HO SOO SEN: A MONTH before I turned 55, I submitted a form to the Central Provident Fund Board to close my investment account. I knew that to do so, I would have to meet both the CPF Minimum Sum and the Medisave Minimum Sum, so I ensured I had enough CPF savings to top up both accounts.
However, to my surprise, I received a letter from the CPF Board a few days later saying it could not close my investment account because of a shortfall in my Medisave account.
When I checked my CPF account, I noticed that the CPF Board had automatically set up a Retirement Account with the Minimum Sum, but did not top-up my Medisave account automatically. Thus, I ended up with a shortfall.
I went to the CPF’s Woodlands branch and was told I could top up my Medisave either with cash or by making a partial withdrawal of my CPF savings, so the system could “trigger” a transfer. My suggestion to simply use my CPF savings to top up my Medisave was rejected.
I chose the second option and was able to close my investment account. Later, I contacted the CPF’s call centre to ask why closing the investment account could not “trigger” a transfer of funds to top up my Medisave, since this could be done when a cash withdrawal was made.
The officer insisted this was a protocol they had to follow. She added that I could submit my feedback to the CPF Board, which I did but its reply did not address the points I raised; it merely mentioned the conditions that had to be met before the investment account could be closed.
This letter was written by Ho Soo Sen.
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