He’ll Answer Your Questions About CPF

Pick up tips from CPF ambassador Wong Koon Yin and ‘go-to person’ for information about CPF policies on how he explains policies to CPF members and his loved ones.
CPF ambassador Wong Koon Yin cover
Mr Wong Koon Yin uses a variety of techniques including using Mandarin, mind-maps and sharing his own experiences to reach out to CPF members.

Wong Koon Yin
Assistant Director, Outreach & Partnerships Department
Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board

As a CPF ambassador, Koon Yin is the “go-to person” for his friends and family who have questions about CPF.

His “consultation service”, as he jokingly calls it, happens often during Chinese New Year and Christmas gatherings. He finds it easier to share his knowledge and experience face to face, such as at meal times

At work, Koon Yin does outreach activities such as CPF Retirement Planning roadshows and thematic talks. He meets CPF members of all ages to educate them on various CPF schemes and policies.

People tend to be more curious about CPF as they reach certain milestones in life, he notes, such as those turning 55 and 65. Younger CPF members in their 30s are also showing more interest, wanting to know more about how to grow their CPF savings.

As there are multiple CPF schemes, a challenge for Koon Yin is to strike a good balance: providing as much information as he can, while keeping things simple enough to help members understand their options and how to optimise their CPF savings.

It’s encouraging that people I meet are interested in the CPF system and willing to listen to my explanations.

In some of his talks, he uses mind-maps to help the audience get a better picture of how CPF can help them in retirement planning. He also uses Mandarin and dialect to explain policies and schemes, especially for older CPF members less proficient in English.

CPF ambassador Wong Koon Yin talks financial literacy
Mr Wong Koon Yin speaking in Mandarin at a LIFE@55 talk to reach out to the Mandarin-speaking audience.

Establishing rapport helps. “I relate my personal circumstances to them. This is quite effective, especially for members who are in a similar life stage as me,” Koon Yin says. “For example, I shared my experience of purchasing my own home to help them get a better sense of how to buy a home that fits their needs.”

Outside work hours, he finds opportunities to share his knowledge – such as on commutes with taxi and private hire drivers, if the topic is brought up during a ride. As many drivers are self-employed, Mr Wong will share how they can still make CPF contributions on their own to build up their retirement income.

“It’s encouraging that people I meet are interested in the CPF system and willing to listen to my explanations.”

The CPFB holds regular thematic talks every month across Singapore, and the talk schedule can be found at www.cpf.gov.sg/memberevents. The CPFB also conducts workplace talks. If you think that a sharing session on CPF schemes would be beneficial for you and your colleagues, you can contact events@cpf.gov.sg

Common misconceptions

Will I lose my Special and Ordinary Accounts when my Retirement Account is created when I turn 55?

This is not true. At 55, CPF members will have four accounts: the Ordinary Account, Special Account, Retirement Account and the MediSave Account.

If a CPF member passes away, will their loved ones get back any of the CPF savings?

When a member passes away, their CPF savings go to their nominees, if they have a valid CPF nomination. If there is no CPF nomination, the savings will be distributed by the Public Trustees Office according to Singapore’s intestacy laws. CPF members are encouraged to make their CPF nomination to ensure that their CPF savings are distributed according to their wishes.

    Jun 12, 2019
    Courtesy of the CPFB
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