Why you shouldn't overlook CPF Nomination

The legacy planning guide for all Singaporeans

The legacy planning guide for all Singaporeans

Need help with finances?

Here's how we can help you:


When planning our legacies, one aspect that is often overlooked is our CPF savings. Many individuals will be surprised to find out that as their CPF funds do not form part of the estate and cannot be distributed through a Will, they will be distributed according to intestacy rules or Muslim Inheritance Certificate when they pass away.

The problem is that this distribution may not take into account your wishes or meet the needs of your loved ones. You also cannot decide which family member will receive your savings or how much they will receive.

This is where the CPF nomination comes into play.

What Is CPF Nomination

🌟 Join our community and stay up to date!

CPF nomination allows you to nominate one or more persons to receive your CPF savings in the event of your death. Your CPF nomination consists of:

  • CPF savings in your Ordinary, Special, MediSave, and Retirement Accounts

  • CPF LIFE unused premiums

  • Discounted Singtel shares under the Special Discounted Shares (SDS) Scheme [more on this in a separate post]

There is no limit to the number of times you can change your nomination and the number of nominees. But take note your CPF nomination doesn’t cover:

Why You Need To Make A CPF Nomination

1. Prevent family disputes

Avoid any potential family disputes that may arise over who should receive your CPF funds. By making a nomination, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out exactly as you intend. Do note that any existing CPF nomination will be revoked upon marriage and individuals must make a new CPF nomination. However, a divorce does not revoke your nomination.

2. Quicker access to CPF funds

Your nominees can claim your savings quickly and conveniently. Without a nomination, the Public Trustee’s Office takes up to six months to identify which of your family members are eligible to claim your savings. An administrative fee will also be deducted.

3. Have peace of mind

With a CPF nomination in place, you can be assured that your CPF savings will be distributed according to your wishes. Nothing beats having a peace of mind for you and your loved ones, knowing that your affairs are in order and that they are taken care of no matter what life throws your way.

When To Make A CPF Nomination

We recommend you make a CPF nomination as soon as you start working since you’ll be contributing funds regularly to your three CPF accounts.

The 20s and 30s are often considered to be the prime of our lives. We have the energy and stamina to pursue our dreams and the discernment to know what we want–a time when we are making our mark, discovering who we are, and learning to navigate the adult world.

Life is unpredictable. It may end in our 90s, 50s, or sometimes even in our 20s. Other than getting started on your financial journey and learning to manage your finances, it’s never too early to start thinking about your legacy. Who should receive your assets? How do you want your funds to be distributed? Are there adequate steps in place to ensure they are distributed properly?

These are all important questions to consider now and not when you reach your parents’ retirement age because the decisions you make in the present will shape your future.

Review your CPF nomination regularly like your insurance plans as it may be subject to change according to different life stages, such as marriage, starting a family, or divorce.

You can easily check your nomination status on the CPF Nomination’s website with your Singpass.

How To Make A CPF Nomination Online Or In-Person

The first step is to find your two witnesses to attest that you have made your nomination willingly and consciously. They cannot be your nominee or an organisation.

The next step is to decide whether you want to nominate online or in person. We definitely recommend the former option as it’s way simpler and more convenient.

  • Online CPF nomination requires:

  • Your Singpass;

  • Nominees’ NRIC or Foreign Identification Number (FIN), mailing address, and email address;

  • Two witnesses, their NRIC or FIN, mailing address, email address, and Singapore-registered mobile phone number

In-person CPF nomination requires:

  • Booking an appointment (one working day in advance) with CPF;

  • Your NRIC or passport;

  • Photocopies of your nominees’ identification documents, and

  • Completing your CPF nomination form in the presence of two witnesses. CPF’s Customer Service Executives can act as your witnesses.

Both of your witnesses will be notified via SMS and/or email to witness your CPF nomination. Both of them must log in to CPF’s Online Services with their individual SingPass within a week to confirm their intent to nominate.

Once successful, CPF Board will notify you via SMS and/or email on the status of your nomination.

CPF Nomination–Better Early Than Late & Better Late Than Never

Our 20s and 30s are a time when we are typically at our physical and mental peak, enjoying the best years of our lives.

However, there is no denying that life can be unpredictable, with surprises around every corner. If you have not already done so, it’s best to make a CPF nomination online as soon as possible. After all, it’s better early than late and better late than never.