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CPF Public Housing Scheme – What is it all about?

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Author: Ravi Philemon

The CPF Public Housing Scheme (PHS) enables CPF members to use their CPF Ordinary Account (CPF OA) savings to buy new or resale Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats.​ Under the CPF Public Housing Scheme you can use your CPF OA savings to buy an HDB flat – both new Built-To-Order flats as well as resale flats.

The CPF Public Housing Scheme allows members to use their CPF OA to finance all or part of the purchase price, service monthly housing loan installments taken to buy the HDB flat, and pay the stamp duty, legal fees and other related cost such as flat upgrading cost.

All CPF members who are eligible to buy a new or resale HDB flat are eligible to use their CPF savings under the CPF Public Housing Scheme. Members are not eligible if they are buying an HDB flat with a remaining lease of less than 30 years; or
buying an HDB flat with a remaining lease of less than 60 but at least 30 years and their age plus the remaining lease of the HDB flat is less than 80 years.

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CPF members who want to buy a HDB flat can buy under several schemes:

Schemes to apply for a new flat Schemes to buy a resale flat
Public Scheme Public Scheme
Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme
Orphans Scheme Single Singapore Citizen Scheme
Single Singapore Citizen Scheme Joint Singles Scheme
Joint Singles Scheme Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme
Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme Non-Citizen Family Scheme
Orphans Scheme

The CPF Board has placed housing limits on the amount of CPF savings members can use. It depends on whether it is a new or resale HDB flat; and whether you are financing your HDB flat via an HDB concessionary loan or bank loan.

The following infographic details how to buy a HDB flat with a remaining lease of at least 60 years under the CPF Public Housing Scheme:

CPF Public Housing Scheme

The amount of CPF members can use is lower if they are buying an HDB flat with a remaining lease of less than 60 years but at least 30 years.

If you want to buy an HDB flat using the CPF Public Housing Scheme with less than 60 years lease you can speak to our mortgage consultants to find out the amount you can use for such properties.​

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One can also use their CPF to buy their second or subsequent property with a remaining lease of at least 60 years after meeting certain conditions based on their age. If one is below 55 years of age, they need to set aside the current Basic Retirement Sum in their Special Account, including the amount used for investments, and Ordinary Account before they can continue to use their CPF savings.

If one is 55 years old or older, they need to set aside their Basic Retirement Sum in their Retirement Account, Special Account (including the amount used for investments) and Ordinary Account before they can continue to use their CPF savings.

Although using the CPF to buy two or more residential properties is an option, one should consider if they want to use the CPF savings to finance the private property instead of using cash. One should be mindful not use all their CPF OA savings to finance their property, because CPF is essentially for ones retirement.

The more it is used for property, the less one may have for retirement. One also has to bear in mind the other items one is servicing with your CPF OA savings (such as children’s local tertiary education and insurance premiums; and the reduced CPF contribution rates as one ages).

An important consideration is, how do one determine a suitable loan amount, repayment period and repayment amount which is within ones financial means. This is where the services of a mortgage consultant becomes useful as the consultant, being a professional, will be able to estimate an affordable home price, taking into consideration your gross household income and expenses, as well as the repayment amount and repayment period.

Written by: Phoenix Lee/Contributor iCompareLoan

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