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How to invest your CPF funds in Singapore (2024)

You may be able to use funds in the CPF Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) to invest in products like T-bills and Singapore Government Bonds.

Fingers moving wooden dice with arrows and percentage sign, illustrating a story on CPF investments.
You may be able to use funds in the CPF Ordinary Account (OA) and Special Account (SA) to invest in products like T-bills and Singapore Government Bonds. (PHOTO: Getty) (Andrzej Rostek via Getty Images)

By Dee Lim

SINGAPORE – For Singaporeans and permanent residents who work in Singapore, a portion of your salary goes into your Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts as part of a mandatory retirement savings scheme. While you can leave your CPF funds there to earn interest, there are options for to consider to potentially gain higher returns on that money.

Which CPF accounts can you use for investments?

Each member will have four accounts:

  1. The Ordinary Account (OA), which is used for day to day things like housing, insurance and investment

  2. The Special Account (SA), which is meant for use in your later years and for investment in retirement-related products

  3. The Medisave Account which, as its name suggests, is for hospitalisation expenses and approved medical insurance

  4. The Retirement Account, which is created when you turn 55 years old

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If you are looking at investing your CPF funds, you can do so with your OA, but you will need to ensure that a minimum of S$20,000 is retained in the account. Investing from your SA requires a minimum of $40,000 to be retained.

There's also a limit to how much you can use to invest and this is known as the stock and gold limits, which are 35 per cent and 10 per cent of your investible savings respectively. Investible savings is what you can take from your OA, minus the S$20,000 and the amount of funds you have taken out for investment and education.

How do you open a CPF investment account?

In order to invest the money in your CPF OA, you will need to open a CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) account with a registered bank such as DBS, OCBC and UOB. Once this is done, you can invest directly with financial product providers.

You do not need to open a CPFIS account to invest your SA savings. You may approach financial product providers directly.

You will need to take the CPF Investment Scheme Self-Awareness Quiz first before being allowed to invest your CPF funds.

What can you use your CPF funds to invest in?

There are myriad options for investments for both your OA and SA.

For the OA, you'll be able to look at investments in shares, bonds, gold, mutual funds, REITs, unit trusts, Treasury Bills (or T-Bills) and Singapore Government Bonds, and also for Fixed Deposits.

In general, investments for which you can use your SA carry comparatively lower risk. This means that while T-Bills and Singapore Government Bonds are on the approved list, shares, REITs and gold are not.

On investment risk, the CPF Board said on its website, "All investments are subject to risk. Risk refers to the possibility of losing part or even all of your investments due to financial market changes.

"Understanding the risks of various investment options can help you better decide which investments best match your investment goals, risk tolerance and personal circumstances."

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