As part of the CPF Board’s ongoing efforts to ensure workers are paid their rightful CPF contributions, the CPF Board completed a series of audits and investigations in 20111 and successfully recovered a total of $9.5 million of CPF arrears for about 10,000 employees employed by some 3,700 companies. About 70% of these companies were found to have underpaid CPF contributions for their local employees, while the rest did not pay CPF contributions. This is consistent with CPF Board’s recovery efforts in 2010 where about $9.5 million of CPF arrears was recovered for about 6,000 workers employed by about 2,600 companies.
Contract and Casual Workers are Entitled to CPF
One such case last year was that of Madam Fong’s. Her daughter filed a complaint to CPF Board in December 2010, highlighting that Madam Fong was not receiving CPF contributions from her employer, a cleaning company.
Upon investigation, CPF Board determined that Madam Fong was indeed entitled to CPF contributions from the company as she was working as an employee, and was not sub-contracted as previously claimed by the company. All local employees, including part-time, contract and casual workers, are entitled to CPF contributions if they earn more than $50 per month. The CPF Board then ordered the company to pay up the CPF arrears of more than $11,600 to Madam Fong, for her employment period from August 1997 to November 2010.
Employers must contribute to employees’ CPF
It is an offence under the CPF Act for employers to default on CPF contributions. Regular audits on employers are conducted to ensure CPF contributions are paid promptly and correctly. Upon detection of CPF non-compliance, the CPF Board takes action to recover the arrears and late payment interest. Prosecution action may be taken against employers who do not comply. First time offenders may be fined $2,500 for each offence. Repeat offenders may be fined $10,000 for each offence.
In 2011, there were 50 convictions in court for non-payment and underpayment of CPF. All 50 employers were fined and ordered to pay the CPF arrears by the Subordinate Court. See Annex A for list of convicted cases in 2011.
Mr Ng Hock Keong, Director of Enforcement Division at CPF Board said, “CPF Board takes a serious view of employers who default on CPF contributions. We will step up enforcement, especially in sectors known for higher non-compliance, such as F&B, cleaning and security, and take action against errant employers. Workers are also encouraged to inform CPF Board if they have not received the correct CPF due to them.”
As announced by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Hawazi Daipi at the Committee of Supply debate in March 2012, the Ministry of Manpower and CPF Board will be stepping up on efforts to bring about greater compliance with the CPF Act and the Employment Act. This will include increasing education for both employers and employees on their obligations and rights, through media campaigns and intensifying outreach in collaboration with NTUC, the Singapore National Employers Federation and other partners.
Employers are reminded to pay CPF contributions correctly for their local employees. Workers should also check their CPF accounts regularly via the CPF website to ensure correct CPF payment by their employers. Employees and members of the public can report the non-payment or underpayment of CPF contributions to the CPF Board via email@example.com or the CPF hotline at 1800-227-1188. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Annex A: List of companies convicted for CPF non-compliance in 2011
1 Figures comprise total number of cases completed in 2011, and does not include ongoing audits and investigations.
For more information, please visit www.cpf.gov.sg or call the CPF Call Centre at 1800-227-1188.