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     Government: Central Provident Fund (CPF)

     Economic Restructuring Shares (ERS) - Extension

     New Singapore Shares

     CPF contributions - Who must pay? 

     Past CPF contribution rates

     CPF Services - Milestones

     The CPF Web site is at www.cpf.gov.sg. 

 

     NEWS SNIPPETS

     2007

 

 

Gearing up Singapore for its 2020 healthcare needs

"MediShield coverage among active workers is not bad, at 90%. But 390,000 Singaporeans below 20 years of age are not insured. The premium at their age is inexpensive, only $30 per year.
"And young parents can use their Baby Bonus to pay the premium. So cost is not the issue...
"We will introduce an opt-out scheme for infants to be automatically covered under MediShield from the time their births are registered.
"Premiums can be deducted from their fathers' Medisave or alternatively their mothers'. Parents who do not want such coverage can opt out any time by informing the CPF Board. We will get this done later this year..."

More.....

 

HDB further relaxes policy on subletting of whole flats

"With immediate effect, HDB will be relaxing its policy on the subletting of whole flats through a further reduction of the MOP and delinking it from the lessees’ HDB loan status. The revised MOP is:
"5 years for owners of subsidised flats, i.e. flats purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF Housing Grant; and

3 years for owners of non-subsidised flats, i.e. flats purchased from the open market without a CPF Housing Grant..."

More.....

 

Liberalisation of Medisave

As part of the review of Medisave, the Ministry of Health will be increasing the withdrawal limits in the following four areas:
  1. The inpatient per diem limit will be increased from $400 to $450;
  2. The day surgery limit will be increased from $200 to $300;
  3. The annual limit for psychiatric bills will be increased from $3,500 to $5,000;
  4. Medisave will be allowed for diagnostic scans such as MRI and CT scans, if they form parts of outpatient cancer treatment.

More.....

 

Changes to Medisave and MediShield in 2007

"First, the Ministry of Health will increase the Medisave inpatient daily withdrawal limit from $400 to $450...
"Second, the Ministry of Health plans to allow Medisave use for MRI and CT scans, if they form part of an outpatient cancer treatment...
"MOH intends to further reduce the co-payment, in particular the deductibles of Medisave-approved private insurance plans, in 2007..."

More.....

     - Medisave can now be used for outpatient treatment of three additional chronic diseases

 

Singapore economy expected to grow by 4-6% in 2007

"In the last five years, our real per-capita GDP grew on average by 4.3% per annum, but real average wages (after adjusting for inflation) grew at only half this rate – 2.1%.

"Higher-end wages have risen by more than this. But at the lower-end wages have increased by much less, and some have even stagnated.
"This is why we are implementing Workfare as a fourth pillar of our social safety net, together with the CPF, the 3Ms (Medisave, MediShield and Medifund) and HDB home ownership..."

More.....

     - Changes to CPF Minimum Sum and Investment schemes from 1 Jan 2007

     2006

     - Flat buyers taking an HDB loan need HDB loan eligibility letter

     - Committee formed to steer Medisave use for chronic disease management

 

     2005

CPF - Future Directions

"By 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be at least 60 years old. With families getting smaller, we will have fewer children around to support us in our old age.

"Part of the answer is to get workers to work longer and retire later. But another part is to ensure that Singaporeans have enough savings to continue enjoying financial security and good medical care throughout our lives.....

More.....

 

Review of housing options for the elderly

"To encourage extended family living, HDB will extend the $12,000 monthly income ceiling to extended families buying resale HDB flats with the CPF Housing Grant. The revised policy will apply with immediate effect...

"To facilitate the elderly to buy SAs, buyers aged at least 55 years will now be able to use their CPF to buy SAs after they have set aside at least the full cash component of their Minimum Sum...

More.....

 

Policy changes affecting the property market

-

increase the housing financing limit to 90% of the property value

-

lower the cash payment for private residential properties from 10% to 5%

-

allow CPF members to use their CPF savings to purchase private residential properties with remaining leases of 30 to 60 years

-

allow non-related singles to use their CPF savings to jointly purchase private residential properties

-

phase out the Non-Residential Properties Scheme (NRPS) by 1 Jul 2006

-

allow foreigners to purchase apartments in non-condominium developments of less than 6 levels without the need to obtain prior approval

More.....

