Singapore

Over 800 sign up as volunteers to share information about CPF

They are part of CPF Board's Community Paying it Forward movement launched yesterday

When scientist Chin Zan Xin received her first salary slip about five years ago, she thought it must have been calculated wrongly as her take-home pay was 20 per cent less than the monthly salary she had been offered.

It was only after doing some research online that she realised the sum had been added to her Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts.

The 28-year-old is now a volunteer with the CPF Board's Community Paying it Forward movement, which was officially launched yesterday in conjunction with the global Pay It Forward Day.

DEBUNK

Like Ms Chin, more than 800 people have signed up as volunteers from January this year to share information about CPF with their networks, debunk misinformation, and provide feedback to improve CPF services.

They will be supported through a CPF Volunteering mobile application, said the CPF Board.

CPF Board chief executive Augustin Lee said: "The idea for this movement came about because there are many fans of CPF out there who discovered the benefits of CPF later in life and wished that they had known about them much earlier."

Fellow volunteer Mohamad Syahid Arif, 40, a full-time caregiver to his younger brother with special needs, said the topic of CPF comes up sometimes during conversations with relatives, friends and the people he works with during ad hoc security jobs.

Some misconceptions he hears - such as CPF savings not being useful until after one has died - may be from the changes to the rules over the years.

So as a volunteer, he hopes to direct people to sources of accurate information.

He added: "It is true CPF is managing our money very carefully and tightly.

"If we are really interested in our money and how to use it to our advantage, then the onus is on us to find out how we can make good use of the various CPF schemes."

Through the CPF Volunteering app, volunteers can earn experience points by learning more about the CPF system and earn digital badges if they refer others to the CPF to make top-ups and nominations, for example.

There will also be get- together events and learning workshops later on.

From yesterday to May 31, the first 100 volunteers to complete a series of mini-challenges in the CPF Volunteering app will win attraction tickets and shopping vouchers.

The Community Paying it Forward movement was launched by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo during a virtual event.

In a short dialogue session with about 70 volunteers, she said that as digital financial services evolve, it is worth exploring how the CPF Board can partner such service providers to offer more personalised financial planning help for CPF members.

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.

BUSINESS & FINANCE