Forum: What happens to unclaimed CPF money, bank deposits?

A photo taken on Apr 29, 2019 of the facade of the CPF Bishan Building.
A photo taken on Apr 29, 2019 of the facade of the CPF Bishan Building.PHOTO: ST FILE

As Singapore's population ages, the amount of unclaimed CPF monies can be expected to rise further (Unclaimed CPF monies grow to over $200m, Oct 21).

While contributing to one's Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts is compulsory, the nomination of beneficiaries is optional.

The nomination form must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, and this could deter a person from making a nomination or updating it.

To reduce the growth of unclaimed CPF monies, there should be other ways for members to make a nomination.

For example, employers could be required to get their staff to complete the CPF nomination form.

The CPF Board should include nomination forms in the yearly statements sent to members.

What happens to the CPF savings if they are not claimed?

At the same time, a dead person may also have bank deposits which his next of kin may not be aware of.

While the CPF Board is informed when a member dies, banks are not automatically notified.

Also, unlike with the CPF, bank account holders are not allowed to make any nomination.

What do banks do with the deposits of the dead person if they are left unclaimed for a long time?

Do banks know the total amount of unclaimed deposits accumulated over the years?

Do they take action to verify the whereabouts of account holders if their accounts are inactive for a long time?

What is the Monetary Authority of Singapore's position on unclaimed bank deposits?

Goh Kian Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2019, with the headline 'What happens to unclaimed CPF money, bank deposits?'. Print Edition | Subscribe