     - 70,000 Singaporeans yet to qualify for CPF Top-ups

     - HDB Resale Flats: HDB-assigned valuers for bank loan cases

     - No first-year cash rebates for housing loans from 6 Jan 2005

     2004

     - CPF Changes from 1 January 2005

     - 130,000 yet to qualify for ERS

     - Enhancements to CPF Minimum Sum Topping-Up Scheme

     2003

     - CPF rates to be cut - Excerpt of PM Goh's Ministerial Statement

 

 

The CPF Minimum Sum has been raised by S$5,000 to S$80,000 from 1 Jul 2003. The revision will apply to members who turn 55 from that day. Members can pledge property of up to S$40,000 to fulfil part of the minimum sum, but the remaining S$40,000 must be cash deposited in the retirement account. (Straits Times 1 Jul 2003 H3)

     2002

 

  From January 2003, a person who wishes to sell his flat bought with bank loans and without a Central provident Fund (CPF) housing grant must have lived in it for at least one year, instead of the present 2½ years. This will also apply to those who had bought resale flats without housing grants, and who choose to refinance their mortgages with a bank loan. These owners will also be allowed to sublet their entire flats, if they have occupied the flats for 10 years or more. (Straits Times 1 Nov 2002) (H3)

  Singaporeans can cash in their New Singapore Shares (NSS) from 1 Nov 2002. The Central Provident Fund (CPF) said yesterday it will be mailing out letters with application forms to those eligible. (Straits Times 22 Oct 2002) (H4) 

  About 400,000 people or a third of the 1.2 million Singaporeans eligible for ElderShield have opted out of the national disability insurance scheme by the Sept 30 deadline. According to figures released by the Health Ministry yesterday, almost half (42 per cent) of those who opted out earned less than S$1,500 a month and they did so because they were worried about not being able to make premium payments over a long period. NTUC Income and Great Eastern Life Assurance are the two insurers in the scheme. (Straits Times 8 Oct 2002) (1)

  The Ministry of Health has raised the minimum income for compulsory contributions to Medisave to S$6,000 a year. Previously, only those who made less than S$2,400 a year - about 117,000 people - were exempted from doing so. With the change, 132,000 of the 270,000 self-employed people in Singapore will be exempt from making compulsory contributions to Medisave. (Straits Times 1 Oct 2002) (H5)

  The National Wages Council (NWC) is expected to hold its annual meeting in October 2002 to assess the economic situation and determine whether it needs to review its wage guidelines. Singapore, which is just coming out of its worst recession, has been following a wage-restraint policy, including a wage cut, on the recommendation of the NWC in December 2001. (Straits Times 20 Aug 2002) (1) 

  Civil servants aged 50 to 55 will receive a CPF top-up to partially make up for the non-restoration of the four percentage points in employers' CPF contribution rate, when other workers receive them in two to four years. This is to encourage the private sector to do the same for older deserving workers, whether in the form of bonuses or variable payments, said DPM LEE Hsien Loong in Parliament yesterday. (Straits Times 23 Jul 2002) (1)

  Singaporeans aged between 40 and 69 who do not have a Central Provident Fund (CPF) account have been given until 15 Aug 2002 to open one if they want to buy a low-cost national insurance plan for the disabled. The account is for them to make contributions to the ElderShield insurance scheme which will be officially launched on Sept 30. The contributions end at age 65 but the coverage is for life. (Straits Times 17 Jun 2002) (1)

  A new Straits Times survey of 500 people between the ages of 20 and 49 has found that two out of three Singaporeans think they are investing too much money in housing. They also want the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme to be changed to ensure they have more cash when they retire. (Straits Times 13 May 2002) (4)

