CPF Savings

Should CPF Be Considered As Part Of Your Net Worth?

CPF in net worth reformat

Last updated on June 8th, 2021

As you are calculating your net worth, you may wonder if you should be including your CPF in the calculation.

Even though it’s your money, it is being ‘locked up’ the government. So should it be still considered as an asset?

Here is my opinion on why you should still consider CPF as a part of your net worth.

Should I consider CPF as part of my net worth?

The funds in your CPF account should be considered as a part of your net worth. Even though they are rather illiquid, they are still a part of your assets. The only difference is that these assets are ‘locked up’ by the government to help you to prepare for retirement.

CPF is still your money

You may be quite unhappy whenever your CPF contributions are deducted from your salary. While this reduces the amount of cash you have in hand per month, you can think of it more as a type of forced savings.

Without CPF, would you be able to set aside a sum each month to save for your retirement?

In the end, the funds in your CPF account is still your money. The only restriction is that you can’t freely withdraw these funds whenever you wish.

CPF is meant to help you achieve 3 main financial goals

The government created CPF to help you with achieving different financial goals:

  1. Housing
  2. Medical bills
  3. Retirement

This helps to increase your financial security, as you already have these funds set aside for your different needs.

Are the funds in my CPF account considered as assets?

An asset is anything that you own that can provide a future benefit for you. Since the funds in your CPF account are earning a decent rate of return, they can be considered as assets that give you a larger amount of funds in the future.

While the funds in your CPF account are being ‘locked up‘, they are actually earning really attractive interest rates.

With these high rates of return, the funds placed in your CPF account should be considered as an asset.

An asset is a resource with economic value that an individual, corporation, or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit.

Investopedia

Furthermore, you are able to invest your OA funds to obtain even better returns! You can use platforms like Endowus to do so.

However, you will need to set aside at least $20k in your OA. You are then able to invest the remaining amount of funds in your OA account.

Since your CPF funds are earning quite a high rate of return, it should be included inside your net worth calculation.

Your net worth is calculating by subtracting the total amount of your liabilities from the total amount of your assets.

While CPF is considered as an asset, it is still rather illiquid.

Is CPF considered a liquid asset?

CPF should not be considered as a liquid asset. There are limits to how much you can withdraw, as well as what you can withdraw them for. Nevertheless, it is still an asset that should be considered when you are calculating your net worth.

A liquid asset is an asset that can easily be converted into cash in a short amount of time.

Investopedia

If you consider CPF as a liquid asset, you are assuming that you will be able to receive the cash you have in your accounts quickly.

However, that is not the case!

You can only use the funds from your CPF accounts under different conditions:

AccountUses
CPF OAHousing
Education
DPS Premiums
Approved Investments
CPF MAMedical Bills
Medical Insurance Premiums
CPF SARetirement

As such, your CPF funds should be considered as an illiquid asset, since they can only be withdrawn for certain purposes.

Conclusion

No matter what anyone tells you, CPF is still your money.

You may not be able to withdraw the money for your personal use. However, it will help to pay for your retirement expenses in the future.

Furthermore, your CPF is earning a rather high interest rate at relatively low risks!

As such, I believe that your CPF funds should still be considered as an asset, just that it is not a liquid asset!

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