Football: CPF Board investigating S-League clubs that do not fulfil CPF obligations to their Prime League players

Office workers walking past the CPF building in Robinson Road.
Office workers walking past the CPF building in Robinson Road.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board is investigating local S-League football clubs for possible non-payment of CPF contributions, specifically to their Prime League players.

A CPF Board spokesman told The Straits Times on Tuesday night (Jan 10): "CPF Board takes a serious view on employers who do not fulfil their CPF obligations to their employees.

"Investigations are ongoing and CPF Board will not hesitate to take action against any football club that failed to make the requisite CPF contributions for their players."

ST understands that at least one club failed to pay the contributions for up to five years. The Prime League team is the reserve side of each professional S-League club, largely featuring young players below the age of 21.

Some clubs have already been notified that they had fallen foul of CPF rules and have compensated their players.

The general manager of an S-League club, who declined to be named, explained that Prime League players are employed on contracts which pay them a maximum of $300 in training allowances which help to cover meal and transport costs.

He added: "The club was notified by the CPF Board in November and we duly paid up the shortfall in CPF contribution the following month.

"The club pays a training allowance of $100 to $200 to its Prime League players but we were unaware that we had to declare this to the CPF Board.

"However, the club respects the wishes of the Board and we will follow their policy from now on."

The general manager declined to reveal the amount that was due to the Board but said that his club had made full restitution.

Another club manager, who declined to be named, added: "The rule has not been clear and we had hoped there would be some direction."

An S-League spokesman said: "The S-League understands that the clubs had in the past been under the perception that the 'allowance' paid to the Prime League players did not necessitate CPF contribution.

"The respective clubs concerned are in the process of resolving the matter with the CPF Board.

"We are confident that the clubs will be able to quickly and fairly resolve this matter. The S-League shall provide the relevant assistance to the clubs where possible."