Are CPF monies matrimonial assets?
Under Section 112 of the Women’s Charter, matrimonial assets include the following:
1. Assets acquired by one or both parties during the marriage.
2. Assets acquired before the marriage by one party and ordinarily used by the couple and/ or their children during the marriage.
3. Assets acquired before the marriage by one party and substantially improved by the other party during the marriage.
From this definition, can you tell if CPF monies are matrimonial assets? The portion of the CPF monies accumulated during the marriage (or the CPF monies used towards the purchase of the matrimonial home) can be considered as matrimonial assets.
Division of CPF Monies by the Court
Monies in CPF accounts deemed to be matrimonial assets may be divided between parties by way of an agreement between parties or by the Court’s decision in an ancillary matters’ hearing if parties are unable to reach an amicable settlement by themselves.
The Courts in Singapore adopt a broad approach and look at the total nett value of all assets and not just CPF monies when making its decision. Factors such as direct/ indirect financial contributions, non-financial contributions and the children’s needs will be considered.
A direct transfer of CPF monies can only be made if both parties are Singapore citizens/ permanent residents.
CPF Transfer Order
Under a CPF transfer order, the Court can order for an amount of CPF monies in spouse A’s CPF account to be transferred to spouse B’s CPF account. Once the transfer is made to spouse B’s CPF account, spouse B can use the money for approved CPF schemes such as housing, investment and education.
To commence the process of the CPF transfer, you should submit the CPF transfer order to the CPF board via their online portal.
CPF Charging Order
In relation to a CPF transfer order, there will not be an immediate transfer of CPF monies from spouse A’s account to spouse B’s account. Rather, spouse B will only be granted his/ her share of the CPF money when spouse A becomes eligible to withdraw his/ her CPF’s savings.
Similarly, after the grant of the CPF charging order, the parties should submit the CPF charging order to the CPF board.
If you have more questions on whether the classification of monies in your CPF accounts as matrimonial assets, you should consult an experienced divorce lawyer for an evaluation of your case. You may wish to contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp).
If the receiving spouse is a foreigner, only a CPF charging order may be made as foreigners do not have CPF accounts for a CPF transfer order to be effected.
CPF Monies Used to Buy the Matrimonial Home
There are a few possibilities here.
The Court may order for spouse A to transfer his/ her shares of the matrimonial home to spouse B, without any CPF refund. In this case, no CPF refund is made to spouse A’s CPF account. Even if spouse B were to sell the matrimonial home subsequently, no CPF refund will be made to spouse A’s CPF account.
The Court may also order for the transfer to be made pursuant to a partial CPF refund. In this case, a partial CPF refund is made to spouse A’s CPF account.
In the event that the matrimonial home is sold to the open market, CPF refunds to both parties’ CPF accounts must be made.
You may wish to update your CPF nomination after the divorce if you had previously nominated your ex-spouse to receive your CPF monies after your demise.
You may wish to contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp) if you have further questions on CPF-related matters.
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