Singapore’s gig workers support mandatory CPF contributions

The government is reviewing how to better protect platform workers to meet their retirement and housing needs.
By: | April 7, 2022

This comes as more than half of the 1,200 submissions from platform workers to a government advisory committee voiced concerns about their national pension plan, with 55% of these people supporting mandatory contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CPF), Senior Minister of State for Manpower Koh Poh Koon said in Parliament recently.

“Housing was the most commonly cited reason for wanting CPF contributions, followed by retirement,” said Dr Koh, who is advising the committee.

CPF contributions are compulsory for full-time employees, but not for the self-employed, who are only required to contribute to the medical portion, Medisave, as long as they earn over S$6,000 (US$4,421) annually. Platform workers fall under the self-employed category.

Singapore is studying whether this should change, similar to gig worker reviews in other jurisdictions like the European Union. If CPF becomes mandatory for these workers, the platforms will have to chip in too.

READ: Singapore launches campaign to cut workplace discrimination

Dr Koh said, “While this will increase their business costs, it is no worse off than any other company employing workers in a similar sector, such as in logistics and transport. Besides, platform companies already contribute CPF for their management executives and administrative staff today – a point which many of these riders whom I engage with make as well.”

Relevant measures will be implemented to ensure compliance if CPF is made mandatory. The committee is also considering a suitable phase-in period to allow businesses to adjust for new measures.