How does CPF fit into the investment plan for those of us pursuing financial independence and early retirement?

As Singaporeans and Singaporean PR, one of the biggest elephant in the room when it comes to retirement-planning is the Central Provident Fund or CPF.

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a compulsory comprehensive savings plan for working Singaporeans and permanent residents primarily to fund their retirement, healthcare, and housing needs.


Since up to 20% of our gross monthly income gets automatically deducted and is put into the CPF, it’s a hot-button topic amongst Singaporeans; some consider it a world-class retirement scheme and some equate it to an act akin to literal theft by the government. However, before we jump to conclusions, I’d like to look at the numbers.

So when it comes to its impact on your plans for financial independence, how good is the CPF really? Should we give our CPF savings more attention or should we treat it like money we’ll never see again?

In this “CPF on FIRE” series, I’ll be diving deep into the numbers – with spreadsheets, graphs and all – to get to the answers. I’ll explore all the parts of CPF to hopefully give us all a better understanding of the scheme. Ultimately, by the end of the series, I hope we all end up with a much better understanding of how to approach our CPF savings, how it should fit into our FIRE plans and how we should take advantage of the special schemes that the CPF offer.

Without further adieu, let’s jump right in!

  1. CPF LIFE: What is the optimal approach?
  2. 10 Commandments to follow before you invest your CPF money.
  3. Optimal withdrawal strategy for FIRE in Singapore: using CPF LIFE, SRS and brokerage account together
  4. CPF LIFE: What’s the best way to generate passive retirement income? Should we top up from Full Retirement Sum (FRS) to Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) or invest that money instead?