Die die also cannot get grandma’s CPF money

I just read a letter in ST’s forum, titled “Hassle to claim late grandma’s CPF money“. The letter writer, Ms Chan Jee May, revealed the insane bureaucratic hoops that CPF board made her family jump through in order for them to get her grandma’s CPF money.

Ms Chan’s grandmother passed last year at the age of 93. 93… That’s a pretty ripe old age. It also means that the grandma lived in an era where documents were that well… well… documented. The grandma and her husband didn’t have a marriage certificate and the closest thing they had was a grant of probate from 1978 to prove the relationship between the grandma and Ms Chan’s family. But that was rejected.

So the family decided to let the grandma’s brother claim the CPF money. CPF asked for a birth certificate. Which the family couldn’t provide, cause… you know. There was this thing called World War II where Singapore was quite chaotic…

So… what does CPF want? I suppose the grandma has been cremated. So not possible to do any DNA testing to show family ties. What then? Get a medium to conduct a seance so that the spirit of the grandma can confirm that Ms Chan is really her granddaughter? Or does CPF expect the family to travel back in time to ensure that the ah ma and ah gong get proper 21st century standard marriage certificate?

What could possibly be the principle considerations that CPF Board have that so completely tie their hands in red tape in this particular case? Are they afraid that this family is trying to cheat them? Be that as it may, I wonder whether CPF Board staff are actively suggestions of how the family can successfully navigate the nightmare of a bureaucratic maze so that they can successfully claim the ah ma’s CPF money. Or are the CPF staff just saying, “No… this cannot. No… that also cannot. Come back when you can give us what we want. Oh… don’t have ah? Then… er… Sorry, we regret to inform you that your application to claim your grandmother’s CPF money.”

So maybe the family would just have to forfeit the grandma’s CPF money. Take it as the government fining them for their grandma’s inability to keep proper records of her relationship with them. You know… Singapore. Fine city.

Oh, the best part is, Ms Chan’s grandma apparently had a will, which presumably left instructions about her CPF money. But no. Will cannot be accepted. Cause CPF money is not considered part of the deceased’s estate. Er… so wait. Is CPF money really our money? If it is, then why is it not considered part of our estate when we pass away? What’s the rationale of not allowing us to include our CPF money in our estate and will it to whoever we want? Scared dirty old men will it to succubi from other countries and leave their families destitute?

I hope CPF Board will explain why they have all these bureaucratic hoops and these many reams of red tape. Otherwise, this will just go on to be used by some people to justify what they think of CPF – money in our CPF account is not our money, but a scam by the government to cheat us of our money.

[Featured image: from SDP’s website]


10 thoughts on “Die die also cannot get grandma’s CPF money

  1. Death by bureacracy!

    Aside: While I totally dislike bureacracy… and I can’t think of a solution for either party… CPF’s hands are tied… cos what if some con folks claim to be the family and try to claim the money? I wouldn’t put it past anyone not to do such a thing.


    • I’m sure there are many other ways to establish that Ms Chan is indeed the granddaughter. Photos, for example. And if, in the future, there are any cases of people trying to con other people’s CPF money, I am sure it’s a matter that the police can handle. Haul people to court to testify the relationship. Not difficult in Singapore.


  2. Did you even read the article .

    This is all needs to be done .

    “The PTO spokesman also said the office had advised Ms Chan to get Madam Lau’s brother to make a statutory declaration on their relationship, either with a lawyer or at the PTO’s premises.”

    Cost at max is S$300 -S$500( you can always get a JP to come to the house)
    Compared to CPF Funds of S$6K S$7K.

    “Ms Chan and her sisters, who are civil servants aged 36 and 38, are not the biological grandchildren of Madam Lau, who married their grandfather after the death of his first wife. ”

    Would opine that your idea of using photos (considering Photoshop) will result in even more fraud claims



    • Did you even read the letter to forum I actually linked? It’s the letter Ms Chan wrote to ST Forum, not the article you are referring, which was only published AFTER I wrote the post. And did you not read cthat the sisters have now given up, because of the difficulty of getting a very aged man, who is not really mobile, to do a statutory declaration at the places that the CPF Board suggested. CPF Board staff did not advise the family that they could get a JP to visit them at the uncle’s place for him to make a statutory declaration. Why didn’t they? Well played, CPF, now CPF Board gets to keep the money indefinitely. Good job!


      • Renchoo

        You wish to politicise everything.
        People at CPF are trying to do their jobs properly
        These are adults, can they not ask the question from the JP whether they pay house visits just like if you get married, whether it can be done at certain places, the marriage certificate. .
        Why should CPF guide them step by step , they are not kids or students.
        The article explain in full after the letter to the Forum.
        You seem to expect officers to serve them hand and foot.


      • How did I politicise the issue? Did I mention any political party regarding this case? Nope. Don’t think so.

        And it’s about explaining to the family tt a statutory declaration can be done by a JP in the first place, which, according to the later ST article, CPF Board didn’t inform the family.

        It’s not about serving the family hand and foot, but about providing good service, and going the extra mile to help resolve the issue. Is that too much to expect? Especially in this case? Would it have killed the CPF Board staff to inform the family that they can do SD through JP, advise the family how to arrange for an SD thorough a JP so that the elderly uncle needn’t move around too much? Liddat also too much to expect of our public servants meh?


  3. Disagree w Onion.

    If I’m trying to claim funds from CPF, shouldn’t CPF be the party suggesting to me what can or cannot be done? What I don’t know, I won’t know to ask.



  4. Well, it’s beyond a doubt now that CPF is not covered by personal wills. WHY? For easier bureaucratic administration? Or…
    So much for CPF is your money. Oh wait, some supplicant surnamed Chia ranted in parliament it is actually not.

    Liked by 1 person

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