provided you have set aside the basic retirement sum or the full retirement sum.
- On leaving the country: If you are about to leave Singapore or West Malaysia and are sure you will not be back ever again, your CPF savings will be made available to you in full.
- Withdrawals for West Malaysians: If you are a Malaysian citizen and have left Singapore to stay in West Malaysia, and are above the age of 50 years then too will you be able to withdraw the savings in your CPF accounts.
Who can apply for withdrawals?
The savings held in a CPF account are available only to a limited set of people. These people are:
- CPF Members: CPF members will be able to apply for withdrawals should they be in one of the situations mentioned earlier; having reached the age of 55 years, being medically challenged or leaving the country for good.
- Nominee: Since CPF provides nomination facilities, those nominated by the CPF member will be able to apply for withdrawals of CPF savings should the member pass away or on behalf of the member should the member be otherwise unable to do so as a result of a medical condition.
- Next of kin: The next of kin can apply for withdrawals when the CPF member has passed away and not designated a nominee. In such cases the distribution of the CPF savings will be managed according to the relevant intestacy laws.
How much of the CPF can be withdrawn
When it comes to withdrawing money from a CPF account, it should be noted that not all situations allow for a complete withdrawal of the savings. The withdrawals can be either be partial or complete, but only under certain circumstances.
- Partial withdrawal: These are withdrawals that are made under specific schemes like withdrawal after reaching the age of 55 years but still require the member to maintain a certain amount in the CPF account.
- 100% withdrawal: A 100% withdrawal of the CPF savings is only possible under specific circumstances like the death of the member or the member leaving the country without any intentions of returning in the future.
How to apply for withdrawals?
Withdrawal under each scheme will require the member/nominee/next of kin to submit the withdrawal form to the CPF along with any other relevant documents that may be required.
List of CPF withdrawal forms
The following are the list of some of the forms that can be used to withdraw the saving held in a CPF account under various conditions.
|FORM RWD-55||To be used when withdrawing CPF savings after reaching the age of 55 years|
|FORM CPF-D(1)||To be used when the CPF member has passed away|
|FORM CPF-LM||To be used when leaving Singapore and West Malaysia permanently|
|FORM CPF-MC||To be used by Malaysians who live in West Malaysia|
|FORM CPF-MGS/HPS||To be used when withdrawing CPF on medical grounds or making withdrawals under the Home Protection Scheme|
If you are planning on making withdrawals from your CPF account, ensure that you are sure of the conditions that govern any such withdrawals and also ensure that the intention to withdraw does not cause any damage to your future finances. Now that you know about withdrawals of CPF you should also consider looking into the exact procedure that needs to be followed in order to make these withdrawals.