This article is brought to you by TMF Singapore.

January 2020 sees the introduction of some important changes to Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF) rules for certain benefits via cash reimbursement. Gwee Shin Ee, Director and Head of HRP, TMF Singapore, explains these changes and how businesses need to prepare for them.

With effect from 1 January 2020, the rules around CPF contributions on employee benefits made as cash reimbursements changed, as indicated in the table below in orange text:


In summary, CPF contributions are no longer payable for cash reimbursement of dental treatments for employees’ spouses and children (whether local or overseas) – bringing them into alignment with medical treatments.

However, certain criteria must still be met for CPF contributions not to be payable for both medical and dental treatment benefits. For example, medical and dental treatments, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), must be deemed necessary by doctors registered with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), dentists registered with the Singapore Dental Council (SDC) or TCM practitioners registered with the TCM Board.

Cash reimbursements for preventive or cosmetic treatments – such as health screening or teeth whitening – are not exempted from CPF contributions, unless expenses are incurred as part of official duties.

CPF contributions are now payable for holiday benefit reimbursement or claims.

There is no change to the CPF treatment for other benefits, such as cash reimbursement of gym membership fees to employees and their family members.

One common challenge we foresee is validation of the reimbursements, particularly verification of medical and dental treatments that are deemed necessary.

The CPF Board regularly updates and provides clarification around CPF treatments. It is important for employers to stay up-to-date and have the flexibility to update their policies and procedures in line with any changes. TMF Group’s local payroll experts are on hand to help companies remain compliant with these changes.

Contact the author

Gwee Shin Ee Director and Head of HRP TMF Singapore Phone: +65 6808 1647 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo / StockUnlimited