What is CPF? The foundation of Singapore’s comprehensive social security system is the Central Provident Fund (CPF). The CPF is a mandatory program. It is a social savings program that is financed by employee and employer contributions.
Housing, retirement, and healthcare requirements are its key priorities. It’s important to note that the government also matches lower-wage workers’ CPF savings.
The CPF deals with:
- family protection
- asset improvement
THE AIM OF CPF
Under Singapore’s social security system, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) serves one of the most crucial roles.
To ensure that every Singaporean has enough money for retirement, CPF was created.
Every individual deserves a peaceful retirement with sufficient funds to cover medical expenses if they get ill. In addition, everyone has the freedom to purchase a home. The CPF was established for the following reasons.
People must contribute a portion of their monthly salary to CPF accounts in order to have this secure and comfortable retirement.
An employee’s take-home pay is a little less than their official compensation. Every month, a percentage of each employee’s pay is withdrawn to cover CPF contributions. Following that, these funds are deposited into their CPF accounts.
This concept’s main idea was that some people wouldn’t put any money aside for their retirement. When it comes time to pay for all of the medical costs, this would be quite costly.
Due to the fact that CPF may only be used to finance the purchase of a property, not rent, it also helps to ensure that Singapore’s homeownership rate stays relatively high.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO CPF?
Every single month, when an employee receives their income, the employer is required to deduct the amount that must go into their CPF account.
The specified sum will be deposited as the employee’s CPF contribution into the employee’s account.
There is additionally the employer’s contribution. This is the amount that the employer must pay into the employee’s CPF account out of their own pocket. This exceeds the previously agreed-upon pay.
CPF contribution rate for Singaporean employees
|Age of employee||CPF contribution by employer||Employee CPF contribution||Total Singapore CPF rate|
|Up to 55 years old||17%||20%||37%|
|55 to 60 years old||13%||13%||26%|
|60 to 65 years old||9%||7.5%||16.5%|
|Above 65 years old||7.5%||5%||12.5%|
HOW TO PAY CPF?
Employers can submit and pay CPF via CPF EZPay.
By automatically computing the employee CPF contributions, CPF EZPay saves time.
The following are necessary before you can use CPF EZPay:
- A CPF Submission Number (CSN) for use in transactions with the CPF Board
- A Singpass
The applicant will already be signed up for CPF EZPay if they have applied for a CSN online. If you’re still using hardcopy submissions, you’ll need to apply for CPF EZPay to enjoy the benefits. Direct Debit is the suggested payment method for CPF EZPay. Upon the submission of your CPF, payment will be automatically taken out of your bank account by direct debit.
Step 1: Login and select the payment month
The applicant must choose the month for which they want to pay employee CPF contributions by logging into the CPF EZPay account.
Step 2: Add or amend details and make payment
If there are changes for the month, add new employees or edit the information on existing employees. Check the specifics of the contribution before making a payment. Make a payment after choosing a payment method.
Step 3: Check if payment is made successfully
Your CPF submission is only complete when you have successfully made payment.
Through CPF EZPay, you can see the status of your submission.
As per the Singapore 2023 budget, the CPF monthly salary ceiling, which is currently fixed at $6,000, determines the maximum amount of CPF contributions that can be paid for Ordinary Wages.
By 2026, the monthly salary ceiling will increase from $6,000 to $8,000 in order to keep up with rising wages. To give companies and employees time to get used to the changes, the raise will happen in four stages.
The CPF annual salary ceiling establishes the maximum CPF contributions that can be made on behalf of all salaries earned during the year, including both Ordinary Wages and Extra Wages. The present $102,000 CPF annual salary maximum will stay the same. This will be examined on a regular basis to make sure that it still covers around 80% of employees.
- Visit the CPF website and under that section, click on e-Cashier.
- An employee must enter their NRIC number, choose a Member, and then choose either Contribute to my MediSave (Tax Deductible) or Contribute to my three CPF accounts (Non-Tax Deductible). Then they must click Next.
- When the verification code is presented, it must be entered.
Next, select Start.
- Click Check Available Donation once everything has loaded and the terms and conditions have been approved.
- A worker must once again enter their Singpass ID and Password in order to log in.
- After finishing all of that, the employee must enter the 6-digit OTP and click the Submit button.
One can see how much you can actually donate in the message that comes next. The employee must not receive any additional contributions before the end of the year for this outcome to be accurate.
The employee’s VC payment may also exceed the CPF Yearly Limit/Basic Healthcare Amount (BHS) and will be repaid without interest if other contributions are processed before it.
Be aware that while calculating any excess over the CPF Annual Limit, Required Contributions (MC) made by employers take precedence over Voluntary Contributions (VC).
Before calculating the amount of VC they can make, employees must take into consideration the total quantity of MC they would receive for the entire year.
