What will happen to your CPF savings when you pass away?

Ever wonder how your CPF savings and financial assets are handled when you pass away and who gets the money?

You can make a CPF Nomination for your CPF savings

By default, your nominee(s), are entitled to your CPF savings will be receiving cash in the form of a cheque or through GIRO.  Currently, an individual can make the following arrangement for their CPF nomination in the event of their demise.

  • Cash Nomination (Your nominee(s) will receive the CPF savings due to them in cash via cheque or GIRO.)
  • Enhanced Nomination Scheme (ENS) Nomination (Your nominee(s) will receive the CPF savings due to them in their CPF accounts.)
  • Special Needs Savings Scheme (SNSS) Nomination (This scheme allows parents to nominate their children with special needs to receive the CPF savings due to them on a monthly basis.)

What is covered under CPF nomination?

  • *CPF savings in your Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement Account
  • Unused CPF LIFE premiums (If any)
  • Discounted SingTel shares (If any)

* CPF savings cannot be included in your Will. They also do not form your estate and are protected from creditor claims on any outstanding debts.

Read about: 5 ways to use with your CPF account (besides paying for property and retirement)

What about my final medical bills?

There may also be medical bills incurred during your final days and if you pass away in a hospital, the last medical bill can be paid using your Medisave savings, before your CPF savings are distributed to your beneficiaries. With an Integrated Shield Plan and Integrated Shield Plan Riders, your medical bills will be covered according to it policy terms.

Read about: Integrated Shield Plans: 4 things you should be aware of

Read about: 5 reasons you should upgrade your MediShield using CPF funds

What about the CPF saving used for my property?

If you have used your CPF savings under the CPF Education Scheme or for the purchase of your home, the savings you have withdrawn and its accrued interest need not be refunded to your CPF account.

What is not covered under CPF nomination?

  • Properties bought using your CPF savings
  • Payouts from Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS)
  • Cash and investments held in the CPF Investment Account under the CPF Investment Scheme-Ordinary Account (CPFIS-OA)
  • Investments held under the CPF Investment Scheme-Special Account (CPFIS-SA)

Read about: Guide to Investing in Unit Trust Funds (CPFIS-OA,  CPFIS-SA approved funds)

The above will form part of your estate and can be assigned accordingly as you have specified in your will. If there is no will, your estate will be assigned by the Intestate Succession Act or Administration of Muslim Law Act.

What happens if no CPF nomination is made?

Having said that, if a nomination is not made, the Intestate Succession Act or Administration of Muslim Law Act will assign your estate (including your CPF) according to Singapore Government law.

Intestate Succession Act (For Non-Muslim)

Refer to Para 5 of the Intestate Succession Act for the actual wording and terms. For those looking for a simplified explanation, we list the full 8 rules in the Intestate Succession Act as below:

  • Rule 1: When there is surviving spouse but no children and parent, the spouse shall be entitled to the whole of the estate
  • Rule 2: When there are surviving spouse and children, the spouse is entitled to half of the estate, the other half will be split evenly among the number of children.
  • Rule 3: When there are only children left behind without surviving spouse or parent, the children shall be entitled to the estate in equal proportions. If the children have passed away as well, the grandchildren can legally represent and claim their parents’ portion of the estate.
  • Rule 4: When there are surviving spouse and surviving parent(s), the spouse and parents(s) are each entitled to half of the estate.
  • Rule 5: When there is only surviving parent(s), each is entitled to half of the estate.
  • Rule 6: When there are only sibling(s) but no surviving spouse, children or parents, the sibling(s) shall be entitled to the estate. The children of the sibling can legally represent their parent to claim their parents’ portion of the estate.
  • Rule 7: When there are only grandparent(s) but no surviving spouse, children, parents or siblings, the grandparent(s) shall be entitled to the estate in equal proportions
  • Rule 8: When there are only aunts and uncles but has no surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings or grandparents, the aunts and uncles shall be entitled to the whole of the estate in equal proportions.

Non-compliance with the above rules will lead to the Government being entitled to the whole estate.

Administration of Muslim Law Act (For Muslim)

  • In the case of any Muslim person domiciled in Singapore dying intestate, the estate and effects shall be distributed according to the Muslim law as modified, where applicable, by Malay custom.

Refer toSection 112 and Section 115 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act

What if you do not like the above arrangement?

Besides your CPF Savings which cannot be included in your will (Refer to the section: What is covered under CPF nomination?), your remaining estate can be distributed according to your intention with a will.

A will takes effect upon your death and can be amended at any point during your lifetime.

This will also potentially reduce any infighting among your close ones in the event of your demise.

Read about: What is estate planning, and do I need it?

The bottom line

Ensure your CPF savings are assigned according to your intention by making a CPF Nomination. As for remaining portions not covered (Refer to the section: What is not covered under CPF nomination?) and other assets, have a will written up to ensure your estate is distributed according to your wish.

Read also: When should you start with retirement planning?

Read also: How can you achieve a million in savings (Realistically)


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