  ElderShield, the disability insurance cover for Singaporeans aged 40 years and older, will kick off on Sept 30 this year. Under the scheme, they will get S$300 a month for five years, as long as they cannot do any of these activities without help - eating, bathing, walking, getting out of bed or going to the toilet. Premiums, payable from Medisave in their CPF accounts, start from S$146 a year for a 40-year-old man. Women pay premiums that are 28 to 41 per cent higher. This is because women live longer, and as a result more of them are expected to suffer from disabilities for a longer period, said Mr Moses LEE, Permanent Secretary at the Health Ministry. ElderShield is an opt-out scheme, so those who do nothing will automatically be covered. (Straits Times 16 Apr 2002) (1)

  Recent government pronouncements that Singaporeans were putting too much money into housing has brought about much speculation resulting in a property market on tenterhooks. Some buyers are speeding up their purchases in case the amount of CPF money which they can use gets cut, while others are waiting for a good deal if property prices are driven down by the recommendations. Deputy Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong said in Parliament on 4 Apr 2002 that some of the Economic Review Committee's (ERC) recommendations on the CPF scheme will be ready in "a couple of months". "We understand that because of the property factor, it's not good to have a long period of uncertainty," he said. (Straits Times 14 Apr 2002) (1)

  Medisave will be extended to pay for outpatient care and treatments that do not require hospitalisation, the Health Ministry revealed in its addendum to the President's Address, released last week. The Ministry will also assess if Medisave is adequate to meet Singaporeans' health-care needs. (Straits Times 1 Apr 2002) (H4)

  The Manpower Ministry (MOM) is embarking on a review of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme to ensure that Singaporeans have enough CPF savings to meet their housing, medical and retirement needs. The ministry said that it would strive to achieve this aim without undermining Singapore's ability to keep the costs of doing business here competitive. (Straits Times 28 Mar 2002) (H4)

  Investments under the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) totalled S$25.4 billion at the end of 2001, up a whopping 35.5 per cent from the S$18.7 billion invested at end-2000. The big jump was due to the net investment of S$3.4 billion from the CPFIS Special Account, as funds were freed up for investment for the first time at the start of last year. Previously, only savings from the CPFIS Ordinary Account could be invested. Investment in insurance policies grew the most over the year - about 91per cent - from S$7.6 billion as at end-2000 to S$14.5 billion as at 31 Dec 2001. (Straits Times 24 Jan 2002) (S9)

  Figures released yesterday by the CPF Board showed that 370,462 out of the total of 610,131 investors or six out of 10 investors who opted for the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Investment Scheme - Ordinary Account (CPFIS-O) last year made less than the 2.5 per cent interest they would have got if they had not invested their funds. Total losses suffered by investors, including the notional loss of interest that they could have earned, amounted to some S$594.4 million. 35.5 per cent, or 216,550 members, made profits totalling S$229.92 million. But of these members, 179,324 or 82.8 per cent, made less than S$1,000, while 10,074 or 4.7 per cent, made more than S$5,000. (Straits Times 16 Jan 2002)(3)

     2001

  ElderShield, the low-cost national insurance plan to help older people who become disabled, will start next September. Central Provident Fund (CPF) members who are between 40 and 69 years old will be covered automatically under this plan, unless they opt out. If they become disabled so that they need help with daily living activities, they will then be able to draw S$300 a month for up to five years. ElderShield premiums will be paid from Medisave accounts. Those who are not older than 55 when it is launched will pay premiums only until they are 65, but they will be covered for the rest of their lives. CPF members between 56 and 69 years old next September will have up to 10 years to pay. They will also receive a subsidy. Last year, 234,500 Singaporeans were 65 or older. This will leap to 798,700 by 2030 and more than 8 per cent will need help in daily living.(Straits Times 5 Dec 2001)(1)

  About 800,000 Singaporeans, or four in ten, of those given New Singapore Shares, have cashed in part of their allotments, said Deputy Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong yesterday. (Straits Times 12 Nov 2001)(3)

  The Government is raising the rate of interest for Medisave savings from 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent, in line with the rate for the CPF Special Account. The maximum amount that can be kept in the Medisave account will also be raised from the current S$26,000. It will go up by S$2,000 a year until 2003 when the maximum will be 30,000. Under the Medisave scheme, a working person contributes 6 to 8 per cent of his monthly income to his CPF Medisave account, and the money can be used for his own medical expenses or those of immediate family members. Medisave covers hospitalisation expenses, as well as certain outpatient treatments. On average, a person can expect to be hospitalised 11 times in his life, with eight of those hospital stays likely to happen after the age of 55. (Straits Times 30 Aug 2001) (1)