IS THE CPF CONTRIBUTION TAXABLE?
It is important to keep in mind that when employer CPF deposits are made to an employee’s CPF account, they are taxed as voluntary contributions.
Contrarily, mandatory CPF contributions are not often subject to taxation.
- Taxable mandatory CPF contributions associated with employment in Singapore
- Taxable voluntary CPF contributions made in connection with employment in Singapore
- Contributions made from January 1, 2004, in connection with work outside of Singapore are not taxable.
- Director’s fee-related contributions are taxable
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR CPF?
If a person works for their employer and is also a Singaporean citizen or a permanent resident of Singapore, they are entitled to CPF payments from their employer.
When an employer and an employee have a written employment contract, CPF contributions are due.
Every month, employers are required to pay both the employer portion of the CPF and the employee portion of the CPF. They have the right to deduct the employee’s share from their pay.
These contributions are due from Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are either employed permanently, part-time, or casually or who are performing contract or service work in Singapore.
WHAT IS YOUR CPF NUMBER?
The CPF number is also the applicant’s NRIC number if he is a Singaporean citizen (for instance, S1234567F).
The CPF account number for a child who hasn’t yet gotten their NRIC is either their Singapore Birth Certificate number or Citizenship Certificate number (if they become Singapore citizens after they were born), for example, T1234567F.
The Unique Identification Number (UIN) listed on the kid’s entry permit serves as the CPF account number for a permanent resident child (for instance, T1234567F).
On the other hand, foreigners with permanent residency status or Singaporean citizenship can locate their CPF account numbers in their old NRIC numbers. In other words, the NRIC numbers correspond to the CPF account numbers.
Types of CPF accounts
|CPF account||Its purpose|
|Ordinary Account (OA)||It can be used for housing, higher education, and investing. Anything left over is to be used for retirement.|
|Special Account (SA)||To be saved for retirement. It can also be invested to a certain degree.|
|Medisave Account (MA)||To pay for hospitalisation, other approved medical expenses and to pay for MediShield / Integrated Shield plans.|
|Retirement Account (RA)||You only get an RA when you turn 55.|
CPF INTEREST RATE
People know that the money they keep in their bank accounts is easily eroded. In other words, because bank account interest rates are often low, they are probably ineffective as an inflation hedge.
Fortunately, a person’s CPF account money also generates interest. Yet, the rates are substantially better than a conventional bank account.
- Ordinary Account – 2.5%
- Special Account – 4%
- Medisave Account – 4%
- Retirement Account – 4%
WHAT IS SDL?
Together with CPF payments and the foreign worker levy, a person must also pay the mandatory Skills Development Levy for every employee they have working in Singapore.
The Skills Development Fund (SDF), which supports workforce upgrading initiatives and offers training subsidies to firms that send their employees to training under the National Continued Education Training system, receives the SDL collected.
For more information, refer to our page about Foreign worker levy.
All of an employer’s personnel working in Singapore are subject to SDL, including:
- Personnel who are engaged on a permanent, temporary, casual, or part-time basis
- Foreign workers with work licences and holders of employment passes
Reach out to us at Relin Consultants for more information.
Do foreigners have to pay CPF?
Foreign nationals are only required to start paying monthly contributions to the CPF once they have been granted permanent resident status.
Contribution rates to CPF are decreased for the first two years after becoming a Singapore permanent resident.
How does CPF work?
CPF contributions are deducted from an individual’s monthly salary and deposited into their CPF account. The funds in the CPF account earn interest and can be used to pay for housing, healthcare, and other expenses. When a member reaches retirement age, they can start withdrawing their CPF savings.
Who contributes to CPF?
Both the employee and employer contribute to the employee’s CPF account. The employer’s contribution is based on the employee’s salary, while the employee’s contribution is a fixed percentage of their salary.
What can CPF be used for?
CPF can be used for a variety of purposes, including retirement, healthcare, and housing. Some examples of what CPF can be used for include paying for healthcare expenses, purchasing a home, and investing in retirement plans.
When can I withdraw my CPF savings?
The age at which you can withdraw your CPF savings depends on your age and the amount of savings you have. You can start withdrawing your CPF savings from the age of 55, but you can choose to delay the withdrawal until the age of 70.
The amount you can withdraw depends on your CPF balance and the CPF rules in place at the time of withdrawal.
How can I check my CPF balance?
You can check your CPF balance online via the CPF website or through the CPF mobile app. You can also check your CPF balance by logging in to your SingPass account.
What happens to my CPF savings when I pass away?
Your CPF savings will be distributed to your beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. If you do not have any specific instructions, your CPF savings will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act.
Can I transfer my CPF savings to another country?
No, CPF savings cannot be transferred to another country. However, if you become a permanent resident or citizen of another country, you can still retain your CPF savings in Singapore.