If you pass away without CPF Nomination, your CPF savings (Ordinary, Special, Medisave, and Retirement Accounts) will be transferred to the Public Trustee for distribution to your family under the intestacy laws. For example, if you are single, your CPF savings will be distributed by the Public Trustee equally between your parents. If you are married, your spouse will receive half of your CPF savings, and your children will share the remaining half.

Your CPF monies will go to the Government only in the absence of a spouse, children, siblings, grandparents, an uncle, or aunt.

For Muslims, your CPF savings will be distributed by the Public Trustee according to the Inheritance Certificate, which your family members can obtain from the Syariah Court (Muslim inheritance law).

If you wish to distribute your CPF savings differently, you will need to make a “CPF nomination”. Your CPF nomination allows you to specify who to receive your CPF savings, and how much each nominee should receive when you are no longer around. (Note CPF Nomination does not cover Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS))

Please note that:

  1. A marriage will automatically revoke an earlier nomination, if any.
  2. A divorce does not revoke an earlier nomination, if any.
  3. A will does not supersede an earlier nomination, if any.
  4. If your nominee is below the age of 18 years at the time your CPF savings are paid out, his/her share will be forwarded to the Public Trustee for administration until he/she reaches 18 years of age.
  5. If any of your nominees is an undischarged bankrupt at the time your CPF savings are paid out, the Board will be legally obliged to inform the Official Assignee (OA) of any assets that are due to him as his estate is vested in the OA by virtue of the laws in Singapore relating to bankruptcy. (Refer to Madam Lim Lye Kiang’s case in 2011)

If you wish to make your CPF nomination overseas, it is recommended that at least one of the two witnesses be a Singaporean, Singapore Permanent Resident, Notary Public or an Official from the Singapore High Commission/Embassy of the Republic of Singapore. Both witnesses must be above 21 years of age and of sound mind.

What is covered by CPF Nomination?

  1. Savings in the Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts;
  2. Insurance money from the Dependants’ Protection Scheme if you were insured under the Scheme and the date of death is before 17 September 2005;
  3. Discounted SingTel shares;
  4. Fixed deposits under the CPF Investment Scheme – Special Account (CPFIS-SA), which will be converted to cash to form part of CPF savings; and
  5. Economic Restructuring Shares (ERS), which will be converted to cash to form part of CPF savings.

What is NOT covered by CPF Nomination?

  1. Cash and investments held in the CPF Investment Account under the CPF Investment Scheme-Ordinary Account (CPFIS-OA);
  2. Investments held under CPF Investment Scheme-Special Account (CPFIS-SA), excluding fixed deposits;
  3. Properties bought with CPF savings; and
  4. New Singapore Shares (NSS).
About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

    • If a member passes away on or after 1 January 1996 and he has made a valid CPF nomination, his discounted Singtel shares (SDS) will be distributed to his nominee(s) in the proportion he had indicated in his CPF nomination. The Board may transfer the shares to the nominee’s personal Central Depository Pte Ltd securities account, or sell the shares on the request of the nominee.

    • Hi, Jeremy,

      When a member passes away, his CPFIS investments and any cash balance in his Investment Account will form part of his estate. It will be distributed according to your will or based on intestacy law if you do not have a will.

  • Hi..
    My late grandma nominate me but if her childrens check with CPF board will the officer tell them who is the nominess?
    And how much total in her CPF?

  • My father-in -law passed away an year ago. I am son-in-law in his first marriage. He married second time after the death of my mother-in-law. In his first marriage he had blessed with three sons and a daughter(i.e. my wife). In his second marriage he had blessed with wife and two daughters. He was a citizen of Singapore till his death and he died in our home town, Kerala, India. It seems that he had nominated his wife (second) for the receipt of his CPF amount. Accordingly she had received a handsome amount (say around 1800000 Indian rupees , as per her claim) and is being used by herself and her own two daughters. Sir, please specify if we the sons and daughter in his first marriage are having any eligibility to claim for obtaining any share from the said money by Muslim Shariah law.

    • Hi.. my dad recently just passed on 28th march 2019. Im currently waiting for inheritance cetificate from syariah laws. Will there be any dead line regards about the claim of his cpf? My mom worries.

  • Hey there!. Questions: Any investment made with the CPFIS – OA.. It is said that the monies are not covered by the nominations and will form part of the estate?. What does this means?. Does it mean that the monies cannot be withdrawed and will form part of the payment of our current property?. I received a letter indicating that she made the above investment and there was also a mentioned of medishield. Please help. Kind of confusing. Sorry. Thank you.

  • I have a case here. The husband is divorced and never leave any nomination. Who will get the money. His parents is still alive. He got a legally adopted child and siblings

  • Hi,
    If son nominates to his mother, and his mother nominates back to him but both of them passed away. Son passed on before he gets to nominate again after mother passed on a month ago. Will his CPF be given to his children who are above 18 since he is divorced and his parents are all deceased?

    Thank you.

  • Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward
    to new updates.

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