  Now you can go online at www.cpf.gov.sg to view and print detailed transactions of your CPF account on a monthly basis going back 14 months. Previously, people had to write in or visit the CPF Board in person to get details of their latest CPF transactions or wait for their half-yearly statement of accounts, which will still be sent out. (Straits Times 31 Jul 2001)(H2)

  Investors withdrew as much as S$2.6 billion from the CPF Special Account in the first six months of the year to invest chiefly in insurance products, the CPF Board said yesterday. Savings in the CPF Special Account were freed up for investment from 1 Jan 2001. About S$2.3 billion of the money withdrawn went into insurance products - mainly unit trusts which provide risk cover, also known as investment-linked products (ILPs). The Board said investors pulled out S$21.4 billion from the CPF Ordinary Account as at the end of June 2001. While S$9.2 billion went into stocks, S$10.4 billion went into insurance products. (Straits Times 25 Jul 2001) (6)

  More Medisave money can now be used for the treatment of some serious illnesses, including cancer and to help couples conceive. The amounts that patients can claim for chemotherapy treatment will go up from S$100 to S$300 for a seven-day treatment and from S$400 to S$1,200 for a 21- to 28-day treatment. This takes effect for patients starting their treatment from today. The Ministry of Health (MOH) announcement yesterday said the changes "are to help ensure that Singaporeans are able to withdraw sufficient Medisave to cover their medical bills. The other major change affects couples seeking help to conceive. They can now use S$4,000 for each treatment cycle, up from S$2,000. But Medisave can only be used for up to three cycles. (Straits Times 1 Jun 2001)

  From 1 Jun 2001, CPF members need not have a minimum sum (now S$65,000) before they will be allowed to use their CPF savings for tuition fees at tertiary institutions. They will be allowed to use up to 40% of their accumulated savings in the Ordinary Account, excluding amounts withdrawn for housing. The scheme, introduced in 1989, allows CPF money to be used to pay tuition fees for full-time courses at the three universities, four polytechnics, LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The money is taken as a loan and, one year after graduating, the recipient must start repayments to his parent's CPF account. About 8,000 tertiary students take advantage of the scheme each year. (Straits Times 15 May 2001)

  The outflow of retirement savings from the CPF Special Account (SA) has turned into a flood, with S$1.6 billion withdrawn in the first quarter for investments in various assets, Central Provident Fund (CPF) figures released on 10 Apr 2001 show. Of the S$1.6 billion invested in CPF-approved products with low to medium risk, S$1.5 billion went to insurance-related products. The figures released on 10 Apr 2001 point to boom times for the insurance industry. (Straits Times 11 Apr 2001)

  Central Provident Fund (CPF) members can now top-up their parents' minimum sums, using their own CPF funds, at their leisure. The CPF Board has removed the 10-year limit for such top-ups. Top-ups can be made only once a year and are still subject to the usual conditions. (Straits Times 5 Apr 2001)

  Patients will be able to use more of their Medisave savings if they need long-term outpatient treatment, such as kidney dialysis or chemotherapy, said Health Minister LIM Hng Kiang in Parliament on 10 Mar 2001. Medishield payouts will also be raised. Claim limits are being reviewed, as medical insurance should play a larger role in complementing a patient's medical savings in paying for treatment. (Straits Times 11 Mar 2001)
  Nearly 2 million Singaporeans with Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts will receive, by the end of January 2001, the first half of a top-up payment promised in August 2000. Prime Minister GOH Chok Tong announced the top-up payment of S$500 to S$1,700 in his National Day Rally speech. (Straits Times 3 Jan 2001)

     2000

  CPF interest rate and HDB mortgage rate from 1 Jan 2001 to 31 Mar 2001

The CPF Board will continue to pay interest to its 2.8 million members at the
rate of 2.50% per annum for CPF savings in their Ordinary and Medisave Accounts from 1 January to 31 March 2001. The computed CPF interest rate derived from the interest rates for the three-month period, 1 August 2000 to 31 October 2000, works out to 2.14% per annum.  However, the Board will be paying the higher rate of 2.50% per annum as the CPF Act provides for a minimum CPF rate of 2.50% per annum. This minimum rate is higher than the 12-month fixed deposit and savings rates of the four major local banks for the August to October 2000 period. Savings in the Special and Retirement Accounts will earn interest at 4.00% per annum.  This is 1.5 percentage points higher than that for the Ordinary and Medisave Accounts.

