Home| About Us | News | Join Us | Useful Links 
  Members > Life Events > Managing Your Retirement > FAQs on Distribution of CPF Savings in Matrimonial Proceedings Read Aloud Printer Friendly Version
Bookmark and Share
::: Members :::
Employers
Business Partners
my cpf Online Services
Login here with Singpass
  Get Started  
  View Online Demo  
  Request A SingPass  
::: Quick Links :::
 Buying A House 
 Getting Married 
 Having Children 
 Hiring Employees 
 Living Overseas 
 Losing A Loved One 
 Making An Investment 
 Managing Your Retirement 
 my cpf Online Services 
 Providing For Your Healthcare Needs 
 Reaching 55 
 Starting A Business 
 Starting Work 
    
Distribution of CPF Savings in Matrimonial Proceedings
 

Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q1 

What are the changes to the CPF Act to help ex-spouses divide their matrimonial assets?

 

Q2 

Can you show me an example of the CPF transfer?

 

Q3 

What are the member’s obligations after the Court Order is issued, before and following the transfer?

 

Q4 

What are the ex-spouse’s obligations following the transfer?

   
Q5 

I’ve got my Court Order. What do I do next?

   
Q6 

Is the policy change applicable to a maintenance order?

   
Q7 

What happens if the member dies before the order is effected?

   
Q8 

My divorce is settled and an order on division of matrimonial assets was granted before 1 Oct 07. Can I send the order to CPF Board? Can I vary the order to benefit from the new CPF laws?

   
Q9 

After the transfer has been done, I reached a different agreement with my ex-spouse. Can we undo the transfer?

   
Q10 

How long will CPF Board take to process any such order?

   
Q11 

As a spouse, what are my options if I am not a CPF member?

   
Q12 

As a spouse, what are my options if I am an undischarged bankrupt?

   
Q13 

What is the difference between a charging order and a CPF transfer?

   
Q14 

Why is a transfer of CPF to the ex-spouses’ CPF accounts allowed before the members meet their Minimum Sum and Medisave Minimum Sum requirements?

   
Q15 

Could the ex-spouses request the money to be given in cash, instead of transfers between accounts? If no, why?

   
Q16 

Can the ex-spouses withdraw the CPF savings immediately to meet their living expenses?

   
Q17 

Could the ex-spouses request the savings from the members’ Ordinary Account to be transferred to their Medisave or Special/Retirement Account? If not, why?

   
Q18 

What happens if the savings in my various CPF Accounts are not enough for the transfer to my ex-spouse’s corresponding CPF Accounts?

   
Q19 

I am the ex-spouse. Is there a cap on the CPF transfers to be made to my CPF Accounts under this?

   
Q20 

Can the courts order the CPF savings in my Living Expenses Account be transferred to my ex-spouse?

   
Q21 

If the court has ordered a charging order, how do I withdraw my ex-spouse’s CPF savings?

   
Q22 

I have submitted the withdrawal application form. How soon can I receive the payment?

   
 

   
Q1 What are the changes to the CPF Act to help ex-spouses divide their matrimonial assets?

A1

When couples divorce, the court may divide the matrimonial assets acquired during the couples’ marriage, including CPF savings. The court could allocate a share of the members’ CPF savings to the ex-spouses by placing a charge on the members’ CPF to secure the ex-spouses’ entitlement. This is because members are only allowed to withdraw their CPF savings under Section 15 of the CPF Act, typically when members turn age 55 and ex-spouses can only receive their entitlement in cash then.

The policy change gives the courts greater flexibility in the division of CPF-related matrimonial assets in a divorce.

The CPF Act has been amended to allow the courts to make an order for an immediate transfer of CPF savings to the ex-spouses’ CPF account if the ex-spouses are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents (PRs). They will have certainty over the amount they receive, as it is no longer limited by the amount of CPF savings that the members could withdraw when they are eligible to do so.

The CPF savings will be transferred to the ex-spouse’s Ordinary Account (OA), Medisave Account (MA), Special Account (SA) and/or Retirement Account (RA) according to the accounts they originally resided in.


Back To Top

Q2 Can you show me an example of the CPF transfer?

