Are interns and part timers entitled to CPF contributions?
I’m sure many of you are encouraged to take internships, or even have mandatory internships that are credit-bearing or even graded by the school, especially in ITE, Polytechnic or University. In addition, many of you guys also find part time jobs during your holidays to earn some extra allowance to fund your food adventures or movie tickets right! With this in mind, are they entitled to CPF contributions? Yes, Interns and part timers are eligible for CPF. But first, let's find out more about the Central Provident Fund (CPF), who is entitled to CPF contributions, and why it is important to know about CPF especially for interns and part timers!
What is CPF and Why is it Important?
What are CPF Contributions?
CPF, an abbreviation for Central Provident Fund, is a social security system that helps Singaporeans secure savings for retirement. CPF savings can also be used for housing, health care, insurance, and certain investments. Both employers and employees donate to CPF every month. The CPF for interns will be a good way for them to start saving up for their retirement and other future needs. They can also use the money saved from it to pay off their tuition fees or buy new clothes when they need it.
How are my CPF contributions allocated to my CPF accounts?
CPF contributions are sent to three accounts:
- Ordinary account: For housing, insurance, investment
- Special account: For investment in old age and pension related financial products.
- MediSave account: For hospital costs and certified health insurance companies.
Why are CPF Contributions important?
Central Provident Fund (CPF) helps Singaporeans save for important things in life, retirement, housing and medical care. According to a study of Singaporeans' attitudes toward financial planning, three in ten people between the ages of 30 and 39 have not yet begun planning for future financial needs. The reason for establishing the Central Provident Fund (CPF) is simple. It helps secure funding for retirement income and reduce the country's risk of relying on a reduced workforce to support an increasing number of older people.
Above all, CPF can also help maintain Singapore's home ownership rate as these funds can be used to pay for home purchases.
Do interns get CPF?
What about CPF for interns or part timers? Are the employers required to pay their interns? There is no minimum wage required for an intern under the Employment Act. Therefore, the internship program may be unpaid. However, it is advisable to pay monthly benefits to cover the living and travel expenses incurred by the intern during the employment period.
In addition, please note that a minimum allowance may apply if you apply for a government grant to offset the cost of hiring an intern.
For example, an employer who wants up to 70% government support for an internship salary in the Global Ready Talent Program (internship) provides an intern with a minimum monthly salary of $ 800 for ITE and college students and $ 1,000 for college students (before funding). Furthermore, the minimum legal age to work in Singapore is 13. So if you really want to, you can start contributing to your CPF as early as 13 years old!
Are interns entitled to CPF Contributions?
You must be thinking who is entitled to get CPF Contributions? Interns are entitled to CPF contributions! However, CPF contributions are not payable for the following groups:
- Students who intern during their school holiday period (and have not completed their A-levels)
- Polytechnic, ITE and university students undertaking approved internships, credit-bearing or graded internships (whether during the school term or school holiday period)
- Overseas university students required to take up internships of up to 6 months in Singapore
With this in mind, do interns have employment rights? As an employee, an intern may be entitled to paid annual leave on a pro-rated basis, if they have worked for at least 3 months. Since the internship is short-term and cannot be extended to 12 months, the intern's annual leave is calculated in proportion to the number of months of service completed in that year.
In this calculation, fractions of a day less than half a day are ignored and fractions of a day more than half a day are considered one day.
For example, an employee who works for one year on behalf of an employer is entitled to seven days of annual leave if the employment contract does not qualify for more generous annual leave. Based on this, internships with a 6-month contract with you are entitled to (6/12) x 7 = 4 days of annual paid leave (rounded up from 3.5 days).
If the intern absents themselves without the employer's permission or without reasonable excuse for more than 20% of the working days, he or she forfeits his entitlement to annual leave.
Are part time employees entitled to CPF Contributions?
Interns and part time employees have employment rights under the Employment Act so long as they are hired under a contract of service. According to the Ministry of Manpower, part time employees are also entitled to CPF contributions provided you are a:
- Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents
- Earns more than $50 in a month
- Is engaged under a contract of service.
How to calculate CPF Contribution Rate in Singapore?
There are some factors that will impact the monthly CPF rates by the Employee.
- Citizenship of employee (Singapore Citizen or Singapore PR year 1 or year 2)
- Age group of employee
- Total wages earned for each calendar month
To calculate CPF, there are 2 routes that are added to your total CPF contribution - your own contribution, as well as your employer's contribution.
Taken from CPF, here is how your CPF would be based on your age bracket. This CPF table shows the percentage your employer would need to contribute, as well as the percentage you yourself would have to contribute, which is deducted from your take-home salary. You can compute the Total CPF contributions by applying the contribution rate to the employee's total wages subject to CPF.
Although your employer is responsible for making CPF contributions every month, do check that your CPF contributions are correct so that errors can be rectified as soon as possible.
Further detailed information can be found on the CPF Contribution Rate 2022 Table.
Are there any changes to CPF contribution rates on the 1st January 2022?
Starting January 1st 2022, there are a few changes applicable to the CPF for the elderly. The purpose of these changes was to be able to improve the relevance of pensions for these older workers. Initiatives to bring about these changes in CPF will be addressed by the Tripartite Working Group on Older Workers, and the recommended changes will apply from the first day of the month after the employee's 55 th , 60 th , or 65 th birthday.
The CPF contribution rate changes apply to this group of senior workers in the Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) category. However, only if the latter has completed a three-year permanent residence.
For the remaining people below the age of 55, the existing contribution rates do not change and will remain per current.
Employers should note that the due date for CPF contributions is the last day of the calendar month. Enforcement will be taken against employers who fail to pay CPF by the next business day if the 14th or 14th of the following month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.
What should I do if my employer did not pay my CPF?
As an employer, you are required to pay CPF contributions for your employees who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents and who are earning total wages of more than $50 per month. It's the employer's obligation to pay CPF contributions correctly and promptly. You should first approach your employer to clarify if there are issues with your CPF contributions or declared wages. Your employer is expected to self-rectify any errors immediately.
What is the role of the Central Provident Fund Board?
The Central Provident Fund Board ( CPFB ), commonly known as the CPF Board or simply the Central Provident Fund ( CPF ), is a compulsory comprehensive savings and pension plan for working Singaporeans and permanent residents primarily to fund their retirement, healthcare , and housing needs in Singapore . The Central Provident Fund Board or the CPF Board takes a serious view on employers who do not pay CPF contributions. To avoid this, you may wish to assess your situation carefully and consider approaching workforce Singapore for job switch assistance.
You can log into my cpf Online Services using your SingPass and lodge their complaints online through the CPF website to manage your CPF saving better. You can also write to the Board or send an email to email@example.com, or file concerns by calling the CPF hotline at 1800-227-1188. Additionally, you can visit any CPF Service Center.
So here you go, as a student in Singapore I did not know my intern entitlements and may have been scammed some of my benefits :') To check if CPF contributions in Singapore are payable, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call CPF hotline 1800-227-1188 or visit any CPF Service Centre!
Learn more about CPF Contributions by checking our TikTok page out and other intern tips such as salary, and paid annual leave!