Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies, monies nonetheless

When one thinks of one’s assets – one’s CPF savings are quite often overlooked. No doubt this may be partially because one’s CPF savings, like money in a piggy bank, are not the lowest hanging fruit on a tree. It should however be remembered when one is writing one’s will, as the bequest of all your assets in a will, unfortunately, does not include one’s CPF savings.

If you want your CPF savings to be distributed according to your wishes, you should make a CPF nomination by way of the form provided in the CPF website. You may specify who is to receive your CPF savings, and in what proportion each nominee should receive, upon your demise. Such distributions may be made in cash via cheque or GIRO, in their CPF accounts, or by monthly payments (if made to children with special needs).

We should mention however that the CPF board does not permit nominations to be made by category (e.g. to “all my children in equal proportions”). Therefore, you must also remember to update the CPF nomination where there are changes in circumstances (e.g. marriage, child birth, or death).

If no nomination is made, your CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee’s Office on your demise, for distribution to your family members under the Intestate Succession Act (Cap 146) (the “Act”) if you are not Muslim, or under the Inheritance Certificate if you are Muslim. For example, under the Act, if an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse and issue, the spouse shall be entitled to one-half of the estate. We should also mention that a fee will be charged for such distribution.

While you may agonise over how your CPF savings may only be used in certain circumstances, remembering that you have assets in the form of CPF savings (and making the due nominations) will allow you to provide more for your loved ones in the event of your demise, in the way you wish.