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Central Provident Fund (“CPF”) – Know The CPF Contribution Rates in Singapore

What is Central Provident Fund (CPF) Contribution?

Central Provident Fund CPF Contribution Rate

The Central Provident Fund, CPF, is the comprehensive social security savings plan in Singapore. As the name implies, CPF Contribution Rate helps working Singaporeans to build their retirement savings via lifelong income, healthcare financing and home financing. In other words, employer CPF contribution and employee CPF contribution helps Singaporeans to have sufficient retirement fund, to have enough money to pay for medical bills, and to own a house.

 

Every month, both the employer and employee will have to contribute to the employee’s CPF account. The CPF contribution rates vary according to the age group the employee belongs to. For an employee whose monthly wage is more than $750, please refer to CPF Contribution Rates for more information.

 

Every monthly contribution to the employee’s CPF account will then go into three accounts:

  • Ordinary Account (savings for retirement, housing needs, investment and education. The remaining fund is to be used for retirement)
  • Special Account (savings for investment and retirement needs)
  • MediSave Account (savings for healthcare needs and purchase of insurance plans)

 

                                           Employee’s age

(years)

Contribution Rates from 1 Jan 2016

(for monthly wages >_$750)

By Employer

(% of wage)

By Employee

(% of wage)

Total

(% of wage)

55 and below 17 20 37
Above 55 to 60 13 13 26
Above 60 to 65 9 7.5 16.5
Above 65 7.5 5 12.5

 
CPF members earn a 2.5% per annum interest rate for the Ordinary Account and a 4% per annum interest rate for the Special Account and Medisave Account. Retirement Account, which will be formed after 55, will receive a 4% per annum interest rate too. Additionally, for CPF members below 55, the Government also pays up a 1% per annum of extra interest rate on the first $60000 amount (capped at $20000 for Ordinary Account). For CPF members age 55 years old and above, they get to earn 2% per annum on the first $30,000 and 1% per annum on the next $30,000 (capped at $20000 for Ordinary Account).

The CPF contribution to each account varies according to the individual’s age too. For an employee whose monthly wage is more than $750, please refer to CPF Allocation Rates for more information.

 

                                           Employee’s age

(years)

Contribution Rates from 1 Jan 2016

(for monthly wages >_$750)

Ordinary Account

(% of wage)

Special Account

(% of wage)

 MediSave Account

(% of wage)

35 and below 23 6 8
Above 35 to 45 21 7 9
Above 45 to 50 19 8 10
Above 50 to 55 15 11.5 10.5
Above 55 to 60 12 3.5 10.5
Above 60 to 65 3.5 2.5 10.5
Above 65 1 1 10.5

 
The rationale behind CPF Singapore is that working Singaporeans will be forced to put aside a certain percentage of their income on a monthly basis into their CPF accounts. On top of the forced saving mechanism, the Singaporean Government will also help supplement the CPF savings of lower income earners via schemes such as Workfare and top-ups to MediSave for senior citizens.

Retirement Sum Scheme was initially introduced to provide CPF members with a monthly payout after their retirement. In 2009, the CPF LIFE Scheme was introduced to ensure monthly payouts are given no matter how long one lives. Singaporeans or Permanent Residents born in 1958 or after, and possess at least $60,000 in the CPF retirement savings before reaching the payout eligibility age are qualified for the CPF Life scheme. One can still join CPF Life at any time between the payout eligibility age and before getting 80 if he or she is a Singaporean or Permanent Resident.

After 55, savings from the Ordinary Account and Special Account will be transferred into a merged Retirement Account. Retirement Sum, which refers to the retirement savings set aside in the Retirement Account, can be used to join CPF LIFE Scheme to receive monthly payouts no matter how long one lives or the Retirement Sum Scheme to receive a monthly payout until the savings in the Retirement Account finishes. One can choose to set aside cash (and property) starting from Basic Retirement Sum, Full Retirement Sum, up to a larger sum of Enhanced Retirement Sum in the Retirement account – The higher the amount in the retirement account, the greater the future monthly payouts. Once the sum one decides to transfer to the Retirement Account has been determined, the remaining amount left in the Ordinary Account and Special Account can be withdrawn.

 

Basic Information About CPF Singapore

  • Withdrawal age: 55 years (the age when you can start withdrawing your CPF savings)
  • Payout eligibility age: 65 years (for those who were born after 1953).
  • CPF Basic Retirement Sum: $88,000 for members who turn 55 in 2019.
  • CPF Basic Healthcare Sum (from 1 Jan 2016): $57,200 from 1 January 2019.
  • The amount above the BHS will flow to your Special or Retirement Accounts to increase your monthly payouts.
  • In the event you do not meet your cohort Basic Healthcare Sum, you will not be required to top up your MediSave Account.

 

What Are the CPF Contribution Rates for Singaporean Employees and Employers?

CPF Contribution rates from 1 January 2016 for private sector and public sector non-pensionable employees are as follows:

Please refer to the CPF Contribution Rates Table for details information.

a. For salaried employees

  • CPF contributions for salaried employees are made automatically. In other words, a portion of your monthly income will be paid into your CPF accounts as your employee’s contribution.
  • Please note that there is a CPF Wage Ceiling (a form of CPF contribution cap limit): the Ordinary Wage Ceiling and the Additional Wage Ceiling.
  • The Ordinary Wage Ceiling, as the name suggests, is a CPF contribution cap limit on your monthly salary. The monthly contribution cap is set at $6,000. The cap amount implies that only the first $6,000 of your monthly salary is subject to CPF contributions. The Additional Wage Ceiling implies the CPF contribution cap amount on your additional wages (e.g. annual bonuses).

b. For employer CPF contribution

  • Employer is mandated to contribute to his employee’s CPF account.
  • Please note that in the case you are paying the foreign worker levy for your foreign workers, you are not required to pay CPF contributions for them. However, you must pay the Skills Development Levy (SDL).

c. For self-employed working Singaporeans

You can opt for voluntary CPF contributions except Medisave contributions – you will be prompted to pay after filing your taxes each year.

 

Penalties of non-payment of CPF contributions

If an employer fails to comply with the CPF act, he will face certain penalties, as follows:

  • Late payment interest: 18% per annum (1.5% per month) that commences from the first day of the following month after the contributions are due.
  • A fine of up to $5,000 with no less than $1,000 per offence and/or up to 6 months jail.
  • For repeat offenders: A fine of up to $10,000 with no less than $2,000 per offence and/or 12 months jail.
  • A fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to 7 years or both (if you fail to pay the CPF contributions after deducting your employee’s share of CPF contributions)

 

CPF Nominations

CPF members are encouraged to make CPF Nominations to ensure that their loved ones get to receive the CPF amount with less hassle. The Public Trustee’s Office (PTO) will distribute one’s CPF savings to the legally entitled beneficiaries under the Intestate Succession Act or the Inheritance Certificate (for Muslims) if no nominations are made.