Central Provident Fund
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Hello! If you are here to find out everything there is about CPF then you have come to the right place. With effect from 1 January 2022, the CPF Contribution Rate for employees aged above 55 to 70 have been increased to strengthen their retirement adequacy. Every question you have about Central Provident Fund (CPF) will be answered here! It is quite a long read so sit tight as this is the only guide you need.
CPF stands for Central Provident Fund and it is basically a system that helps you to save funds for your future and retirement needs so it helps cover basic living expenses. Those who are eligible and entitled to CPF are Singaporeans and Permanent Residents only. Unfortunately, Foreigners will not be able to get CPF.
The most important role for CPF is to help set you up for when you retire! It can help you to fulfil these 3 most important needs. Your home, your health and your income. However, CPF is not the only thing you should be relying on for your retirement, the average monthly payout for a Singaporean using CPF LIFE is around $700 - $750.My advice would be to ensure that you have your own savings outside of CPF! CPF payouts will be able to help you provide the most basic of needs but it definitely is not enough if you wish to have a higher standard of living.
There are 4 main types of accounts namely the Ordinary Account, Special Account, Medisave Account and lastly the Retirement Account. You start out with just the first 3 accounts while your Retirement Account is only created after you turn 55.
Ordinary account: For housing, insurance, investment
Special account: For investment in old age and pension related financial products.
MediSave account: For hospital costs and certified health insurance companies.
To find out more about the different types of accounts and their rates click here at Types of Accounts.There are more ways to get money into your CPF account besides contributions from your salary. The fact is that the money in your account grows with compound interest! Some ways that money is put into your account is via the Workfare Supplement Scheme (WIS), CPF investments and voluntary housing refund that will be enhanced to supplement the incomes and CPF savings of lower wage workers. The scheme will be extended to younger workers aged 30 to 34.
Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Residents
Earns more than $50 monthly wages
Is engaged under a contract of service.
For more details on CPF Contribution Rates click here at CPF Contribution Rates.
Congratulations on getting that job! If it is your first time working you probably have some questions and even if you don’t here is some useful information you will need to take note of now and in the future.
Ah this question, if you are interning or part timing for the first time you would probably be thinking about this question. The answer is yes! While there are a few exceptions for some cases, interns and part time employees are entitled to CPF. If you do not want to contribute to your CPF while doing either an intern or part time job, just tell your boss before the contract is sent and it will be amended.
Click here at CPF Contribution Rate for Interns to find out more.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, teenagers between the age group of 13 - 15 years old can be employed as long as they work in a non-industrial setting with light duties only. So if you really want to, you can start contributing to your CPF as early as 13 year and onwards ! Also, if you were thinking of working as a cashier in Mcdonald’s… you can.
Find out more on minimum working age in Singapore.
Did you know that there isn’t a specific age when you will get a CPF account? That’s right! Your CPF account is only created when you make your first contribution or your first top up. In addition to that you do not even have to set up the account yourself because the account will automatically be created for you when your contribution is received.
As an employee, as long as you are Singaporean or a Permanent Resident and you are working under a contract of service, you are required to pay CPF contributions but there are some details to take note of, which this post will get into later.
On the employer’s side of things, as long as you are earning more than $50 a month, your employer is obligated to pay the employer’s CPF contribution.
As we all know, the Central Provident Fund is an important social security savings plan and as mentioned previously, saving for the future is important! Even more so given the fact that the cost of living is only going to go up. Moreover, based on the CPF Act, it is considered an offense if the employer’s and employee’s share of CPF contribution is not paid. Deferment of CPF contributions is also not allowed, meaning if you do not want to contribute to your CPF in order to get a higher pay, you won’t be able to do so.
Firstly, earning more than $50 per month already entitles you to employer’s CPF contributions. Secondly, earning more than $750 per month would require you as an employee to contribute your share of employee’s contributions. Now the question you probably have now would be, “ What if I am earning more than $50 but less than $750 per month?”.
Employers should be contributing 17% of your wage to your CPF! The amount of CPF you and your employer contributes is dependent on your age. However, it does range from 12.5% to 37% of your monthly salary. If you are 55 and below, the percentage of salary you contribute is 20% and as you age, the percentage will decrease.
Your CPF funds can be used to buy your house, pay for insurance, pay tuition fees, investments and of course pay for your retirement. You can use funds from the Ordinary Account to help pay for your HDB or private property in Singapore. Be sure to use a mix of OA funds and cash as your OA funds are meant for your retirement.Now let’s go into a little bit more detail about how your CPF can be used to buy a HDB flat under the HDB Housing Scheme. You can use your Ordinary Account savings to help you pay for Direct Payment of the purchase price of your house, Repayment of Housing Loan, payment of related costs such as Stamp Duty/ Legal Fees and lastly payment of upgrading costs under the HDB Main Upgrading Programme (MUP) and or the Town Council Lift Upgrading Programme (TCLUP). The amount of CPF you can use to purchase or pay for the loan of your flat in Singapore depends on a multitude of factors such as whether your flat is directly from HDB or a resale, if it is a HDB flat or a DBSS Flat (Design, Build, Sell Scheme) and lastly if you took a HDB loan or Bank loan.
