While CPF savings are not meant to be used in case of every emergency, there are certain conditions where the use of CPF for finances can be permitted. One such situation could be when you need the money due to concerns related to your health. There are specific conditions under which such withdrawals will be permitted. These conditions can range from a terminal illness to the lack of mental health which precludes you from being able to handle finances on your own. What follows is the information that you will need to be able to withdraw your CPF in such circumstances.
Conditions for the withdrawal of CPF
There are 4 conditions under which withdrawals from CPF on medical grounds will be considered. These conditions are:
- Inability to work: If you have a medical condition that will leave you without the capacity to work, now or in the future, you can withdraw your CPF on medical grounds.
- Terminal Illness: Should you be diagnosed with a terminal illness
- Mental illness: Should you be suffering from a mental illness which is likely to be permanent and is in accordance with Section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act then too you will be eligible for a withdrawal of CPF savings.
- Reduced lifespans: Should you have a condition that leaves you with a lifespan that is significantly shortened, you will be allowed to apply for a withdrawal of CPF savings.
How much can be withdrawn?
While being medically incapacitated will make you eligible to withdraw your CPF, not all conditions will entitle you to a withdrawal of the entire sum held in all CPF accounts. What you will be allowed to withdraw will be:
- A sum which is the higher of up to S$ 5,000 and the savings that remain after setting aside a reduced retirement sum. This is applicable to inability to work, mental illness and reduced lifespans.
- The entire CPF savings will be made available for withdrawal should you be diagnose with a terminal illness. However, the amount you can withdraw will be limited to the amount in your Ordinary, Special and Retirement accounts.
What you get
The amounts mentioned above are not the only thing that you will get from such a withdrawal. Apart from the savings in your CPF account, you will also get a monthly payment of a minimum of S$ 450. This payment will be made to you from your retirement account and will continue to be paid till such time as the amount in the retirement account is completely depleted.
Process of withdrawing CPF
There are two ways in which you can apply for these withdrawals, one is the online method and the other the offline method. In short you will need 2 documents, the application form and the Medical Certification, both of which are available on the CPF website. You can get the Medical Certification completed by your doctor.
To initiate the process of withdrawing the CPF savings, here is what you need to be doing.
- Apply for CPF withdrawals online: to apply for CPF withdrawals on medical grounds, online, these are the steps you need to follow:
- Log into your CPF account using SingPass.
- Go to My Requests and submit the application form.
- Mail the Medical Certification to the following address:
Retirement Schemes Department (RSD)
238B Thomson Road
#08-00 Tower B Novena Square
- Apply for CPF withdrawals offline: Should you find yourself unable to use the online application system, you can also use the offline method to initiate the process. This can be done by:
- Filling up the application form using FORM CPF-MGS/HPS. The 5th section of the form is the Medical Certification that has to be completed by your doctor.
- Mail the form to the address mentioned above.
Withdrawing CPF for the mentally challenged
In case a CPF member is deemed not to have the mental acuity as per Section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act then their next of kin will be able to act on their behalf and request for a withdrawal of CPF savings. There are two ways in which they can do this.
- Be appointed the deputy: This is the option that can be chosen if a Lasting Power of Attorney was not taken out by the CPF member. What the next of kin can do is to request a court to declare them a deputy under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). Once that is done, they can send the application form along with the court order and a medical report to the CPF to initiate the process.
- Enact a Lasting Power of Attorney: This is something that can only be done before the CPF member loses their mental capacities. If a CPF member has taken out a Lasting Power of Attorney then the person named as the donee by the power of attorney can apply for a CPF withdrawal. They will have to send the power of attorney along with a medical report to the CPF office to initiate the process.
When will the payments be made?
While any lump sum payments will be made at the earliest possible, the regular monthly payments from the retirement accounts will be made on two specific days depending on the mode of payment chosen.
- Payments via Interbank GIRO: If Interbank GIRO is the chosen method of payments then the payments will be received by the 4th working day of each month.
- Payments via cheques: If your payments are to come to you via cheques, then you will receive them by the 8th working day of the month.
It should be noted that all these payments are subject to the approval of your application for which purpose CPF may even request your doctors for medical reports or have a panel of doctors appointed by the CPF Board, examine the application.
While this is one of the grounds on which you can request withdrawals of CPF savings, such withdrawals can also be requested on grounds of leaving Singapore & West Malaysia or on the grounds that the CPF member has passed away.