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30 Mar 2021
Working Singaporean citizens and permanent residents are entitled to CPF contributions from their employers. As a form of social security, these monthly contributions will financially support you when you retire from the workplace. When you pass away, any remaining CPF money will be transferred to those you nominate or to your legally entitled beneficiaries if you did not make a CPF nomination. Similar to life insurance, you should make sure to choose the beneficiaries of your funds after you pass so that your loved ones can receive your CPF savings swiftly and conveniently. Here's a guide to help answer any questions you may have about making a CPF nomination.
The CPF nomination scheme is a way for the Government to quickly allocate your remaining CPF funds to someone after you pass away. The default option is to make a cash nomination, which allows your nominee to receive CPF money in cash (via cheque or GIRO). There are other schemes that you can use as well, depending on your circumstances. Under the CPF nomination, your nominee will be entitled to your CPF savings, unused CPF LIFE premiums, and discounted Singtel shares.
For most people, submitting your CPF nomination online is a convenient and safe option. To file it online, you'll need to sign into my cpf digital services using your Singpass. Once you’ve logged in, you can enter your nominee's NRIC information and the total share of your CPF that you want to distribute to them upon your passing. You'll also need to appoint two witnesses and provide their NRIC and contact information so they can receive an alert to confirm your nomination. However, your witnesses won't be able to see who else was nominated. If your witnesses don't confirm the nomination within 7 days of receiving the text or email notification, it will expire and you will need to resubmit it again. Once both your witnesses confirmed, the nomination information will be processed within 4 working days.
Alternatively, If you prefer to nominate a beneficiary in-person, you will need to make an appointment at one of the five CPF Service Centres. Going in-person is primarily beneficial for those who don't have a witness, as the CPF representative will act as the primary witness to your nomination. If you decide to file your nomination in person, bring a copy of your NRIC/passport and photocopies of your nominee's NRIC/passport. You’ll need to book an appointment online as counter services are available by appointment only.
Besides your spouse or parents, you can name whoever you want to be your CPF nominee. However, you should take note if your nominee is below 18 years old. Should you pass away before your nominee turns 18, the money due to them will be held-in-trust by the Public Trustee’s Office until they turn 18.
You can also nominate your CPF to a non-Singaporean or non-CPF account holder. If you are making a nomination online, you can nominate a total of 8 persons. On the other hand, there is no cap on how many people you can nominate in-person at CPF Service Centres, though you will have to file additional paperwork per nominee.
If you don't make a CPF nomination, your CPF savings will be distributed by the Public Trustee's Office to the legally entitled beneficiaries. This is usually the family and next-of-kin, under the Interstate Succession Act (or Inheritance Certificate for Muslims). That being said, your family member will have to pay a fee (minimum S$15) for the PTO to disburse the money, so it's best to nominate before-hand.
It's important to know that your CPF savings cannot be distributed by your will. This is to protect your savings from any creditor claims on outstanding loans that you may have after your passing, and ensures that your CPF savings are preserved fully for your loved ones.
While mistakes are common, they can easily be avoided. For instance, if you don't check your CPF nominations once in a while you might have outdated information on your account. This can happen if you get married, as that can automatically revoke your CPF nominations. That being said, getting a divorce or having a child will not automatically change your nomination.
If you wish to change your nomination, you can easily do so online by accessing your account via my cpf digital services and finding "View My Nomination Details." By making a CPF nomination, you can ensure that your loved ones will have access to your CPF funds swiftly, leaving them with less to worry about.
This article was first published on ValueChampion.sg.