A2

Example

The court has ordered that the CPF Board shall, from the total savings of the member as at the date of the Court Order in the following CPF Account(s) of the member, transfer the amount(s) specified in the Court Order as follows to the ex-spouse’s CPF account(s):

Member’s CPF account(s) to transfer from

Amount to transfer

Ordinary Account

S$80,000

Special Account

S$10,000

Medisave Account

S$25,000

Member’s & Ex-Spouse’s Account Profiles As At 15 Oct 07 Before Transfer

 

Member

Ex-Spouse

Age

40

39

Ordinary Account

$150,000

$ 7,000

Special Account

$   9,000

$ 5,000

Medisave Account

$  33,000

$14,500

Member’s & Ex-Spouse’s Account Profiles As At 15 Oct 07 After Transfer

 

Member

Ex-Spouse

Age

40

39

Ordinary Account

$70,000

$87,000

Special Account

$       0

$14,000

Medisave Account

$  8,000

$39,500

Notes

  1. The member and the ex-spouse are below 55.
  2. There are sufficient balances in the member’s OA and MA for the transfer. However, there is insufficient balance in the member’s SA for the transfer. Only the available balance in the member’s SA can be transferred1.
  3. The Medisave Contribution Ceiling (MCC) is $37,000. So if the ex-spouse has already reached her ceiling, the excess will be transferred to the ex-spouse’s SA as he or she is below 55 years old.

1 Situation of insufficient balances to fully effect the transfer is explained in Q&A 18.


Back To Top

Q3 What are the member’s obligations after the Court Order is issued, before and following the transfer?

A3

CPF Savings

The member is obliged to comply with the Court Order and shall not withdraw/transfer or attempt to withdraw/transfer any amount that the ex-spouse is entitled to under the Court Order. Following the transfer of the member’s CPF to the ex-spouse’s CPF Account(s), the member will then be free to use his/her CPF subject to the applicable CPF laws and terms and conditions of the CPF scheme(s) he/she intends to participate in.

Loans or grants taken by the member which are repayable or refundable to the Government must be repaid or refunded first before the transfer of CPF savings can take place. Grants include housing grants from HDB and HOPE (Home Ownership Plus Education) from MCYS.


Back To Top

Q4 What are the ex-spouse’s obligations following the transfer?

A4

Once CPF Board has given effect to the Court Order and transferred the member’s CPF to the ex-spouse’s CPF, he/she can then withdraw the CPF for approved uses such as housing, investment and education.


Back To Top

Administrative Issues
Q5 I’ve got my Court Order. What do I do next?

A5

Assuming you have lawyers representing you, your lawyers would have to serve the Court Order on CPF Board for CPF Board’s follow up action. If you are acting in person, you are advised to serve the Court Order on the CPF Board. All Court Orders relating to matrimonial proceedings which involve actions to be taken by CPF Board are to be served personally at the Retirement Schemes Department, Applications Section at 79 Robinson Road CPF Building Singapore 068897.


Back To Top

Q6 Is the policy change applicable to a maintenance order

A6

No, maintenance is separate from the division of matrimonial assets and represents a debt owed by the member to the ex-spouse. CPF savings cannot be used for maintenance as section 24 of the CPF Act protects CPF savings from being seized or attached by creditors to satisfy any debt or claim.


Back To Top

Q7 What happens if the member dies before the order is effected?

A7

Provided that the Court Order is served on the CPF Board in a timely manner and the member’s CPF savings have not been distributed to either the nominees or the Public Trustee, the CPF Board would effect the Court Order and transfer the deceased member’s CPF to the ex-spouse’s CPF account(s) accordingly.


Back To Top

Q8 My divorce is settled and an order on division of matrimonial assets was granted before 1 Oct 07. Can I send the order to CPF Board? Can I vary the order to benefit from the new CPF laws?

A8

Yes, you can send the order to CPF Board. CPF Board would effect the order as directed but it would follow the law before 1 Oct 07.

You may apply to the court to vary the order but it is up to the court to decide if existing Court Orders can be amended to benefit from the new CPF rules. Please seek your own legal advice on this.


Back To Top

Q9 After the transfer has been done, I reached a different agreement with my ex-spouse. Can we undo the transfer?

A9

The CPF Board has no power under CPF laws to reverse the transfer after the CPF Board has effected the Court Order which directs such a transfer. Please seek your own legal advice on this.


Back To Top

Q10 How long will CPF Board take to process any such order?

A10

The CPF Board will transfer the CPF savings within a practicable period and parties and their lawyers would be informed after the transfers have been effected.


Back To Top

Q11 As a spouse, what are my options if I am not a CPF member?

A11

Singapore citizens/PRs
If you are a Singapore citizen/PR but not a CPF member, the court may order a transfer of the member’s CPF (money and or proceeds from the sale of properties/investments) to your CPF account. You may also request the court to order a transfer of the member’s property/investment to you.

Upon receipt of the Court Order, CPF Board will create an account for you if you do not have one.

