Forum: CPF nominations: Take tripartite approach for better results

Visitors at the CPF Bishan Building on April 29, 2019.
Visitors at the CPF Bishan Building on April 29, 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, in her parliamentary reply to questions on unclaimed Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies, pointed out that CPF members aged below 45 who die are less likely to have made a nomination (About 90 per cent of CPF monies with no nomination distributed in last 5 years, Nov 4).

While Mrs Teo pointed out the many commendable efforts made by the CPF Board to educate and inform its members on the importance of making a CPF nomination, more can be done.

I suggest a tripartite approach to encourage more Singaporeans to make their CPF nomination.

At present, Singapore citizens and permanent residents must re-register for their identity cards when they turn 30 years old and 55 years old.

The CPF Board can include the nomination process as part of this NRIC re-registration exercise.

At age 30, most young Singaporeans will be well into their first or second job and may have purchased their first property.

This would be an excellent starting point to educate them on making a nomination for their CPF funds.

Employers with the assistance of the National Trades Union Congress should work closely with young Singaporeans and include information about making a CPF nomination together with their employment contract.

This will further bring to attention among young Singaporeans the importance in and ease with which a nomination can be made.

The public service should also work with the Singapore Hospice Council, lawyers and funeral directors to educate their officers on matters such as advance care planning, Advance Medical Directives, will-writing and pre-planning a funeral, during their annual ministry retreats and seminars.

By including these conversations as part of the public service's manpower and welfare policies, more than 145,000 officers and their families across all ministries and statutory boards will stand to benefit directly from a concerted initiative to facilitate end-of-life planning at their workplaces.

A whole-of-government approach will also encourage the private sector to include end-of-life planning as part of their human resource and welfare policies, and directly benefit more Singaporeans.

Singaporeans should plan ahead to improve their quality of life and give greater peace of mind for their next of kin.

Chen Jiaxi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2019, with the headline 'CPF nominations: Take tripartite approach for better results'. Print Edition | Subscribe