SINGAPORE — The Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) has made an announcement that the CPF accounts of members who are not Singaporeans or permanent residents (non-SC/PR) will be closed from 1 April 2024.
This is the final step in ensuring that the CPF system is focused on catering to the retirement, housing, and healthcare needs of Singapore Citizens (SC) and Permanent Residents (PR).
According to CPFB, the CPF system is designed to help SC and PR to retire with peace of mind. Therefore, CPF members who are not SC or PR will have to close their CPF accounts.
With the closure of their CPF accounts, non-SC/PRs’ participation in CPF schemes will cease, and they will be asked to transfer their CPF savings to their personal bank account.
They have until 31 March 2024 to do so, failing which their CPF accounts will be automatically closed, and any remaining savings will cease to earn the prevailing CPF interest rate.
The remaining savings can still be transferred to their bank accounts at any time after that.
Non-SC/PR who wish to continue saving in Singapore may consider other options such as the Supplementary Retirement Scheme or through the purchase of relevant commercial investment products.
CPF Board will be individually notifying non-SC/PR from March 2023, using the contact details that they provided to the Board.
Non-SC/PR may also refer to CPFB’s website at cpf.gov.sg/AccountClosure.
This move is expected to affect about 300,000 non-SC/PR with CPF accounts today.
Most non-SC/PR have low CPF balances, with more than two-thirds of them having less than $5,000 in their CPF account.
Historical background of CPF for non-SC/PR
Before 1987, CPF contributions were mandatory for all employees working in Singapore, including non-SC/PR. Since 1987, changes have been progressively introduced to focus the CPF system on helping SC/PR meet their needs.
From 1987, non-SC/PR working in Singapore on Work Permits were no longer required to make CPF contributions, but may do so voluntarily.
From 1995, all non-SC/PR working in Singapore (on all types of work passes, not just work permit holders) were not required to make CPF contributions, but may do so voluntarily.
From 2003, non-SC/PR were disallowed from making voluntary contributions to their CPF accounts.