Singapore – Can I notarise documents to withdraw my CPF?


The purpose of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) is to financially support the retirement, housing and healthcare needs of Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents. If you’ve worked in Singapore, your employer should have made CPF contributions for you.

CPF is much like our superannuation scheme in Australia in many ways, but also so much more. While Australian superannuation and Singaporean CPF both support people in their retirement, CPF also supports healthcare and housing in Singapore.

Your CPF balance will grow as you accumulate CPF contributions throughout your working life in Singapore. You may be entitled to withdraw your CPF balance when:

  • you retire
  • you permanently leave Singapore
  • you are no longer a Singapore citizen or a Singapore permanent resident.

Over the years, we’ve helped many clients with their CPF withdrawal applications. CPF used to accept notarised documents, then for a while it didn’t, and now it will provided those documents have also been stamped with an Apostille. You should always check the CPF website for the specific requirements in case they change again since this article was written.

What’s an Apostille?

An Apostille is an international stamp issued by and recognised in countries that are members of the Apostille Convention. Australia and Singapore are both members of the Apostille Convention. This means documents from Australia usually must be stamped with an Apostille before they’ll be accepted in Singapore.

In Australia, the Apostille is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). DFAT can stamp an Apostille on original Australian government documents or documents that have been notarised by an Australian notary public. Accordingly, the application form and supporting documents required for CPF Withdrawal Applications must be notarised before they can be stamped with an Apostille and before they’ll be accepted by CPF.

We can assist with both notary services and apostille services.

Notary Services for CPF Withdrawal Applications

Usually, you may require notary services for signing the withdrawal application form or certifying various supporting documents. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone.

If you’re a Malaysian citizen, you must apply directly through an online form.

If you’re not a Malaysian citizen and you have Singpass, you must submit your application form and supporting document via My Mailbox.

If you’re not a Malaysian citizen, you’re not in Singapore and you don’t have Singpass, then you must submit your application form and supporting documents by post. All documents must be witnessed and certified true by an official from a Singapore Overseas Mission, with the official seal/stamp. In Australia, the Singapore Overseas Mission is the High Commission in Canberra.

If you’re not a Malaysian citizen, you’re not in Singapore, you don’t have Singpass, and you live in a coutry that is part of the Apostille Convention (like Australia), then your documents must be witnessed and certified true by a notary public and stamped with an Apostille. THIS IS WHAT WE DO.

Where to start?

You must determine which process applies to you.

You will require our notary services and our apostille services if:

  • You live in Australia
  • You’re not a Malaysian citizen
  • You’re not in Singapore
  • You don’t have Singpass
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Do you have any questions?

Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.

If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We've also created a flowchart to explain the process.

Not sure what you need? Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

So, what's next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services. Otherwise, call us on +61 2 9687 8885 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We're a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. We're known for our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries, our low-cost fixed fees and service offering, and our availability to help on short notice.

Our office is conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area. We help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.

Ern Phang, Notary Public
Ern Phang
Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney.

Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to other countries.

All information on this website is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice that is specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.