Singapore’s CPF Board retrieves $2.7 billion from errant employers

The sum collected will be paid to workers who had been short-changed by their errant employers over a number of years.
By: | September 19, 2019

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) in Singapore has retrieved about S$2.7 billion over the last five years from employers who had not paid contributions to workers. The sum collected will be paid to workers who had been short-changed by their errant employers.

The Straits Times reported that in 2018, the amount of unpaid CPF contributions from such employers was S$595.9 million. It had risen from S$378.2 million in 2014 an indicator that the situation was not improving. The CPF board found out about the workers plights from their complaints as well as through audits. Most of the victims are lower-income casual employees who are entitled to CPF payments.

Employers need to pay CPF contributions for those earning above S$50 while those who earn over S$500 per month should also start making their CPF contributions. With the rising ‘gig economy’ and more people being employed in this the non-payment of CPF is a grave issue. Given that more and more people are casually employed in the rising ‘gig economy’ this non-payment of CPF is a grave issue. Most of these workers are found in F&B industry and security.

There are more implications when employees do not receive their CPF, they no longer qualify for Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme subsidies, that enables them to receive additional funds for supplementary income, as well as CPF top-ups for their retirement. (WIS) payouts are now given every month, so they must get their employers to make CPF contributions.

But some employers themselves realise that they’ve made mistakes in not paying their employees’ CPF and have notified the board of this when they realise their mistakes. There are fines and jail terms for employers who do not comply with the regulations of the CPF.