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Senior Malaysian who worked 28 years in Singapore cannot withdraw medisave CPF funds despite cancelling PR

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A senior Malaysian man had been counting on withdrawing the funds in his Central Provident Fund (CPF) account that he had contributed to for 28 years as he toiled in Singapore, only to find out that he cannot withdraw his savings completely when he turns 55 in 6 months.

Writing on Facebook group ‘JB Tracer,’ Cheah Kim Huat wrote that he presently lives across the Causeway in Johor Bahru and revealed that he cancelled his permanent residence status in Singapore over a year ago.

Cheah’s dreams of collecting his hard-earned CPF savings were dampened when he recently received a letter from CPF Board congratulating him on turning 55 soon and informing him that he can collect a measly $5000.68 from his CPF savings on his next birthday.

The CPF Board proceeded to outline three options that Cheah now has: 1) Return to Singapore in ten years when he is 65 and collect his money; 2) Collect the funds in his Ordinary and Special accounts when he turns 55; or 3) Collect his CPF investment funds when he turns 55 or let them combine with his retirement funds.

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Lamenting that he cannot withdraw the savings in his Medisave account in six months time no matter which option he chooses, Cheah felt that this means he will have to go all the way to Singapore to receive medical treatment.

Cheah, can however, possibly tap on his savings in his Medisave account to sponsor treatment at a handful of Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH)-approved hospitals in Malaysian, like the Regency Specialist Hospital and the Gleneagles Medini Hospital (both located in JB).

This may pose problems as well, in case Cheah needs urgent medical care and is admitted to a hospital that is not MOH-approved for any reason as it means he may not be able to rely on his Medisave in such a scenario even if he desperately needs the funds.

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According to the CPF Board’s website, Cheah might be able to withdraw the savings in his CPF completely if he meets all of the following conditions:

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

Given these rules, it is possible that his CPF will not be completely disbursed to him until he completes two years without working in Singapore before applying to withdraw his savings.

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