Foreigners
If you are a foreigner and not a CPF member, you can only obtain a charge against the member’s CPF savings and sale proceeds from properties and CPF investments. The CPF savings can only be paid to you when the member qualifies for CPF withdrawals.


Back To Top

Q12 As a spouse, what are my options if I am an undischarged bankrupt?

A12

The court can still order a transfer of the member’s CPF savings to you in the division of matrimonial assets.


Back To Top

More detailed questions concerning CPF savings and CPF transfers
Q13 What is the difference between a charging order and a CPF transfer?

A13

Charging Order
The courts can order a charge to be placed on a member’s CPF savings. Such an order, known as charging order, will entitle the ex-spouse to receive the CPF savings in cash when the member is allowed to withdraw his savings under Section 15 of the CPF Act. The charging order made by the courts is subject to the principles laid down by the Courts of Appeal in Central Provident Fund Board v Lau Eng Mui [1995] 3 SLR 109 and the relevant CPF laws and regulations.

CPF Transfer
A CPF transfer involves the courts ordering an immediate transfer of a member’s CPF to the ex-spouse’s CPF under the division of CPF savings in a divorce. The ex-spouse can have immediate access to these CPF savings, as opposed to waiting till the member’s withdrawal at 55 or when the member is entitled to withdraw.


Back To Top

Q14 Why is a transfer of CPF to the ex-spouses’ CPF accounts allowed before the members meet their Minimum Sum and Medisave Minimum Sum requirements?

A14

There is no change to retirement adequacy of members and their ex-spouses taken together. However, the courts now have greater flexibility in the division of matrimonial assets in a divorce to facilitate smooth and equitable distribution of CPF savings. That would give ex-spouses certainty over the amount they receive.


Back To Top

Q15 Could the ex-spouses request the money to be given in cash, instead of transfers between accounts? If no, why?

A15

No. The policy is for the transfer of CPF savings from the members’ account to the ex-spouses’ CPF account to allow the ex-spouses to be given immediate access to the members’ CPF to meet their own retirement, housing and medical needs in a divorce.


Back To Top

Q16 Can the ex-spouses withdraw the CPF savings immediately to meet their living expenses?

A16

No. The ex-spouses have to meet the withdrawal conditions under Section 15 of the CPF Act. Typically, they have to turn 55 before they can withdraw the CPF savings to meet their living expenses. They can, however, withdraw the CPF savings for approved CPF uses such as housing, investment and education.


Back To Top

Q17 Could the ex-spouses request the savings from the members’ Ordinary Account to be transferred to their Medisave or Special/Retirement Account? If not, why?

A17

The transfers of CPF savings are to the corresponding CPF accounts only. Therefore, the savings from the members’ Ordinary Account will be transferred to the ex-spouses’ Ordinary Account. Ex-spouses may then transfer CPF savings from their Ordinary Account to other accounts in accordance with CPF laws if they so wish.


Back To Top

Q18 What happens if the savings in my various CPF Accounts are not enough for the transfer to my ex-spouse’s corresponding CPF Accounts?

A18

The courts would have ascertained your CPF balances before directing the transfer. However, the Board can only effect the transfer based on the available balances in your CPF Accounts to your ex-spouse’s CPF Accounts upon receipt of the Order of Court.


Back To Top

Q19 I am the ex-spouse. Is there a cap on the CPF transfers to be made to my CPF Accounts under this?

A19

No, there is no cap on the CPF transfers if so ordered by the courts. It is up to the courts to decide on the division of matrimonial assets and how much can be transferred to your CPF Account. However, the member’s latest CPF Statement of Account should be made available to the courts so that they have accurate information on the amount of CPF funds available for the transfer.


Back To Top

Q20 Can the courts order the CPF savings in my Living Expenses Account be transferred to my ex-spouse?

A20

Yes, the CPF savings in your Living Expenses Account can be transferred to your ex-spouse if your ex-spouse has a Living Expenses Account and has not set aside the required amount in this account.


Back To Top

Q21 If the court has ordered a charging order, how do I withdraw my ex-spouse’s CPF savings?

A21

You will need to complete the withdrawal application form.


Back To Top

Q22 I have submitted the withdrawal application form. How soon can I receive the payment?

A22

Once we have received the completed withdrawal application form, your application will be processed and the monies will be paid to you within two weeks through Inter-Bank GIRO or three weeks via a CPF Withdrawal Cheque.


Back To Top

 

 Last Updated on: Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 5:48 PM
Copyright © 2014 Central Provident Fund Board