Access to CPF
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who are employed are entitled to CPF contributions from the employer.
As you work and make CPF contributions, you accumulate savings in these three accounts: your Ordinary Account (OA), MediSave Account (MA), and Special Account (SA).
When you’re younger, more of your CPF contributions are allocated to your OA to support your home purchase. As you grow older, more CPF contributions are allocated to your SA and MA to meet growing healthcare and retirement needs.
At age 55, a Retirement Account (RA) is created for you.
Your CPF savings in the Ordinary Account (OA) earn guaranteed interest rate of 2.5% per annum, while savings in the Special Account (SA), MediSave Account (MA) and Retirement Account (RA) currently earn interest rate of 4% per annum.
Who is exempted from receiving CPF contributions?
Employees should receive CPF contributions from their employers. However, the following employees are exempted from receiving CPF contributions:
Students who fulfil exemption criteria. Find out more about who you need to pay CPF contributions for (PDF, 0.2MB) under the header “Students”.
Foreigners. Persons who are not Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents.
Domestic employees with employment not exceeding 14 hours in any week. Examples include cooks, maids and gardeners.
Employees of the United Nations (UN) Organisation, or any agency or institution of the United Nations Organisation stationed in Singapore. Please refer to the UN website for the list of organisations that are part of the UN Organisation under the headers "United Nations Organs and Programmes" and "Specialized Agencies and other Organizations".
Seamen who are Singapore Citizens and are employed:
in a Swedish ship on terms and conditions of service applicable to Swedish seamen; or
in a Norwegian ship on terms and conditions of service applicable to Norwegian seamen; or
by the East Asiatic Co. Ltd. of Denmark on terms and conditions of the agreement between the Danish Shipowners’ Association and the Seamen’s Union in Denmark.
Saving as an employee
From the day you begin working, you start saving for retirement. You and your employer contribute monthly towards your CPF. As an employee, your employer is required to make CPF contributions for you.
Under the CPF Act, an employee is defined as:
A person who is employed in Singapore under a Contract of Service (COS); or
A Singapore Citizen who is employed under a contract of service or other agreement entered into in Singapore as a master, seaman, or apprentice in any vessel.
If you’re a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident employee earning total wages of more than $50 per month, your employer must contribute CPF for you.
An employee can be employed on full-time, part-time, temporary, contract, or casual basis.
Employees exempted from CPF contributions
Some employees are exempted from CPF contributions. They include students who fulfil exemption criteria, foreigners, domestic employees, employees of the United Nations, and seamen who fulfil exemption criteria.
Employees working in Singapore for an overseas employer
CPF contributions are required on wages payable to any Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident employee working in Singapore, even if the contract is signed overseas.
What is CPF?
Contributions to CPF
1. Increase in CPF Ordinary Wage Ceiling for 1 September 2023 and 1 January 2024
(a) The CPF Ordinary Wage (OW) ceiling limits the amount of OW that attract CPF contributions in a calendar month for all employees. The OW ceiling will be raised from $6,000 to $8,000 by 2026, with the first increase to take place on 1 September 2023. The increase will take place in four steps to allow employers and employees to adjust to the changes.
(b) There will be no change to the CPF annual salary ceiling of $102,000, which sets the maximum amount of CPF contributions payable for all salaries received in the year, inclusive of both Ordinary Wages and Additional Wages.
(c) There will be no changes to the Additional Wage ceiling and CPF Annual Limit, where they will remain at [$102,000 – Total Ordinary Wage subject to CPF for the year] and $37,740 respectively.
Please refer to the table below for the CPF OW and annual salary ceilings from 2023 to 2026.
2. Increase in CPF Contribution Rates from 1 January 2024
(a) From 1 January 2024, the CPF contribution rates for employees aged above 55 to 70 are increased to strengthen their retirement adequacy. The changes apply to wages earned from 1 January 2024:
Refer to this PDF for more detailed CPF contribution rates
Saving as a self-employed person
If you are self-employed, you will contribute to MediSave for your healthcare needs. To help you make your contributions more easily, Government agencies making service payments would contribute a portion of the payment to your MediSave Account, before paying the remainder sum to you.
The definition of a self-employed person
If you are a person with your own business, work for yourself and are in the position to realise a business profit or loss, you are considered an SEP.
SEPs are required to declare their Net Trade Income to IRAS.
Contribution rates for SEPs are computed based on the Net Trade Income (NTI). Calculator: https://www.cpf.gov.sg/eSvc/Web/Schemes/SelfEmployedMedisaveContribution/SelfEmployedMedisaveContributionLanding
SEPs are also encouraged to top up their CPF savings on their Ordinary and Special accounts.
See here for more information on SEPs: https://www.iras.gov.sg/taxes/individual-income-tax/self-employed-and-partnerships
Buying a home with CPF
What can you use your OA savings for when buying a home?
Your OA savings can be used to buy a HDB flat, or buy or build private and residential properties in Singapore. OA savings can also be used for down payment and housing loan taken for the property purchase, stamp and legal fees, loan taken for the construction of your house and the purchase of vacant land (for private properties only), as well as Home Protection Scheme premiums (for HDB flats only).
Withdrawals of your CPF savings can only be made from the age of 55.
For individuals born in the year 1958 and later, $5,000 can be withdrawn from your CPF savings after the age of 55. After the age of 65, an additional 20% of retirement savings can be withdrawn.