The balances of Central Provident Fund (CPF) members hit a new high last year after it grew by 8.7 percent year on year to record S$462.1 billion from S$425.1 billion the year earlier, according to CPF Board annual report released on Wednesday (7 July).
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, members continued to make contributions which resulted in them earning S$16.8 billion in total interest in 2020, which is an increase from S$15.5 billion made the previous year.
If that’s now all, the number of CPF members also rose 1.8 percent to 4.1 million last year.
Adding to that, the annual report also showed that CPF contributions credited amounted to S$40.9 billion, whereas withdrawals totalling to S$20.7 billion were made.
The CPF Board reported that the pandemic did not stop members to make voluntary top-up into their special account and retirement account as it hit a new high of S$3 billion in 2020. This is an increment by 39 percent year on year from S$2.15 billion. More than one-third of these members were making a top-up for the first time.
However, the Board also revealed in its report that the amount of CPF withdrawn from the ordinary account for housing continued to dip – to S$17.3 billion in 2020 from S$19.3 billion in 2018 and S$17.8 billion in 2019.
CPF members withdrew S$10.5 billion to purchase Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats while S$6.8 billion was spent to pay for private properties and executive condominiums in 2020.
On the other hand, members invested S$17 billion of their ordinary account savings and S$5.5 billion of special account savings in 2020, which is under the CPF Investment Scheme.
As for the 40,000 active CPF members who turned 55 last year, 63.6 percent managed to keep aside the Full Retirement Sum needed of their cohort, or set aside at least the Basic Retirement Sum while still owning at least one property.
Members also claimed S$1.05 billion under MediShield Life in 2020, which is an up of 1.94 percent year on year from S$1.03 billion.
Separately, the report also indicated that there was a change in the way CPF members made their transactions last year.
It showed that 90 million transactions were made via the CPF website, myCPF mobile app and islandwide kiosks, an increase from 62 million the previous year.
In January last year, the Board launched an online service for members to nominate their beneficiaries without them or their witnesses having to be physically present or fill in hard copy forms.
With the Online Nomination Service, members are permitted to make nominations even when CPF service centres were closed during the circuit breaker.
The Board’s former chairman Chiang Chie Foo said that the service has been received well by its members, as almost half of all 118,000 nominations last year were made online.