  The concessionary interest rate for HDB mortgage loan, which is pegged at 0.1 percentage point above the CPF interest rate for Ordinary and Medisave
Accounts, will also remain unchanged at 2.60% per annum from 1 January to 31 March 2001. The next revision of the CPF interest rate will be made on 1 April 2001.

     CPF Special Account savings can be invested in lower-risk investments

  Central Provident Fund members will, from January 2001, be able to invest their Special Account savings in lower-risk investments, such as long-term bank deposits, bonds guaranteed by the Government, endowment-insurance products, or some categories of low-risk unit trusts and investment-linked insurance policies. Manpower Minister LEE Boon Yang said on 22 Nov 2000 in Parliament that the change lets CPF members choose how they want to invest money in their Special Account, which is for their retirement, but does not force anyone to do so.

     CPF special accounts savings can be invested from 1 Jan 2001

  All CPF money in the special accounts savings can be invested, from 1 Jan 2001, in low-risk retirement- related financial instruments. CPF members can also use the minimum sum, currently, at S$65,000, to invest in financial products, such as deferred annuities, government and statutory board bonds and selected unit trusts and investment-linked insurance products. Investment profits from the special accounts savings cannot be withdrawn. Withdrawal of profits from the ordinary accounts will be phased out in two years.

     CPF interest rate & HDB mortgage rate from 1 Oct to 31 Dec 2000

     Statement of Account now online

     CPF account holders can now view their regular half-yearly Statement of Account online at the board's website at www.cpf.gov.sg. 

     Minimum Sum Raised to S$65,000

     The CPF minimum sum has been raised from S$60,000 to S$65,000. The CPF Board said that the change would apply from 1 Jul 2000 to members who turn 55 after 1 Jul 2000. Members can choose to pledge property worth up to S$40,000 against the new minimum sum. The remaining S$25,000 has to be in cash, in retirement accounts.

     The minimum sum will be raised by S$5,000 every year until it reaches S$80,000 in three years' time.

     New CPF Medisave Ceilings

     From 1 Jul 2000, the Medisave contribution ceiling and retention sum are S$24,000 and S$19,000 respectively.

     The contribution ceiling sets the maximum savings you can have in your CPF Medisave Account. Any excess will be automatically transferred to the Ordinary Account. The retention sum is the amount you need to maintain in your Medisave Account when you withdraw your CPF. This sum is for your healthcare needs in retirement.

     CPF cut can be restored in less than 5 years

     The CPF cut for workers made last year can be restored in full in less than five years if the economy grows by more than 5% annually, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said on 2 May 2000. The economic growth rate forecast by the Ministry of Trade and Industry for 2000 is 4.5 to 6.5%.

     S$250 Top-Up on 25 Mar 2000

     The government topped up more than 1.5 million adult Singaporean's CPF accounts with S$250 on 25 Mar 2000. Notification letters would be sent out by 19 Apr 2000. This Special Top-Up was announced by Finance Minister Richard Hu during his Budget Speech in Mar 2000.

 

 

You can contact the CPF Board for more information:

     Medisave:  1800 - 227 1188 - Code 4 or e-mail healthcare@cpf.gov.sg 

     Minimum Sum:  1800 - 227 1188 - Code 5 or e-mail retirement@cpf.gov.sg 

     Nomination:  1800 - 227 1188 - Code 1 or e-mail nomination@cpf.gov.sg 

     PAL-Internet:  1800 - 227 1188 - Code 1 or e-mail pal@cpf.gov.sg 

     CPF Homepage:  www.cpf.gov.sg