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10 Things You Need To Know About Your CPF

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Confused what CPF can cover? Let us help you by breaking down the key benefits that you should know about your CPF.

CPF can be a confusing system for some. How can I utilise it for my retirement? What medical coverages and benefits do i have?

Let us help you break down some of the key benefits.

1) Withdrawals of CPF savings

When you turn 55 years old, your Special and/or Ordinary Accounts savings will be transferred to your Retirement Account to form your retirement sum.

After you had set aside either the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) or Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) with sufficient property charge/pledge, you can decide whether to withdraw the remaining balances or to continue to earn interest with CPF. If you do not withdraw at 55 years old, you can choose to make a full/partial withdrawal anytime later when you need the monies. Even if you are unable to set aside your FRS or BRS with sufficient property charge/pledge, you can withdraw up to $5,000 of your Ordinary and Special Account savings.

If you are born in 1958 or after, you can also consider to withdraw a lump sum of up to 20% of the savings in your Retirement Account ((inclusive of the first $5,000 that can be withdrawn at 55) from your payout eligibility age (which is currently at age 65).

Source - Withdrawals of CPF savings from 55


From January 2016, you can decide from 3 levels of retirement sum to join CPF LIFE (which provides you a monthly retirement income for as long as you live), namely Basic Retirement Sum (currently $83,000); Full Retirement Sum (currently $166,000) and Enhanced Retirement Sum (currently $249,000).

There are two CPF LIFE Plans for you to choose from – the LIFE Standard Plan and the LIFE Basic Plan. The Standard Plan has higher monthly payouts while the Basic Plan has higher bequests to beneficiaries after your death.

# Updated as of 7 December 2020

There’s three types CPF life plans - standard, escalating and basic. Please refer to:

3) Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS)

DPS is an opt-out term insurance scheme which covers you for a maximum sum assured of $46,000 up to 60 years old. The DPS benefit will be paid out to you and your families should you pass away or suffer from Terminal Illness or Total Permanent Disability. Currently, DPS is administered by two insurers, Great Easter​n Life and NTUC ​Income.

Source - Dependants' Protection Scheme (DPS):

4) MediShield Life

MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. The coverage is sized for subsidised treatment in public hospitals Class B2/C wards.

Source - MediShield Life:

5) ElderShield

ElderShield is a severe disability insurance scheme which provides a monthly cash payout, to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses up to a maximum period of 72 months, to those who need long-term care. You will automatically be enrolled in ElderShield at the age of 40 and no registration or medical assessment is needed.

Source - ElderShield:

6) Public Housing Scheme (PHS) and Private Properties Scheme (PPS)

You can use your Ordinary Account (OA) savings to buy an HDB flat (new or resale); buy or build a private residential property for occupation or investment. It can be used to:

finance all or part of the purchase price;

service monthly housing loan instalments; and

pay the stamp duty, legal fees and other related costs.

Source - Housing Scheme:

7) Home Protection Scheme (HPS)

The HPS is a mortgage-reducing insurance that protects you and your family against losing your HDB flat in the event of death, terminal illness or total permanent disability. HPS insures you up to age 65 or until the housing loans are paid up, whichever is earlier.​ You have to be insured under HPS if you are using your CPF savings to pay your monthly housing loan instalments on your HDB flat.

Source - Home Protection Scheme:

8) CPF Investment Schemes (CPFIS)

CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) enables you to invest your Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) savings to enhance your retirement nest egg. You can invest under CPFIS, if you:

Are at least 18 years old;

Are not an undischarged bankrupt;

Have more than $20,000 in your OA; and/or

Have more than $40,000 in your SA.

Source - Investment Scheme:

9) CPF Nomination Scheme

A CPF nomination allows you to specify who will receive your CPF savings, and how much each nominee should receive, upon your death without incurring an administration fee for the distribution of your CPF savings. You can choose to do:

Cash Nomination: Your nominee(s) will receive in cash via cheque or GIRO.

Enhanced Nomination Scheme (ENS) Nomination: Your nominee(s) will receive 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.

Source - Nomination Scheme:

10) CPF Education Scheme

The CPF Education Scheme is a loan scheme which allows you to use your Ordinary Account (OA) savings to pay for your own, children’s or spouse’s subsidised tuition fees. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Only full-time subsidised diploma​​/degree courses at Approved Educational Institutions (AEIs) are covered under this scheme.

Source - Education Scheme:


# Updated as of 7 December 2020

If you are a Singaporean Citizen or permanent resident born in 1980 or later, you will be automatically covered by CareShield Life on 1 October 2020 or when you turn 30, even if you have preexisting conditions or severely disabled. Please refer to:

Article Written By:

Firdaus Anuar

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