Singapore—In Parliament on Monday, November 4, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that the CPF Board is looking at the possibility of electronically electing a CPF beneficiary.
This could be in place as early as next March.
It was reported on October 21 that the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office (PTO) is in possession of S$211 million, mostly made up of Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies.
The Straits Times (ST) reported that in 2018, S$63.2 million from the CPF monies that belong to 3,540 people who had not named their benefactors went to the PTO.
The ST was told by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) that the total amount of unclaimed funds from the Government in the past six years reached S$240 million in unclaimed funds.
The majority of this amount belonged to people who had died without saying who was to receive their CPF funds. The other part, S$29 million, now in the possession of different agencies, is made up of tax refunds, levy bonds, and immigration deposits.
After the report came out, five Members of Parliament (MPs) asked for the processes by which unused CPF funds would be disbursed to those who could inherit them, according to a report from TODAY.
Ms Teo said that those who had died without nominating a beneficiary were usually under under 45 years old and so having an electronic nomination system would make it easier for them to do so.
Answering a question from MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC) Chong Kee Hiong, the Manpower Minister said,
“What we intend to do is to make this nomination process even easier for a younger person who is tech-savvy. Through a technology platform, perhaps if they made a nomination today or tomorrow, and they change their mind, (they will find that it) is not so difficult to do as well.”
Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong explained that some of the unclaimed monies could not be disbursed as the CPF member had no beneficiary and their next-of-kin could not be found by the authorities.
He added that the PTO endeavours to reach possible relatives of deceased CPF members with no beneficiaries via letters, phone calls or home visits.
“The PTO continues to make efforts to locate legally entitled beneficiaries of unclaimed monies, including making house visits. We would like to encourage individuals who may be legally entitled to the monies to submit their application,” said Mr Tong adding that there is no time limit for making a claim.
Ms Teo also said that at times the hardest part was finding the next of kin. “The most difficult (issue) is where there is a next-of-kin, but we have difficulty tracing them. The correct thing to do is to make sure the monies are never forfeited. The person could be overseas, the next-of-kin may have lost touch with the deceased, or not even be aware that the person has passed away and that there are CPF monies to be distributed.”/ TISG