CPF , Bonds
Apply for T-bills online using CPF OA via OCBC: A step-by-step guide
10 Apr 2023
Many investors have been asking if OCBC and UOB will allow customers to apply for Singapore Treasury Bills (T-bills) online using their CPF OA funds, after DBS started offering the function in January this year.
There has still been decent demand for T-bills with the cut-off yield for the 6-month T-bill reaching 3.85% p.a. at the auction on 30th March.
The good news is that OCBC has started allowing customers to apply for T-bills online using CPF OA funds via its OCBC digital app and OCBC internet banking (i-banking). You can now finally skip for queue at the branch and apply for T-bills from the comfort of your home.
Let’s go through the steps to apply for T-bills online using CPF OA via OCBC.
How to apply for T-bills online using CPF OA through OCBC : A step-by-step guide
OCBC allows you to apply for T-bills online using CPF OA funds via its digital app and internet banking (i-banking). For illustration purposes, we will demonstrate how this can be done using internet banking.
Step 1: Select Investments & Insurance and Singapore Government Securities from the Top Menu
First, log in to your OCBC i-banking account.
Select ‘Investments & Insurance’ from the top menu, where you will see a list of drop-down options.
Select ‘Singapore Government Securities (SGS)’ to apply for T-bills using your CPF OA account.
Step 2: Select Buy Treasury Bills (SGS T-Bills)
You will be presented with a list of Singapore Government Securities to choose from, including Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB), Singapore Government Securities (SGS) bond and Treasury Bills (SGS T-Bill).
Click on the ‘Buy’ button under Treasury Bills (SGS T-Bills) to apply for T-bills using your CPF OA account.
Step 3: Input subscription details
Once you have selected to buy Treasury Bills (SGS T-Bills), you will be asked to put in your application details.
Firstly, check that the T-bill issuance you wish to buy matches the issue code that is displayed (eg BS23107V)
Next, select whether you would like to put in a competitive or non-competitive bid. For competitive bids, you will also be asked to put in your bid yield.
If you wish to invest in the bond only if it yields above a certain level, submit a competitive bid. You can specify the yield you are willing to accept in percentage terms, up to 2 decimal places. Note that you may not get the full amount that you applied for, depending on how your bid compares to the cut-off yield.
In a non-competitive bid, you only specify the amount you want to invest, not the yield. Choose this if you wish to invest in the bond regardless of the return or are unsure of what yield to bid. You will get the bond at the cut-off yield, which is the highest accepted yield of successful competitive bids.
Next, select your payment mode (CPF OA Investible Savings, CPF SA Investible Savings, SRS Account). Select ‘CPF-OA Investible Savings’ to apply for T-bills using your CPF OA account.
You will also have to check the box to provide consent to OCBC to retrieve your CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) data for the purpose of the investment.
Read through the Terms and Conditions, and check the box if you agree to the Terms and Conditions for the purchase of the SGS T-bills.
Click on the ‘Preview’ button to preview your application for T-bills using CPF OA.
Step 4: Review your application
Check through your application for T-bills using CPF OA, including the bid amount, payment method and your personal particulars.
Click on the ‘Submit’ button to submit your application for T-bills using CPF OA.
Step 5: Receive confirmation
Upon submission of the T-bill application using your CPF-OA, you will receive a confirmation of your application.
Do note that this is just a confirmation of your application, and not a confirmation of the issuance of the T-bill to you.
You will only find out whether you have been allotted the T-bill after the auction is completed.
When is the deadline for T-bill applications online using CPF OA through OCBC i-banking?
The deadline for T-bill applications using CPF OA through OCBC i-banking is at 9pm one working day before the auction date.
This means that if the T-bill auction is on 13 April 2023 (Thursday), online applications using CPF-OA will end at 9pm on 12 April 2023 (Wed).
This the slightly later than the application for T-bills using CPF at its branches, which will close at 11am two working days before the auction date.
Also, it might be worth noting that online application is only available on Monday to Saturday; 7am to 9pm (excluding public holidays)
What are the charges for T-bill applications online using CPF OA via OCBC i-banking?
For T-bill applications using CPF-OA via OCBC i-banking, there will be a fee of S$2.50 + GST for each transaction. This will work out to S$2.70 per transaction.
Do make sure that you are aware of this fee for CPF OA applications for T-bill, especially if you are used to not having any charges incurred for your cash applications.
Will funds be deducted from my CPF OA account at the time of application?
Another commonly asked question is whether there will be funds deducted from your CPF-OA account at the point of application of the T-bill.
According to the OCBC website, no funds will be debited or earmarked at the point of application for T-bill applications using CPF-OA.
This means that you will not lose out on your CPF OA interest, if your application for the T-bill is not successful.
Once again, this is different from cash applications, where funds will be debited from your bank account at the point of application.
Is it worthwhile to apply for T-bills online using CPF-OA via OCBC i-banking?
Earlier, we shared our thoughts on whether it is worthwhile to apply for the T-bills using CPF OA.
You will lose an additional one or two months of CPF interest payment when you use your CPF to invest in the T-bill.
As such, it is generally more worthwhile to use your CPF OA to invest in the T-bill when the bond has a longer maturity or when interest rates are higher.
There are also risks relating to investing in the T-bill, and the price of the T-bill could fall if interest rates go up. There is also no certainty on the interest rate of the T-bill at the point of application.
What do I need to apply for T-bill online using CPF OA via OCBC i-banking?
You will need to have a CPFIS account, and link your CPFIS account to OCBC.
To open a CPFIS account, certain requirements must be met, including being at least 18 years old, not being an undischarged bankrupt, and completing the CPFIS Self-Awareness Questionnaire (SAQ). After finishing the SAQ, you can submit an application to link your CPFIS account to OCBC.
Thereafter, you will need to wait for 3-5 working days before you can apply for T-bills online using CPF-OA.
To transfer your CPF Investment Account to OCBC from another bank, you will need to visit an OCBC branch. You will be asked to complete and sign the
- Account Transfer form
- CPF Investment Account-Ordinary Account Application form
- Standing Instruction form
The branch will submit these documents for the processing of the transfer.
During the course of the transfer, you are advised not to perform any transactions.
Upon completion of the transfer, a welcome letter will be sent to you with the new CPF Investment Account number.
Where can I find out more about applying for T-bills online using CPF OA?
You can read our latest analysis about T-bills here.
Join our Telegram group to ask us any other question you have about applying for T-bills using CPF OA.