For more details on how much CPF you can use click here at CPF for Housing.
You can pay for your child’s tuition fees under the CPF Education Loan Scheme and up to 40% of your OA Savings can be used.
Other schemes such as the Post-Secondary Education Amount (PSEA) or the MOE Tuition Fee Loan (TFL) can also be applied for. You can check for your eligibility here.
So what exactly does this mean? Topping-up your CPF Account means that you would be using your savings in your bank account to add on to your current savings in your CPF. People would do this as our CPF accounts earn attractive interest as compared to most bank savings plans, which on average earns about 1.23% pa. While for CPF, you can earn up to 5% or 6% pa. In addition, top-ups can help to increase your CPF savings for your retirement, housing and healthcare needs.
One thing to take note before deciding to top-up your CPF Accounts is that top-ups are irreversible! So if you go crying for your money back…it won’t happen.
Now moving on to how you can top-up, the 2 ways are via e-payment modes on the CPF website or via GIRO on either DBS or OCBC’s ibanking portal.
To find out more information on how to top-up your CPF account click here How to top up CPF.
The CPF Investment Scheme allows you to use your funds in your OA and SA to invest in instruments such as insurance products, unit trusts, fixed deposits, bonds or shares.
The current interest rate for savings in your OA is 2.5% while in your SA it is 4%. The interest rate in your SA is much higher. The only problem is, while money from your OA can be transferred to your SA, it doesn’t work the other way around. Therefore, the money that you want to use for housing or education can no longer be used once transferred.
This is what makes CPFIS attractive as it allows you to potentially earn at a higher interest rate without having your money restricted.
There are criteria to be fulfilled such as, you have to be at least 18, not an undischarged bankrupt, have more than $20000 in your OA and/ or more than $40000 in your SA and must have completed the CPFIS Self-Awareness Questionnaire
There are 3 different sums for CPF members under the Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) when they turn 55. Firstly is the Basic Retirement Sum which is $96,000, the Full Retirement Sum which is $192,000 and the Enhanced Retirement Sum which is $288,000.
Just a heads up, relying on CPF payouts alone will probably not be enough, especially with how the standard of living in Singapore is so high. The amount of payouts you will most likely get from your BRS is between $770 - $830 per month after you turn 65. While, for the FRS it will be between $1,430 - $1,530 per month and finally for the ERS it will be between $2,080 - $2,230 per month. Your CPF money can only be withdrawn after you turn 55.To find out more on how much you can withdraw, click here at When to withdraw my CPF.
CPF LIFE stands for CPF Lifelong Income For the Elderly, which is a CPF annuity scheme for retiring or retired Singaporeans / Permanent Residents. There are 3 plans available. The Basic Plan, Standard Plan and Escalating Plan.
For more details on each plan and how much you need. Click here at CPF LIFE Standard Plans.
You can get monthly payouts after you retire either through the CPF LIFE Scheme or the Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS). The only difference is that CPF LIFECPF LIFE will provide you with monthly payouts for life while for RSS you will receive monthly payouts until your savings are depleted.
Your CPF money will be distributed amongst your various CPF nominees after you pass away. Funds from your OA, SA, MA and RA, unused annuity premiums and discounted singtel shares will be distributed to your nominees. Which leads to the next point, what is CPF nomination?
CPF Nomination CPF Nomination is an application to appoint a person or multiple persons to receive your CPF contributions after your death.
Applying for a CPF nomination CPF Nomination in Singapore is really important! This is because a nomination ensures that your CPF contributions are allocated to the appointed people without any cost. Without a CPF Nomination, your CPF contributions could be distributed to people who you do not want.
If you are an employer, you are obligated to pay your Singaporean / Permanent Resident employees their CPF contributions if they are earning more than $50/ month. You would also need to pay both the employees’ and employers’ share of CPF contributions to the board.
There are 3 different ways that you can make your CPF contribution to your employees.
This is the simplest way which is via Direct Debit. The money will be automatically deducted after you have confirmed and submitted your CPF contributions
This method will be using the e-payment mode, Paynow, to transfer your CPF contributions to your employees.
Finally, you can make your CPF contribution payment via eNETS from your personal bank account.
Similar to the CPF contribution rate for employees, the rates will mainly depend on the age of the employee. For those 55 and below, the rate will be at 17% and decrease as they age. Employers will have to pay their employees their CPF contributions on the last day of each month.
Actions will be taken against the employer if they are not able to pay by the 14th of the next month. Employers will also be charged a late payment interest of 1.5% per month starting from the due date.
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