CPF, Ins, Msia, SG

I currently have CPF account in Singapore. There's money in the Special and Medisave account.

Special account can only be utilised once I reach the prevailing retirement age (currently is 62) where it will be converted into something akin to a pension with some death benefit to beneficiary. I dislike this because I do not want to leave anything behind.

Most of the money in the Medisave account (it's a little complicated) cannot withdrawn (paid to beneficiary upon death). It can be used to pay for some medical treatments and partial hospitalisation bill. More importantly, it can be used to buy medical insurance. However, such medical insurance is only meant for Singapore citizens and PRs, and foreigners who lose their PRs but still have employment passes (EPs).

I have such medical insurance. Since it's Singapore based, it'll pay overseas hospitalisation bill only for emergency cases, which I did so when I was hospitalised for dengue fever.

Currently these accounts are earning 5% interest rate, way above the statutory minimum of 2.5%. There's no guarantee that the excess interest will continue in the future.

I'm likely to lose my PR this year and so technically (at least according to my adviser) my medical insurance coverage should cease. However, the insurance company is currently continuing coverage despite me not being a PR or an EP holder. There's no guarantee this will continue in the future though.

So I'm thinking of the following alternatives:

(1) Continue with the current arrangement. Hospitalised locally only for emergency cases. For other cases, consider going to Singapore's hospital. 

Then at age 62 (or later), I will need to consider whether to close CPF accounts (if there are still no changes to how the pension work and non-withdrawal rule of Medisave account). If I do, I'm not sure whether I'll still have the medical insurance coverage or not. There's also the risk that the insurance company may discontinue coverage even before this, although I doubt they'll do this because they usually grandfather such decision, rather than making it retrospectively.

(2) Get a local medical insurance. Close CPF account so that I can invest the money in income-generating products (dividend paying shares, renting out property, FD) to pay for the cost and more.

Downside is (if it's still the requirement by Singapore government) that I will need to undertake that I am not going back to Singapore again in future. Also, return on investments is not guaranteed whereas the interest on CPF has a minimum of 2.5% p.a..

In addition, I vaguely recall that local medical insurance is more expensive for the similar benefits.

Option (2) is more clear-cut with the key downside is that I can never go back to Singapore. Option (1) is dicey because of possibility of losing medical insurance when I need it the most (i.e. when I'm much older).

I have to think this through carefully.


There are some new rules. The one that is applicable to me is:

" Withdrawal of CPF by Malaysians residing in West Malaysia

Who is eligible?

You can withdraw your CPF in full if you meet all the following conditions:

i.   You are a Malaysian Citizen and have left Singapore permanently to reside in West Malaysia.
ii.  You do not hold a valid Singapore Work Permit/Employment Pass and have renounced your Singapore Permanent Residency (if applicable).
iii. You are either:
     a. 55 years old and above; or
     b. Below 55 years old but above 50 years old and have not worked in Singapore in the last two years before your application; or
     c. Physically or mentally incapacitated from ever continuing any employment or is found to be of unsound mind. "

Or I just move to East Malaysia or another country and option (2) will still be valid @@.
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